FOX & O’HARE series
By: Janet Evanovich & Lee Goldberg
Narrator: Scott Brick
Penguin Random House Audio/Random House Audio
Genre: Fiction – Thrillers
General Release Date: June 21, 2016
7 Hours and 30 Minutes
Audiobook provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Janet Evanovich, author of the blockbuster Stephanie Plum novels, and Lee Goldberg, writer for the Monk television show, team up once again in their rollicking, New York Times bestselling Fox and O’Hare series!
Nicolas Fox, international con man, thief, and one of the top ten fugitives on the FBI’s most-wanted list, has been kidnapped from a beachfront retreat in Hawaii. What the kidnapper doesn’t know is that Nick Fox has been secretly working for the FBI. It isn’t long before Nick’s covert partner, Special Agent Kate O’Hare, is in hot pursuit of the crook who stole her con man.
The trail leads to Belgium, France, and Italy, and pits Nick and Kate against their deadliest adversary yet: Dragan Kovic, an ex–Serbian military officer. He’s plotting a crime that will net him billions . . . and cost thousands of American lives.
Nick and Kate have to mount the most daring, risky, and audacious con they’ve ever attempted to save a major U.S. city from a catastrophe of epic proportions. Luckily they have the help of an eccentric out-of-work actor, a bandit who does his best work in the sewers, and Kate’s dad, Jake. The pressure’s on for Nick and Kate to make this work—even if they have to lay their lives on the line. – See more at: http://www.penguinrandomhouseaudio.com/book/240619/the-pursuit/#sthash.GfOGjyxy.dpuf
I like how Lee Goldberg and Janet Evanovich write as a team; I don’t know how much “team work” there is or how it’s applied in the context of these short novels. I do, however, see them slowly advancing a romantic relationship between the two main characters, Nick and Kate. Nick is an unrepentant con and thief and Kate is the only FBI agent to catch him. Now they’re a crime-fighting team no so much pursuing cases as they are pursued by cases.
The plot in this story is understandable, perhaps a bit more than the earlier entries in this series. It’s also a timely plot, sure to add that little “Ooh could that happen here?” frisson.
Kate is a smarter, more disciplined version of Stephanie Plum with a little Joe Morelli thrown in. She’s what Stephanie might have been if she hadn’t been deflowered by Joe Morelli and fired by the department store.
And Nick — well Nick is teaching Kate about the finer things in life when they aren’t being chased or aren’t mortal danger. Their relationship tends to occur in quick encounters punctuated by being attacked or planning how to capture or stop criminals.
Like the Plum books, there’s a standard cast of characters including a woman with enormous breasts who can drive or fly anything, and an actor who needs his motivation for the smallest role but who, quite unbelievably does a great job. Kate’s father, an ex-military black-ops guy, is also involved and definitely has her back. There’s a little something for everyone: spies, thieves, soldiers and bunglers (like Bond, Die Hard, Mr. Bean).
The villains are really evil; you won’t mind when they get their just desserts. The plot involves terrorism and I like that the authors don’t pander to the current world news. There are a lot of crazy, disaffected, angry people in the world, and some are driven by insanity and financial gain but cloak it in ideology.
Both Kate and Nick, but especially Nick, are smart and can stay calm and think in bad situations. I imagine it’s the hallmark of success in both sides of this level of law enforcement. Indeed, when Nick wakes up after being abducted it is a good thing he has the ability to stay calm.
Part of the charm of the work by Evanovich is that she finds a formula of characters and plot that works, and she sticks to it. In the end, the heroic actions are dangerous to the protagonists and undertaken for the collective good. This makes the stories readable when you don’t want to be shocked, or read about a person’s difficult sexual awakening, or otherwise deep and painful catharsis. The “common good” part gives the plot sympathy. I also think the books feel like movies; they flow like a film and are easy to see in my head as scenes.
This is a series book, but it could very nearly stand alone. Evanovich and Goldberg provide background without tedium.
I have really enjoyed the series in audio. They are entertaining, and often funny. Scott Brick has done a great job narrating this series. I like all his voices. I don’t know that I would like it quite as much in print, the audio version makes it into an entertainment more like a movie than a book. Brick adds a lot of verve.
Fox and O’Hare are very much, in my mind, a modern day Robin Hood and Maid Marian. Except, one hopes, they probably won’t end up quite as dead.
It would be a great vacation book; it’s a lot of fun with clever plotting, danger and a little frisson of sexual tension. It’s not “literature” but it is enjoyable fiction.
JANET EVANOVICH: http://www.evanovich.com/