Monday, February 24, 2014

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

    Classification: Adult Fiction 
    Genre: Mystery/Romantic Suspense 
    Format: Hardcover; 320 pages
    Publisher: Bantam; 1st Printing edition (June 18, 2013)
    ISBN-10: 0345543041
    ISBN-13: 978-0345543042 
    Notes: I bought a copy and received an ARC at BEA.

    FBI Special Agent Kate O'Hare is a woman who lives and breathes her job. For the past several years her job has been to hunt, find and stop a criminal mastermind--Nick Fox--whose creative, innovative and over-the-top schemes have conned millions from unsuspecting wealthy victims. Every time Kate gets close to nabbing the infuriating man, he slips from her grasp like the slippery snake that he is. Learning from her mistakes and goaded by the man who dared to breach her hotel room and raid her minibar while she was off looking for him, she's determined this time she'll get her man. Once she's got him, however, the sweet thrill of victory will be short lived as her life will take an unexpected twist...

         “Okay, now I am really confused,” Kate said. “We’re going to be chasing him?” 
     “Of course,” Bolton said. “He’s a federal fugitive.” 
     “But we’re the ones who set him free,” Kate said. “He’ll be out there doing missions for us.” 
     “We don’t know that,” Jessup said. 
     “Yes, we do,” Kate said. “That’s the deputy director of the FBI sitting next to you.” 
     “It was worth getting arrested just for this moment,” Nick said. 
     “Fox is still going to be on our Most Wanted list,” Bolton said to Kate, “and every agent except you will be on the lookout for him.” 
     “What will I be doing?” she asked. 
     “Keeping him from getting caught,” Bolton said. “While pretending to be pursuing him, of course.” 

This is the first book in a new series written by the dynamic duo of Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg. It contains Ms. Evanovich's trademark sense of humor, and while the outlandish situations she tends to create for her character are still present, they've been slightly tamed (I dare guess by Mr. Goldberg's influence) giving it a more realistic and sophisticated feel. I didn't think I could love anything created by Ms. Evanovich more than her Stephanie Plum series, but after reading this one, I believe I was just proved wrong. Of course, teaming Ms. Evanovich up with the very talented Lee Goldberg (the creator of the Monk series) was utter brilliance.

Kate O'Hare is a smart, beautiful, by-the-book agent who doesn't play well with others. An ex-Navy SEAL, she's got a quick temper which got her honorably discharged when she decked her commanding officer after he tried to cop a feel. She's dedicated herself to truth, justice, and the American way. Okay, not quite superman, but she runs a close second. *smirk* She's also obsessed with taking down one of the FBI's 10 most wanted fugitives, Nick Fox. A man she's willing to take down dead or alive.

Nick Fox lives up to his name, as he's clever and has a prize winning combination of personality, good looks, wit and charm that can steal the rug right our from under you while you thank him for the privilege--that is, until you come to your senses and realize what he's done. By that time, however, he's long gone. His IQ has got to rate in the genius level, and he reminds me of  Frank Abagnale Jr who was played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie 'Catch Me If You Can'. His love of messing with Kate is second only to his love of planning and executing the perfect heist. Ironically, he finds himself attracted to the smart young woman who seems to be able to keep up with him on a mental level that few can. She, however, is off-limits for obvious reasons.

For their first mission together, Kate and Nick have been assigned to take down Derick Griffin, a big-time investment banker who went into hiding after making off with five hundred million dollars of his client's money. They need to uncover his location, locate the stolen money, and steal it back before he knows what happened. And they need to do it without anyone else being the wiser. With two such mismatched individuals working together you can bet you're in for a fun time.

This one gets a full 5 out of 5 roses from me. With humor, suspense, action and a dash of a possible romance-in-the-making, this ones has the perfect blend for one delightful new series. I highly recommend this one. I'm forgoing my Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale because this one wasn't so much aimed at romance as setting the building blocks for what could be one delectable delightfully complicated relationship.

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