Monday, September 7, 2015

Seven Up - Lucky Seven Is More Like It

Pros: Wide range of stuff to do, wackos to visit
Cons: Timing of ending(s) felt outta wack

The Bottom Line: Driving round in my white Cadillac, crushed velvet seats, wavin' to the ladies as I cruise down the street...

When I read the inside cover of this book, I literally started dancing with joy, grinning like an idiot. Excited doesn’t quite cut it. More like ecstatic. It can’t be because I’m wired yet as it’s only 11:03. Usually I pass the marker of “wired” around 2am or later. No, this is because of Ranger. That’s right, Ranger. I don’t normally have a thing for Cuban-American guys, but I do have a thing for guys that don’t exist. I suppose I’d be better off with real Cuban-Americans. Still, a girl can dream – I asked my sister for Ranger for a Christmas present.

Don’t know who Stephanie Plum is? She’s the main character for a whole series of books written by Janet Evanovich. She used to be a lingerie buyer until the company went kaput and then blackmailed her cousin Vinnie into turning her into a bounty hunter. All of this is detailed out in One for the Money, something I think you should read if you’re considering this book. For the most part you can start anywhere, but it’s a good idea to start in the beginning to see where about half of the recurring characters came from. Details are fun.

This time around, Stephanie has to go snag an old geezer, Eddie DeChooch, who’s skipped his court date, having gotten arrested for trafficking contraband cigarettes. But he’s a spry old man, and even with Lula in tow, Steph loses him. Fine whatever. Or at least that’s what Steph would think had she not discovered the dead woman in DeChooch’s storage shed, shot five times in the chest. She has a tendency to find dead people. Then Mooner, a float-on-the-breeze (or in his and his pal’s sake, weed smoke) kind of guy shows up to inform Stephanie that his buddy Dougie has gone missing. Steph starts to put together pieces after a few hit and misses with DeChooch and a lot of questioning, but she isn’t fast enough to create a clear picture because then Mooner disappears as well.

It’s at this point in time that Steph realizes she’s in water much deeper than planned and wants Ranger’s help. However, this time instead of jumping to the rescue, he’s got a single condition. If he gives her DeChooch, she has to give him a single night of her presence. *cue excited knuckle cracking* And naturally, with problems at work, problems at home are an automatic; Steph’s sister Valerie is home and considering being a lesbian, Gradma Mazur is herself, and the only one seeming to do anything constructive seems to be Bob the dog, and that has to do with Steph’s archrival Joyce and her lawn.

It’s always hard to sum up these books and make sense. Haha. There’s always just so much going on it’s hard to cram it in and all the while be discreet about all the good stuff. I’ve heard some people complaining that the books are repetitive though. True – I will give them that the books have the same formula: Steph has to catch a skip, and the skip is involved with something that gets a whole lot bigger and usually involves people trying to kill her and more often than not, the destruction of a car (or two). But you know what? The plot details are always different and the characters that come in for the first time are usually quite colorful. You can never be quite sure of who is going to say what or what their next move is going to be. Personally, I look forward to each book, even if I already know what is going to be the deal in the big scheme of things. It’s the details in Steph’s life that make the story so great. In short, you may know the outline, but when it comes to guessing what comes next, you’d have to be psychic.

Speaking of guessing, will you guess what is going on? Good lord, not in a million years. I thought I had a basic idea and then found out I was way off base. Then later I’d narrowed it down more and was *this* close to betting money I was right and then found out I was totally wrong. So yeah, good luck with that.

As per usual the book is written in first person, so we get to know all that goes on in Steph’s head and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I swear this is the way my sister writes, which is another reason I wish she’d update her blog. Things ago along nice and even until we get to the end. Things wrap up fairly nicely and then suddenly, oh yeah, forgot something! It’s all on purpose, of course, but it felt weird. Almost like it took too long to round up the guy and pack him off to jail. I don’t mind in the least how any of it was done, but I think by that point I was just impatient for this crazy guy to be caught already.

Along those lines, I do get annoyed sometimes at Steph and the way she handles things. There are a few times when she has her skip and he gets away in the stupidest ways. Stupid as in, “Hey Steph, maybe if you held onto both those cuffs instead of just clanking it over one hand and letting go, you’d be in fine shape.” Or the whole gun thing. She’s still terrified of guns. I’d have learned to be a prime shot now. Yes, she may not be quite as much fun if she wasn’t as much of a coward as she claims, but actually I think it might instead make things more interesting if she’d pluck up and cap someone in the leg once and a while. It’d turn Ranger on I’ll bet.

One more thing – who was doing the editing here? Or in all the books? There was one spot where Dougie suddenly has a line, except he’s been missing for a while, so it was Mooner actually talking. Someone goofed. Then there’s the word “ho.” I’ve seen it spelled three different ways up until this point. ‘Ho. Ho’. Ho. Merry Christmas. Seriously, pick one. Preferably ho because I’m not sure what those apostrophes are supposed to be accomplishing.


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