Ever get halfway through a book and wonder why you’re still reading it, or why you’re wasting your time? I recently had that experience while reading The Heist by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg. A few years ago I was introduced to Stephanie Plum, Evanovich’s most famous character. The Plum series is sometimes fun, always steamy, and a great guilty pleasure. I even enjoyed the movie adaptation with Katherine Heigl, even though after reading so many books in the series I would’ve never imagined that Stephanie looked like that! I was interested in reading this new book of hers, that she teamed up with Lee Goldberg, who himself is a veteran mystery writer. Goldberg is also a great screenwriter, and has written for a number of successful mystery series. For these two writers to team up for this project, I have to say the end result was somewhat disappointing.
The book started out so promising – a female FBI agent chasing a career criminal, who seemed to constantly escape her. Kate O’Hare has spent years in the agency chasing Nick Fox, who not only evades her, but knows how get under her skin and rub it in! Nick is charming, cunning, and nearly impossible to resist. The FBI decides to stop wasting their efforts in catching him, and agree to bring him in to help them catch even bigger criminals. Kate is definitely not ok with this, but in order to keep her job, she has to work with him. Hilarity ensues? Not exactly… The dialogue and banter between Kate and Nick was very flirty, and was probably the most enjoyable part of the book. This is something that makes the Plum series so fun, it was definitely Evanovich’s signature style.
There are a few parts of this book that are impossible to believe, and incredibly unnerving. Kate was a Navy Seal before joining the FBI? I thought I could overlook that, but one of the characters takes a direct flight from New York City direct to Cape Girardeau, Missouri (commercial!!). It’s hard to find a direct flight anywhere today – much less a small airport like this one. I don’t know why this bothered me so much, but it did.
What’s really interesting about this book are the reviews that have been written. There are many five star reviews for this book, and I just don’t get it. There are also many Evanovich fans who didn’t like this book; I am definitely in this latter group. Apparently, this is going to be a series between these two collaborators. I don’t think I’ll read any more into the Kate/Nick saga, for me it ends here.