I've read all Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels - most recently Notorious Nineteen last year. (FYI - Takedown Twenty is due out in November) When I needed something light and fluffy at the end of a long day. I do remember thinking at the end of Nineteen that the books were becoming carbon copies, with a few names changed every time.
Well, Evanovich has teamed up with Lee Goldberg, (writer and producer for the TV series Monk among others) and penned the first book in a new series. The Heist was a nice surprise - a fresh, funny, light hearted little read that I quite enjoyed.
FBI Agent Kate O'Hare is good at her job - hunting down criminals. But the one that has continually eluded her for the past five years is Nicolas Fox - the ultimate con man. She finally captures him, only to have the tables turned. Fox is free on condition - that he team up with the FBI to catch a corrupt banker hiding on a private island. Traditional methods won't work; Nick's special skill set is needed. Kate now has to work with the man she's spent five years chasing. And together they'll have to pull the ultimate con job.
Kate is a great new character. She's tough, determined and feisty with a soft centre. And of course in trademark Evanovich style, she has an eclectic family backing her up. (Her dad is a personal favourite. Did you know there are sixteen ways to kill with a set of eyebrow tweezers?) Nick is an ingenious schemer who can smooth talk his way in and out of any situation. And of course, the other requisite element is that will they, won't they sense of romantic attraction.
The plot was lots of fun - I've always enjoyed the planning of crime capers. The back up crew was eclectic. I wonder if some of them will be brought back in future books? I liked Willie - a woman with attitude who can drive anything. You can see Goldberg's hand in the book - much of it felt like a light hearted television detective series, somewhat like Castle. That's a good thing.
Those looking for an entertaining light hearted read will find it here. Read an excerpt of The Heist.
I did notice that the reader for the audio version of The Heist is my all time favourite narrator - Scott Brick. I had a quick listen to it and his inflection and interpretation would make The Heist even more enjoyable. I think I'll listen to the next in this series - The Chase- due out in February 2014. Listen to an excerpt of The Heist.
Evanovich and Goldberg had fun naming their characters - O'Hare and Fox is a sly nod to Aesop's fable of the same name. You can find Janet Evanovich on Facebook.