Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 8, 2005 - Harper Torch
"Just because I know how to change a guy's oil doesn't mean I want to spend the rest of my life on my back staring up his undercarriage." From the word go, Evanovich delivers her usual goods, albeit in a different vehicle. After 10 Stephanie Plum novels, each more successful than the last, Evanovich introduces Alexandra Barnaby, aka Barney. Barney hails from Baltimore rather than New Jersey, but she's from the same slice of working-class life as Stephanie; she donned mechanic's overalls in her father's garage during summer breaks from college. Her younger brother, Wild Bill, shares her passion for cars, and now he's disappeared from Miami, along with NASCAR star Sam Hooker's boat, The Happy Hooker. Evanovich doesn't mind showing her romance roots, as Barney and Sam start off starling at each other; as any reader can tell, they have to team up (a) to save Bill and (b) to enjoy delicious sex. As in the Plum books, plot takes a back seat to riffs, roughups and dialogue - and in the last lies the book's most notable distinction. If Stephanie bids fair to be New Jersey's Dorothy Parker, Barney is Baltimore's echo of Robert Parker. Conversation is terse and coded, full of sexual innuendo, with a high premium on toss-away lines uttered under duress. Despite the amazing quantity of physical jeopardy, there's little tension; it's all about hanging out with Metro Girl and NASCAR Guy - which may be just what millions of Evanovich fans will want." - From Publishers
I enjoyed this book, as I have many Evanovich novels before. I read a lot of reviews saying that this was very similar to the Stephanie Plum novels, and while I do agree, I also think that Barney is her own character. The writing style is (obviously) very similar, but I think I kind of knew going into this book that it would be similar to the other books Evanovich has written. I did feel at times like there wasn't much focus on the plot at all, and then at other times it was too heavy.
I liked Barney's character - she was quick and witty, and had a great sense of humor. I can't deny that Sam (NASCAR Guy) annoyed the living crap out of me. I just can't see what or how Barney could be attracted to him....but okay...
Overall, I would say this is a great weekend read in between some "heavier" books.
Writing Style: 4