Posted by Matt
Janet Evanovich writes a series of mystery novels about a Jersey girl who finds herself a job as a bounty hunter, using her charm to overcome her lack of any real talent at catching bad guys. Each book has a number in the title, and this is the eighteenth. On the one hand, the audience is built in - we've read seventeen of these adventures, the odds are we're still on board, even if she does phone this one in. But the book has its importance a little elevated. For one, this novel follows Evanovich's best cliffhanger yet, and for another, this is the last book published before Katherine Heigl attempts to embody lead character Stephanie Plum on the big screen this spring.
I am pleased to report that the book is a success, with the mild annoyance of an abrupt ending. At the close of the last book, Evanovich teased a resolution to the series's love triangle - Stephanie was going on vacation with ONE of her suitors, and we weren't going to learn who until the next book. I was expecting this book to start by telling us who got that other ticket, and I thought we'd read about that couple solving a mystery in Hawaii instead of the usual Trenton haunts. Instead, the book opens with Stephanie sneaking back home, and for a hundred pages, the author drops clues about what happened without yet revealing. It was a great way to hold my attention, with pacing worthy of the best primetime dramas as they return from summer hiatus.
The rest of the book was the usual enjoyable action, comedy, and romance. Reading it reminded me of how she described morning sex - satisfying and enjoyable, but not a marathon because everyone has something else to do that day. This woman has learned what works for this series, and I recommend new readers take a look at One For The Money. By the time you get to Explosive Eighteen, you'll be thanking me.