Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Top Secret Twenty-One - Why Is This Top Secret Again?

Pro: 4 (meh) entertaining hours
Con: Forgettable (though I guess that might not necessarily be a con…)
The Bottom Line: *shrug* It’s a Stephanie Plum book.
I think I’m desensitized to Stephanie Plum books. I think I’ve read so many at this point that they’re so predictable it doesn’t matter what happens or what decisions Stephanie (or others) make that I don’t really have much of a reaction. I’m not terribly amused, but I’m not mad either (though I will still occasionally roll my eyes when she slaps on one handcuff and not the other and the skip inevitably gets away).
This is book 21, and the next one won’t be out for a few months yet. I’m actually looking at the inside flap of this book because even though I read it just a few weeks ago, I’ve already forgotten the plot. This is not an exaggeration.
In this book, Stephanie is out to catch Jimmy Poletti, scumbag extraordinaire, but of course he’s disappeared. However, he does seem to be trying to kill Randy Briggs, who decides - for some reason – that he’ll be safe with Stephanie. Adding to the mix is someone trying to kill Ranger – which isn’t all that surprising given that he’s made plenty of enemies over the years.
In the end, the mystery isn’t really a mystery – I mean, it is until Stephanie walks into the person doing the killing while they’re in the midst of doing some more killing. I’m just saying that no one really figures anything out. Ranger is Ranger so he picks up on his problem pretty quickly, and everyone else is essentially, “Oh, yeah, that was me.” But I guess that’s true for a lot of Stephanie Plum novels – and mysteries I guess. Heck, even the Scooby Doo gang was surprised every time they pulled off the mask with a collective gasp of, “Mr. Withers!”
It’ll entertain you for a while, but there’s not a lot going on. There’s a great deal of Stephanie driving around, chatting with Lula, occasionally chatting with other people, going to her house and talking about food, going to Morelli’s house and chatting about maybe sex, and more driving around. Occasionally she tries to take someone down and fails miserably. Oh, and cars get blown up. Can’t forget about that. Frankly, if I were Porsche, I would stop sending cars to Ranger. Mostly because I’d be mad that all that hard work and dedication into a quality car was getting destroyed on a disturbingly regular basis. Like taking the time to make a really lovely ice cream sundae only to have the person you’re offering it to smack it out of your hands and onto the street. Granted, I don’t know where Ranger actually gets his cars, but that’s beside the point.
So read it if you want, or don’t, either way it’s not like you’re missing much. I cleaned this book up in about 4 hours, and yes I’ll end up reading the next one as well. I guess in that way I’m a bit like Stephanie – I keep doing something I should probably stop doing, but hey, at this point I’m invested, so why the hell not?

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