Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Book review: One for the Money, Janet Evanovich

Ah, New Jersey. The pollution. The Mob. Stephanie Plum.

I've been hearing raves about Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels, so I had to try at least one. I started at the beginning, with One for the Money. What a fun ride!

Stephanie Plum has lost her job, and most of her belongings as she sells them off, trying to stave off having to move back home with her parents. She decides to try becoming a bail-bond recovery agent (read: bounty hunter) and sets her sights on local lothario turned cop turned accused murderer Joe Morelli. Stephanie and Morelli have a bit of history that makes this assignment even more satisfying for her.

Stephanie is a realistic heroine. By turns brave and foolish, tough and too soft, independent and a mama's girl, she's normal. She gets frightened in the face of danger, but doesn't want to be in the position to have to depend on anyone for protection. Fortunately, Ranger, an experienced bounty hunter, is there to take her under his wing.

It's not all action and adventure in Stephanie's life. Her hysterical and bizarre family is there to add delightful comedy and stress.

Janet Evanovich has created a thoroughly modern heroine in Stephanie Plum. She has a great gift of description and a quirky sense of humor. Her characters are well-drawn, particularly Stephanie, and Trenton, New Jersey. Yes, Trenton is as much a character in the novel as it is a setting.


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