"Give me books, French wine, fruit, fine weather, and a little music played out of doors by somebody I do not know." - John Keats

"You're not allowed to say anything about books because they're books and books are, you know, God." - Nick Hornby

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Review #49: The Pursuit: A Fox and O'Hare novel, by Janet Evanovich & Lee Goldberg

Do you remember that show on USA called White Collar with Matt Bomer where he was an art thief who worked with the FBI but still kind of ran scams on the side? That's kind of the premise of Janet Evanovich's Fox and O'Hare series, but instead of sexy Matt Bomer, we get sexy Nick Fox, and instead of semi-boring Peter we get Special Agent Kate O'Hare. And instead of catching art thieves and staying stateside, Evanovich and Goldberg (who wrote for the TV show Monk), take Kate and Nick all over the world. 

The Pursuit, which is the fifth book in the series, begins in Hawaii, where Nick has disappeared. He's been kidnapped and is being pressed in to service by Dragan Kovic, a murderous ex-Serbian military officer who has no qualms about offing members of his team. Kate needs to rescue him, but she knows if she causes an international incident, and with Nick it's an international incident, the FBI won't be there to back her up. So she calls in her dad Jake, a former military man who still has connections all over the world, as her wingman, and sets out to find Nick. The chase takes her all through Europe and in to the sewer system of France, which yes, is as gross as you'd think, but also a little bit fascinating, too.

One of Evanovich's greatest strengths is writing fantastic supporting characters, and all of the old favorites are here in this one as well as some new characters that I wouldn't be surprised to see again. And in this series, she's using them sparingly, just enough to bring in some humor, and then they're gone again. One of the issues I've been having with the Stephanie Plum novels is that the support staff - Lula and Connie and Grandma and Vinnie - all feel a little bit schticky and tired, and that feeling is successfully avoided with the series, at least so far. And this series is a little more serious than Stephanie; these are real crimes with real-world implications, and perhaps it's Goldberg's influence that brings a darker tone to these books.

I'm don't think I've read all five of these and I might have to go back to the beginning. They're quick, easy beach reads, perfect for when you jut want to check out for a bit.

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