Cons: *cue crickets*
The Bottom Line: Pure giggling, feet kicking joy, that's what it is.
I haven’t been having the best birthday so far, but hey, I’ve stayed alive 23 years running now, so that’s nothing to scoff at.
At the very least, my life is nowhere near as complex and dangerous as Stephanie Plum’s, though I have to admit, I wouldn’t mind having either a Joe Morelli or Ranger in my life. Mmmmm…. We are now on book five, cranked out by the talented Janet Evanovich. If you are unfamiliar with the series, it is possible to start from here, but at the very least I recommend reading book one. That way you can find out how Stephanie Plum, former lingerie buyer, who hates guns and is happy to have a hamster instead of kids, ended up being a bail enforcement agent; aka bounty hunter. Besides, Evanovich uses a lot of repeat characters that can show up virtually at any time unannounced – this book is no exception.
There are no FTAs (failure to appear at a court date). This does not bode well for Stephanie as she’s behind on her rent, has bills to pay, and no FTAs means no income for her. Crap. The best Connie the receptionist can come up with is a $70 one for a Randy Briggs. Turns out Randy is just as mean as Mini-Me and only a few feet taller. With nothing else available, she goes out on a limb and asks Ranger for a job or two, as long as they’re legal (enough). Remember to bring your flak jacket. Crap.
Forget about Briggs – Stephanie soon hears that her Uncle Fred is missing. Most people think he probably just wandered off as old people are wont to do, but after doing some trademarked Stephanie snooping, something doesn’t seem right. Fred’s wife Mabel found some ugly pictures of a dismembered body in a garbage bag. It all seems to have started with the garbage company, RGC, and it looks like it goes much deeper when two more RGC employees are found dead. Mega crap. Things don’t look so good for Fred.
To make things even worse, Benito Ramirez has been released and is now wandering about on parole – and he hasn’t forgotten about Stephanie. Super-ultimate crapola. People are dying, things are blowing up, her relationship with vice cop Morelli is on the rocks (or something) and now there’s some magma-like flirtation going on between her and Ranger. Of course, Stephanie’s not so sure that’s a good idea: “An attraction to Ranger would be like chasing after the doomsday orgasm.” Holy sh…
*Whew!* Another book chock full of ultimate goodies. I was laughing and going nuts within the first 35 pages of the book. The whole Stephanie/Ranger thing had me going out of my mind the entire time. If she doesn’t want Ranger then by God, I’ll take him. I need a man.
I started this book around 8 o’clock and didn’t stop until I decided I should try and get some sleep, which was 237 pages later. Once again, ridiculously hard to put down. The party simply never stops with Stephanie Plum, who goes through more cars than I do books (ok, well maybe not that many, but I’m starting to think it’s pretty close). There were times when I actually smacked myself on my forehead because of her stupidity (going out on a job with Ranger, and she doesn’t bring her gun? Good Lord, I’d bring everything but Rex), and I can’t believe she didn’t shoot Ramirez when she had the chance. Cripes, I sure as hell would have. More than one bullet too. But he was necessary elsewhere, so I was able to understand why Evanovich had to keep him alive.
I liked the plot of this book too. Murders seem to come standard, but the reasons behind them this time were more interesting, and even though the bad guy at the end did the whole spill-his-guts thing while holding Stephanie at gunpoint, it A.) wasn’t the whole story anyway, B.) was somewhat understandable, and C.) didn’t bother me enough to drop a star from the book. In fact, I didn’t have any problems at all with this one – OH! Except the end! No, no, don’t panic, the end was good, delicious even, but it is sooo not fair for Evanovich to leave us all hanging like that. Torture, that’s what it is.
I could say that the believability is a little, well, off, but that's the whole reason behind suspension of disbelief. Besides, this is a Stephanie Plum novel, and if you're looking for utterly plausible in every book, you're in the wrong series my friend. In fact, my disbelief sits on my shoulder and reads the books with me. It quite enjoys them too. That's why I don't list that as a con - it's to be expected.
I really think you’ll love this one, especially if you’ve liked her books in the past. Things never felt like they got slow, I had to keep my eyes from jumping to the bottom and/or the next page to try and see what happens next instead of reading like a normal person and being patient, Briggs is hilarious, Ranger is hotter than the middle of a volcano, and Ramirez is freakier than hell. A good read?
Originally posted 2006 at Epinions.com