Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Chase by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

Review based on ARC (NetGalley) - originally via publisher contest.

I'm a pretty big fan of the One for the Money series by Evanovich, so I was excited to hear she'd begun a new series involving a tough heroine who is a highly trained FBI agent.

I'm a pretty big fan, I say, but I don't think that Evanovich's writing is "high literature."  So I'm not coming into this with heightened expectations as far as the writing is concerned.  I like the One for the Money series because we can't take Stephanie Plum too seriously, because Stephanie Plum doesn't take herself too seriously, and because she finds herself in all kinds of awkward, entertaining, humiliating, and interesting situations.  They're fun and quick reads.

I know nothing of Lee Goldberg... far as I was concerned, I was reading an Evanovich.  And I also didn't know that this was the Second in a series until rather near the end of the book.  This was just the first I'd heard of this new series, and yes please! I'd love a free copy to review!

So all of that is to essentially say that I don't really know what went wrong here.  It's not terrible at all.  Really.  But it's not particularly good.  There isn't that spark that Evanovich has in her Plum series.  It's just kind of blase meandering from one high-action, high-stakes heist in one country, to another high-action, high-stakes heist in another (or, sure on a plane in mid-air...).  Right?! It sounds interesting!  It sounds like you're going to read this fun and engaging book, a step or two up from Plum, about a badass FBI chick and her quarry, flying to fun and dangerous places, doing fun and dangerous things.  And technically that is this book.

But, I don't know, it just kind of fell flat.  The humor that works so well with Plum didn't work for Kate O'Hare, the tension that works so well with Joe Morelli just didnt' work for Nicholas Fox.

But it wasn't bad either.  There was a lot of activity, a lot of punching, some interesting new plot-twists, some interesting new characters (I like the peripherals a bit), and it went pretty quick.  And I commend the authors for writing a 2nd in a series that was not so dependent on the 1st that I constantly felt like I was left out of the inside jokes or plot... As I say, I didn't even realize this was a 2nd in a series until near the end.

So, overall, I'd recommend to fans as Evanovich-Lite.  This'll get you through to the next Plum release, but it's not going to be your new favorite... you're definitely going to want to go back to Plum.

THREE of five stars.

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