By Janet Evanovich
I seem to have an OCD of sorts, I must confess. Every time I see a new Stephanie Plum book I have to read it. And read it to the tee! The best part is that you don’t really have to scratch any part of your grey matter to guess or predict the mystery (mostly). It is not a “psychological thriller” kind. It is pure fun to read.
So officially we have two worst bounty hunters in Trenton, NJ, – Lula and Stephanie (in that order). While on an assignment, Stephanie is stalked and approached by a woman (Carmen Manoso) who not only dresses like Ranger but talks and walks like him. She carries the same attitude that Ranger does. Carmen claims to be Ranger’s wife. She says that Ranger married her, dumped her, emptied their bank account and fled the scene, all within the last six months. Stephanie is shocked to hear that, ‘coz she believes that secretive Ranger ain’t dishonorable enough to treat any woman like that.
Carmen carries a 9mm G-Lock and even fires a bullet into the rear fender of Steph’s new Morris Minnie, just to show her anger.
And Carmen has her own game plan. She’s on the lookout for Ranger, who now seems to be missing along with his twelve year old daughter. The girl has been kidnapped from her birthmother and stepfather in Miami and fingers are pointing to Ranger.
So we have the usual love triangle going in this one as well. Apart from the usual ruckus of being chased and chasing the bad guys, Steph pairs up with Ranger to find a killer, rescue a kidnapped child, avoid being nabbed or shot; and eventually grows close enough to prick the ego/love of Joe Morelli.
In this one, Evanovich highlights the elusive Ranger and gives us a glimpse of the real man.
But the regular (and new) characters in odd situations, not to forget Grandma Mazur and her quirks, make this a “no-brainer” sorta read. Some readers might not like the convenient route taken by Evanovich all the time, but what the heck – it works!
The plot is easy (yeah, predictable); the dialogues are snappy and fun; and the action is strong enough to keep you hooked. Just like the earlier ones, Twelve Sharp is a fast-paced entertaining novel with ample of crazy humor, romantic tension, action, mystery, and a twist (no exploding cars!)