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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Hard Eight - Good in the Sack



Pros: The rabbit; score one for Ranger! Cons: Getting tired of the un-catchable FTA

The Bottom Line: (I was reading this in bed this morning.) The book was great - but Andy Bender took it down a notch.

I guess I might as well write the review while I try and figure out a title. Maybe a little Missy Elliott will help inspire me…

Do you know who Stephanie Plum is yet? No? That answer makes me wonder what you’re doing here, hanging out with number 8. But I guess it’s my duty as a reviewer to enlighten you. After all, for all I know your cousin was simply raving about this book and didn’t give you any details. How rude. To the point, Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter who is constantly finding herself in very sticky situations; people want to kill her, and two very luscious men want to hook up with her. I’m up for the latter part of that. Janet Evanovich, the author, comes up with all these scenarios and has written 12 books so far. #13 is in the works (or just out in hardback – I lack the details). You can start here as Stephanie always briefly explains how she got where she is, but if you want the full story, you’ll have to read at least book #1.

Are we crystal? Good.

Stephanie Plum, not your average bounty hunter, wanted by vice cop Joe Morelli and her mentor and the next Batman, Ranger. Wanted in a good way, at least. Well, maybe good. Stephanie has man issues. When it isn’t those two, it’s going to be the people she’s supposed to cuff and take back to jail so she can get paid. Andy Bender is next on her list, but he’s a pain in the ass and keeps slipping through her fingers. So that’s not going very well either. What makes things better? Going home to have a good dinner.

Of course, that can’t be normal either. Mabel, their next door neighbor, has put up her house as collateral for a bond used by her daughter Evelyn as part of a child custody deal. But Evelyn and her daughter Annie have gone missing. Mabel’s going to lose her house and asks Stephanie to find them. Not exactly Steph’s bag of chips, but she does it as a neighborly sort of thing. No sooner does she start snooping than a man named Eddie Abruzzi show up. Eddie’s got the eyes Ramirez used to have, and that is not a good thing, especially since he wants Steph to keep her nose out of this – or face the consequences. But we wouldn’t have a book to read if she listened, now would we? Time to bring out the killer rabbit…

So what does Eddie want with Evelyn? In what ways will Steph twist out of the crazy rabbit’s grasp? What twisted ideas does Eddie have for Steph? Joe and Steph – will they get together? Or will it be Ranger and Steph??

Next time on As the World Turns….wait, sorry. Getting out of hand aren’t I? Truth is, I’m not telling you squat. You’ll have to read it for yourself. I review – I don’t give away the goods.

Will you like it? If you’ve read any other Stephanie Plum books and have enjoyed all of them, then yes, you will. What’s good? Just about everything you’ve come to expect from the series. Stephanie getting into ridiculous situations, involving things like dead people, geese, cars, etc. The ideas are always different – as in who is trying to kill her and why. The style, written in first person from Steph’s view, makes things just that much better. I still stand by my declaration that these wouldn’t be as great if they were in third person. Steph is the girl who wanted to be Wonder Woman when she grew up and dreamed of flying, so being in her mind is amusement to the 3rd degree.

You can’t deny the fun times of the other characters as well. Eddie is truly a freaky crack pot. If you know who Ramirez is, then you’ll be able to understand the freakiness of Steph’s situation. Lula, ho turned file clerk, is always great to have tag along. The dialogue for everyone is a hoot, though you do begin to wonder when Lula will just stop asking to shoot people because Steph always says no. Doesn’t hurt to try I guess.

Bad things? *sigh* Well, though I’m fine with the formula (Steph gets involved with something much bigger than she bargained for and now people want to kill her, so she has narrow scrapes with death, and a car usually ends up destroyed), I found myself very annoyed with the Andy Bender situation. In several past books, there has been one court date skipper that she has to go get and it basically takes her the entire book to do it. Sometimes they’re involved with the main plot, sometimes they’re just side dishes. But whichever they may be, Steph usually runs into them multiple times throughout the book. Oftentimes she has perfect, perfect chances to catch them and haul their butt to jail and be done with things, but she freaks out or screws up, or just lets them go for some dumb reason.

It’s this repetition that is beginning to annoy me. It started to irk me in the last book, and this time it just flat out annoyed me. She lets these people take her stuff and use it on her, and she does dumb things that allow them to get away and honestly, she should have learned by now, fictional character or not. She helped to redeem herself a little bit by getting more use out of her gun, but it wasn’t enough. It isn’t as though these big incidents happen to her every month – time does pass between the books, so she really should be accustomed to at least the general idea of how not to screw up quite so much. The screwing up can be funny sometimes, but there were a few places where I rolled my eyes and thought, “Geez woman, how dumb are you?” Such as don’t put your pepper spray in a non-easy access spot. Same goes for your gun. Keep a tight hold on your cuffs. Keep a tight hold on all weapons. Etc. etc.

That’s my major beef right there. The rest of the time I didn’t have many problems. Steph is either braver than I am or just stupider to do some of the things she did when it comes to psycho Eddie and the people after her, but that’s forgivable. That’s her character. The ending may seem abrupt and possibly even anti-climactic to some, but I honestly didn’t mind it at all. In fact, I liked it. I just wish the note had read something different. More cryptic. Like, “I lost the war,” or something like that.

Don’t expect magical characters or deep plots of intrigue – it’s pure entertainment, and if that’s not your bag baby, then don’t go for it. As for me? I think if I ever want a Ranger in my life, I’ll have to start running on the treadmill tomorrow.

NT

Originally posted on Epinions.com

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