Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Review: Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich
Explosive Eighteen is the eighteenth book in the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich and a novel from Bantam.
Before Stephanie can even step foot off Flight 127 from Hawaii to Newark, she's knee deep in trouble. Her dream vacation turned into a nightmare, she's flying back to New Jersey solo, and someone who sounds like Sasquatch is snoring in row 22. Worse still, her seatmate never returned to the plane after the L.A. layover. Now he's dead, in a garbage can, waiting for curbside pickup. His killer could be anyone. The FBI, the fake FBI, and guns-for-hire are all looking for a photograph the dead man was supposed to be carrying.
Only one other person has seen the missing photograph - Stephanie Plum. Now she's the target, and she doesn't intend to end up in a garbage can. With the help of an FBI sketch artist Stephanie re-creates the person in the photo. Unfortunately the first sketch turns out to look like Tom Cruise, and the second sketch like Ashton Kutcher. Until Stephanie can improve her descriptive skills, she'll need to watch her back.
Over at the Bail Bonds Agency it's business as usual - until the bonds bus serving as Vinnie's temporary HQ goes up in smoke, Stephanie's wheelman, Lula, falls in love with their 'largest' FTA yet, lifetime arch nemesis Joyce Barnhardt moves into Stephanie's apartment, and everyone wants to know what happened in Hawaii?
Morelli, Trenton's hottest cop, isn't talking about Hawaii. Ranger, the man of mystery, isn't talking about Hawaii. And all Stephanie is willing to say about her Hawaiian vacation is . . . It's complicated.
Stephanie has fled Hawaii, leaving both Ranger and Morelli behind at the emergency room - and she doesn’t want to talk about it.
Arriving back home, Stephanie finds a pile of FTA’s needing to be picked up, the new bond’s office still incomplete, Vinnie way too mellow and Connie and Lula wondering what Vinnie is taking.
Thinking that a return to the routine will somehow put things in perspective, Stephanie heads out to pick up her first skip. But as per usual - things with Stephanie are never just routine.
Several people are after a photograph and they think Stephanie has it. Now she has a permanent tail - other than Ranger’s crew, a whacked-out lunatic trying to stab her, and Joyce Barnhardt sleeping on her couch.
She’s not sure what bothers her more.
I absolutely love this series. I don’t care if Stephanie can’t or won’t choose between Morelli and Ranger. I think she should just keep them both and assign them alternate days and every other holiday. :)
I give Explosive Eighteen 5 out of 5 stars.
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Bantam (11-22-11)