Sunday, 30 December 2012

Books Read: Janet Evanovich - Notorious Nineteen

After a slow summer of chasing low-level skips for her cousin Vinnie's bail bonds agency, Stephanie Plum finally lands an assignment that could put her bank balance back in the black. Geoffrey Cubbin, facing trial for embezzling millions from Trenton's premier assisted-living facility, has mysteriously vanished from the hospital after an emergency appendectomy. 

Now it's on Stephanie to track down the con man. The problem is, Cubbin has disappeared without a trace, a witness, or his money-hungry wife. Rumours are stirring that he must have had help with the daring escape...or that maybe he never made it out of his room alive. Since the hospital staff's lips seem to be tighter that the security, and it's hard for Stephanie to blend in to assisted living, Stephanie's Grandma Mazur goes in undercover. But when a second felon goes missing from the same hospital, Plum is forced into working side by side with Trenton's hottest cop, Joe Morelli, in order to crack the case.

I have to confess that having never read any of Janet Evanovich's books before I did wonder how I would get on with Notorious Nineteen, considering it's the 19th book in the Stephanie Plum series, when I received a copy in the post since I didn't know her back story that would have been built up in the previous eighteen books.

Stephanie works as a bounty hunter, at this I automatically had a vision of the bounty hunters that you see on American TV series, alongside her friend Lula.  But work has been a bit slack recently so she's struggling to make ends met so when she's assigned the case of missing Geoffrey Cubbin who has embezzled millions from a local retirement home, she pictures a big pay day that would solve all her financial problems.  The only problem being that the trail for Geoffrey has drawn a blank, he went into hospital for emergency surgery but has since vanished without a trace... 

But when a second person disappears from the same hospital Stephanie realises there is more going on than meets the eye and sets about investigating with the help of her cop boyfriend, Joe Morelli and hospital security guard Briggs. Will she be able to track down the missing fugitive and claim a stake of the bond money?

As well as the search for the missing men, Stephanie is also hired by security expert Ranger to look out for a bride-to-be, the fiance of his friend and associate, after threats are received, and Stephanie soon finds herself drawn into being a part of the wedding party and in the line of fire herself.   

This was one of those books that you knew what was coming but still you read on to find out regardless.  If you're looking for a taxing read then I wouldn't say that this was the book for you but if you're looking for a light read after a hectic day then this book definitely fits the bill especially as Stephanie seems to be a magnet for trouble so plenty of moments where you can't help but laugh at some of the situations she finds herself in... although not sure if this was supposed to be a comedy read or not!  

It certainly would have helped to have read some of the others first to get a grip on the different relationships with Lula, Ranger, Morelli etc but despite this it wasn't difficult to follow the storyline although I have to confess I did find it a bit too predictable for my liking... maybe this is a sign that this series is coming to an end and there's not much more she can do to develop the characters.

I'd like to thank Caitlin at Headline for sending me a copy of this book to review.

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