Every once in a while, you pick up a book and by page 10 you begin to mentally cast the characters for television or a motion picture. Janet Evanovich, the creator of the wildly successful madcap Stephanie Plum series, is that kind of writer. And when she recently teamed up with Lee Goldberg, award-winning TV producer and screenwriter for the “Monk” television mysteries, it was a match made in Hollywood. The dialogue, settings and plot fairly screamed “Lights. Camera. Action.”
Internationally renowned thief and con artist Nick Fox was pursued and captured by FBI Special Agent Kate O’Hare in THE HEIST, the introductory novel of this exciting new series. Kate is a sexy, feisty warrior with ninja skills and superwoman strengths who knows exactly what she’s doing every moment of the day. She’s as unlike the inept, bumbling yet hilarious accidental bounty hunter Jersey girl Stephanie Plum in every way except for her sense of humor and sexy good looks. Oh, and Kate can kick serious butt and always carries a gun. Usually more than one.
By book two, Nick (drop-dead gorgeous, crafty and seductive) has been recruited by the FBI to go undercover with Kate to help take down major international criminals. These are often untouchable villains who are protected by their own governments and personal wealth, and amass millions in cash to support whoever will pay top dollar for their arms caches or mercenary armies.
"...a fun, page-turning action series with fresh new characters and themes as current as our ever-turbulent world events."
Kate and Nick are assigned to shadow former White House Chief of Staff Carter Grove, a renowned art collector who runs a private security agency called BlackRhino. Grove’s security forces have been hired to protect the return and delivery of a priceless Chinese artifact from the Smithsonian Museum to Beijing. The artifact is rumored to be a very good copy, and Grove, a well-known art collector, is the prime suspect in making the exchange because of his access to gifts given to the former president. There are only 24 hours to determine the authenticity of the Smithsonian artifact, get the real artifact from Grove’s fortress-like mansion, and replace the fake with the genuine article under the noses of armed guards from every camp. Nick and Kate are tasked with the job in order to avert an international incident before the Chinese government discovers the truth.
With a great deal of swash and buckle, the two successfully accomplish their mission, the artifacts are switched and everyone is happy. Now you think, We’re only one fourth of the way through the book! Serious butt has been kicked, throats slashed, bullets dodged, faces saved. That was too easy; there must be more to come. You’re right --- there’s a whole lot more to the adventure, and Evanovich and Goldberg pull it off with non-stop action, thrills, panache and humor.
It’s been almost 20 years since Bookreporter.com started reviewing Janet Evanovich. When ONE FOR THE MONEY became an instant bestseller andthe film rights were picked up, a contest was run to cast the movie. It took almost two decades for that movie to come out to modest success, and the stars that Bookreporter readers picked were too old and way too pricey to play the parts. If memory serves, Sandra Bullock got the readers’ nod to play Stephanie Plum, and George Clooney was right up there for Morelli. There is no shortage of able and agile young actors out there who could carry Kate and Nick off in great style, along with some of the other wonderful and colorful supporting characters, including Kate’s crusty former Special Forces father.
Movie or no movie, this writing dream team has created a fun, page-turning action series with fresh new characters and themes as current as our ever-turbulent world events.
Reviewed by Roz Shea on March 14, 2014