Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Review: The Heist by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg (O'Hare and Fox #1)

Publisher - Headline Review
Publication Date - 18th June 2013
Hardback - 320 pages
Genre - Mystery

Source - Received from publisher for review

Rating - 3.5 out of 5: I liked it

Reviewed by - Chrissie

Book Info - FBI Special Agent Kate O'Hare is known for her fierce dedication and discipline on the job, chasing down the world's most wanted criminals and putting them behind bars. Her boss thinks she is tenacious and ambitious; her friends think she is tough, stubborn, and maybe even a bit obsessed. And while Kate has made quite a name for herself for the past five years, the only name she's cared about is Nicolas Fox - an international crook she wants in more ways than one.

Audacious, handsome, and dangerously charming, Nicolas Fox is a natural con man, notorious for running elaborate scams on very high-profile people. At first he did it for the money. Now he does it for the thrill. He knows that the FBI has been hot on his trail - particularly Kate O'Hare, who has been watching his every move. For Nick, there's no greater rush than being pursued by a beautiful woman... even one who aims to lock him up. But just when it seems that Nicolas Fox has been captured for good, he pulls off his greatest con of all: he convinces the FBI to offer him a job, working side by side with Special Agent Kate O'Hare.

Problem is, teaming up to stop a corrupt investment banker who's hiding on a private island in Indonesia is going to test O'Hare's patience and Fox's skill. Not to mention the skills of their ragtag team made up of flamboyant actors, wanted wheelmen, and Kate's dad. High-speed chases, pirates, and Toblerone bars are all in a day's work... if O'Hare and Fox don't kill each other first.

My Thoughts - When this book arrived through my door I was really excited. I'm a big fan of Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series and was hoping this would be more of the same... full of laugh-out loud humour and quirky characters. However, I should have taken into account that this was the start of a new series, written with a new co-author no less, so I really shouldn't have picked up this book with those expectations. And it's not that I was disappointed as such, it was just different from what I was expecting so it took a little bit longer than normal to get into the book than I would have liked.

The quirky characters that are a classic hallmark of Evanovich's work are most definitely present in this novel. There's Kate O'Hare, an ex-Navy SEAL turned FBI agent who is more comfortable handling a rocket-propelled grenade launcher than she is going shopping for clothes. She is a tough cookie who doesn't stop kicking and punching until she gets what she wants... and in this case it's Nick Fox. He is a con artist who has managed to evade the FBI for years. Only once she catches him, she is then made to work alongside him to catch an even bigger criminal... what was once a game of cat and mouse has turned into a nightmare work situation for Kate. I have to say that I loved Nick. Although he is a criminal with some very questionable ethics, I just couldn't stop myself from loving him. He is funny, charming and incredibly intelligent... enough to have evaded the law enforcement for years in heist after heist. And what makes it even better is the chemistry between Kate and Nick. They try to fight it... if they were school kids then Nick would be pulling on her pigtails by now... but it is most definitely there and I can't wait to see what is going to happen between them in future instalments in this series.

However, the humour that I have come to love so much from Evanovich was sadly lacking. That's not to say that there weren't some amusing parts that made me chuckle a little. But it didn't make me do that embarrassing laughing out loud to the point of tears in public thing that her books normally bring out in me. But saying that, there is something in this book that is normally missing from her Stephanie Plum novels, and I can only guess that this must come from her new co-author Lee Goldberg, and that is an interesting plot line that will keep the reader hooked. I absolutely loved reading about the different cons in this book. The authors managed to work it perfectly so that as each con is played out, the reader doesn't know too many details and is in pretty much the same position as the victim watching the scene play out in front of them, and then the smaller details are revealed afterwards. It reminded me quite a lot of the movie Ocean's 11 and it's sequels in that respect. But it was these cons and the amount of detail that was put into them that kept the pages turning for me.

My one main complaint about this novel was that there is a cast of secondary characters that have the potential to be amazing, but I didn't really feel that the readers got to know them well enough. They each get a chapter to themselves as they are introduced to the reader... and to Kate... and then recruited onto the heist, but then after that they fade into the background a little too much for my liking. I know that they are background characters but I feel that the authors could have used them a little better to enhance the story line.

Summary - A very smart, sassy and promising start to a new series and I am very much looking forward to finding out exactly how much more trouble Nick and Kate can get themselves into in future books in the series.


barklesswagmore said...

Meh, what is it with these popular authors like Crusie and Evanovich using so many different co-authors? To me it dilutes their voice. I just don't get it. I have this on my library list but may just remove it. Thanks for the review.

Teena in Toronto said...

I enjoyed this book :)

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