Saturday, July 29, 2017
Review of "Top Secret Twenty-One" by Janet Evanovich
Stephanie Plum, bail enforcement agent, needs to round up Jimmy Poletti - a used car salesman accused of trafficking girls. Jimmy is an elusive crook though, and while he's on the loose members of his gang are getting bumped off, one after another. Jimmy seems especially anxious to get rid of Briggs, a little person who was Jimmy's accountant and knows too much. After Briggs' apartment is blown up he convinces Stephanie to let him stay with her, with unfortunate consequences for Stephanie's abode.
The two men in Stephanie's life are on hand. Cop Joe Morelli is trying to capture Poletti and shows up at the various murder scenes and in Stephanie's love life - often with pizza or donuts. And security firm honcho Ranger is being threatened by a member of the Russian mob, who tries to wipe out his entire staff with the deadly poison polonium. Stephanie, worried about Ranger's safety, joins him on various exploits to catch the Russian.
Meanwhile, gun-toting Lula helps Stephanie run down some eccentric bail jumpers, Grandma Mazur goes to viewings at funeral parlors, Stephanie's mom drinks and irons to calm her nerves, Rex (the hamster) runs on his wheel, bombs and rocket propelled grenades blow up Stephanie's stuff.....all the usual shenanigans that go on in this series.
Many of the previous books in the Stephanie Plum series are laugh out loud funny, but it feels like Evanovich is really running out of steam with this one. The book felt stale, it recycled the same old scenes, and Stephanie still lusts after both Joe and Ranger - which is tiresome by now.
Moreover, by the end of the story it felt like Evanovich just wanted to get it over with, and the finale is rushed and tacked on.
A disappointing book.
Rating: 2 stars