Hard Eight

Posted by reviewer | 9:42 a.m. | , , , | 0 comments »

Hard eight by Janet Evanovich

Published by St. Martin's
Grade: C

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 fiancé 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 Ranger), and Evelyn's lawyer/laundromat manager set out to find Annie. The search turns out to be a 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!

I read through this book super fast. Mostly because I wanted to see Ranger and Stephanie have sex. I have to admit that it was pretty anti climatic. I expected something more..maybe of recap of Ranger having to save Stephanie again after she gets handcuffed naked to the shower rod. Now that would have been cool. If anyone could have pulled off that position, Ranger is the man.

I like how it was made very clear that Joe and Stephanie were totally over before she slept with Ranger. I don't have the book in front of me (because I 'stole' it off the holds shelf at the library, I had to return it ASAP) but, I remember Stephanie trying to talk to Joe about their relationship and he said something along the lines of "There is a you, there is a me, but there is no us."

Unfortunately, I found that the laughs were lacking in Hard Eight. Maybe it needed a little bit more Lula and Grandma Mazur.

There was a killer rabbit..okay, a man dressed up a rabbit suit, who is making Stephs life hell. He tries to kidnap her, and Stephanie's mom runs him over with her car. That scene should have been hilarious. Instead, it was kinda sad.
There is the introduction of a new character who I hope makes an appearance in future books. He is a lawyer who talks a lot, and is starting to date Steph's sister. He is cute and ditzy, and I want to see him again.

My favourite part of the book is the very end. Ranger kills someone for Stephanie. Oh, be still my heart! Some bad dude had kidnapped Stephanie and her sister. They got away (beaten and bruised) And Ranger goes off and kills the guy. Awesome!
My previous reviews of the series