Sunday, March 5, 2023

Book Review: Hard Eight by Janet Evanovich


Goodreads Overview:

Fugitive Apprehension Agent Stephanie Plum has a big problem on her hands: Seven-year-old Annie Soder and her mother, Evelyn, have disappeared.

Evelyn's estranged husband, Steven, a shady owner of a seedy bar, is not at all happy. During the divorce proceedings, he and Evelyn signed a child custody bond, and Steven is demanding the money guaranteed by the bond to find Annie. The money was secured by a mortgage on Evelyn's grandmother's house, and the True Blue Bonds Bail Agency wants to take possession of the house.

Finding a kidnapped child is not an assignment for a bounty hunter. But Evelyn's grandmother lives next door to Stephanie's parents, and Stephanie's mother and grandmother are not about to see their neighbor lose her house because of abduction.

Even though Stephanie's plate is full with miscreants who missed their court dates, including old nemesis and violent drunk Andy Bender and an elusive little old lady accused of grand theft auto, she can't disappoint Grandma Mazur! So she follows the trail left by Annie and Evelyn-- and finds a lot more than she bargained for. Steven is somehow linked with a very scary Eddie Abruzzi. Trenton cop and on-again, off-again fiance Joe Morelli and Stephanie's mentor and tormentor, Ranger, warn Stephanie about Abruzzi, but it's Abruzzi's eyes and mannerisms that frighten Stephanie the most. Stephanie needs Ranger's savvy and expertise, and she's willing to accept his help to find Annie even though it might mean becoming too involved with Ranger.

Stephanie, Ranger, Lula (who's not going to miss riding with I race among Stephanie's posse, the True Blue Bonds' agent, a Rangerette known as Jeanne Ellen Burrows, and the Abruzzi crew. Not to mention the fact that there's a killer rabbit on the loose!

Jacque's Review:

I am still plugging away at the VERY lengthy Stephanie Plum series. I enjoy listening to these while I am out walking the dog because they are very lite and funny and do not require a lot of focus.  It is sort of like watching a soap opera with all of the drama between Stephanie, Morelli and Ranger. I can't help but want to know what will happen next. 

The antics at her parent's house are equally as entertaining as the mysteries. Grandma Mazur is hilarious and the banter between her parents and Grandma Mazur are well worth the listen. You can't help but laugh out loud half the time, so I'm sure my neighbors think I am a little crazy. 

The Goodreads overview is a pretty detailed summary of the plot, so there isn't much more that I can say without giving spoilers. There was a bit of a shocking twist at the end, so I can't wait to see where things head in the next installment. Will the Morelli, Stephanie, Ranger love triangle continue or will Stephanie finally make a decision based upon the events that took place at the end of this book? I guess I will have to keep reading if I want to find out.

I am amazed that Lula and Stephanie make it to the end of every book, but they always do. Neither of them has any real skills when it comes to apprehending fugitives, but they certainly have luck on their side. If you are looking for a good laugh and an entertaining mystery to help pass the time, this is a fun series. 

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