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The Pursuit by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

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The Pursuit by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg The Pursuit by Janet Evanovich, Lee Goldberg
Narrator: Scott Brick
Series: Fox and O'Hare #5
Published by Random House Audio on June 21, 2016
Source: Purchased
Genres: Crime Fiction
Length: 7 hrs 24 mins
Format: Audiobook
Buy on Amazon or Audible
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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.

Is The Pursuit good? Probably not – but it’s entertaining and action-packed and funny. It’s got sex (off-screen) and explosions and life-threatening situations. You know the good guys, presuming you consider Nick Fox a good guy, and the bad guys are going to lose. It’s a perfect quick summer read.

The Pursuit is the 5th in the series and I’ve read them in order, which I honestly think is best. Yes, they probably work as stand-alones, but this one picks up right where #4 left off and you get to see how Nick and Kate’s relationship develops. Also, most of the secondary good guy characters appear in each of them, and I do love Kate’s dad. He is awesome.

If you read the blurb you have a bit of an idea on the plot and it’s so short I don’t want to give away any spoilers. A few things I did enjoy – underground Paris, the melodramatic patriotism, and the lack of high heals. It’s over the top, but in a good way. It’s a great caper.

I listened to the audio and Brick does an excellent job. I love how much of the character’s personalities he puts in the voices and how you feel like he’s how ridiculous the story is and loves it as much as you do. It’s a great distraction while you’re doing the dishes or taking the dog for a walk. I would add running to that list, but I’ve been really lousy at getting any workouts in, let alone longer runs.

About Janet Evanovich

Janet Evanovich is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum series, the Lizzy and Diesel series, twelve romance novels, the Alexandra Barnaby novels and Trouble Maker graphic novel, and How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author, as well as the Fox and O’Hare series with co-author Lee Goldberg.

About Lee Goldberg

New York Times Bestselling author Lee Goldberg is a two-time Edgar Award and two-time Shamus Award nominee whose many TV writing and/or producing credits “Spenser: For Hire,” “Monk,” and “The Glades.” He’s also the author of the Fox & O’Hare series with Janet Evanovich, “The Walk,” “Watch Me Die,” “King City,” the “Dead Man” series, as well as the “Diagnosis Murder” and “Monk” series of original mystery novels.

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The Scam by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

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The Scam by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg The Scam by Janet Evanovich, Lee Goldberg
Narrator: Scott Brick
Series: Fox and O'Hare #4
Published by Random House Audio on September 15, 2015
Source: Purchased
Genres: Crime Fiction
Length: 6 hrs 55 mins
Format: Audiobook
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Nicolas Fox is a charming con man and master thief on the run. Kate O'Hare is the FBI agent who is hot on his trail. At least that's what everyone thinks. In reality Fox and O'Hare are secretly working together to bring down super criminals the law can't touch. Criminals like brutal casino magnate Evan Trace.

Evan Trace is running a money-laundering operation through his casino in Macau. Some of his best customers are mobsters, dictators, and global terrorists. Nick and Kate will have to go deep undercover as high-stakes gamblers, wagering millions of dollars - and their lives - in an attempt to topple Trace's empire.

It's a scam that will take Fox and O'Hare from the Las Vegas strip to the sun soaked beaches of Oahu's North Shore and into the dark back alleys of Macau. Their only backup - a self-absorbed actor; a Somali pirate; and Kate's father, an ex-soldier who believes a rocket launcher is the best way to solve every problem. What could possibly go wrong?

Some books are like good meals, rich and worth savoring. Some are more like popcorn, light, fun and forgettable. I like both, but The Scam definitely falls into the second category. The plot is a bit over-the-top as are the characters, but that’s part of the charm. And the writers/narrator know it. They take us on this trip from Hawaii to Vegas to Macau with a sense of humor even in the midst of dangerous situations. It’s funny and action-filled and just a blast. Brick does a great job at the narration, keeping a light edge and letting us know that even the though the characters may take themselves seriously, we shouldn’t.

This is the fourth in the series and we know the formula pretty well by now. Kate and Nick have a bad guy in their sights. they get a team of together, including Willie, who can drive anything, and Boyd, an actor who takes his parts very seriously, Jake, Kate’s dad, and one of his old cronies. Their target is a casino owner, but they need to take down a Hawaiian gangster, too, to help out one of Jake’s friends. It’s a complicated set-up and there are, of course, more than a few kinks and close encounters with the bad guys, including Nick almost landing in a pond of piranhas.

Kate’s dad, by the way, is a hoot. Not only does he always have a rocket launcher in his trunk, he has a couple of interesting way to deter coyotes. I also love that he always has Kate’s back, regardless of what the wild scheme is.

This is the second book I’ve read recently involving gambling. The game here is Baccarat, which you may remember from Casino Royale. It’s a lot more luck than Poker, but while the players lose and win a lot at the tables we, thankfully, don’t spend much time there flipping cards and betting.

It’s a quick read, but I have one major complaint – the ending. It was a total cliffhanger, which I hate. The relationship between Nick and Kate is finally getting somewhere – even if the hottest scene is off-screen , which is a shame. And then we have the end. I wish they had just moved the last chapter to the beginning of the next book. It would have been the perfect way to start it and I would have been much more satisfied with this one. And now they expect me to wait a year to find out what happens. The problem, besides my general hatred of “to be continued” is that they’re not really people I care about. They’re fun to spend a weekend with, but am I going to remember next fall what happened? Probably not.

How do you feel about cliffhangers?

clifhanger

About Janet Evanovich

Janet Evanovich is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum series, the Lizzy and Diesel series, twelve romance novels, the Alexandra Barnaby novels and Trouble Maker graphic novel, and How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author, as well as the Fox and O’Hare series with co-author Lee Goldberg.

About Lee Goldberg

New York Times Bestselling author Lee Goldberg is a two-time Edgar Award and two-time Shamus Award nominee whose many TV writing and/or producing credits “Spenser: For Hire,” “Monk,” and “The Glades.” He’s also the author of the Fox & O’Hare series with Janet Evanovich, “The Walk,” “Watch Me Die,” “King City,” the “Dead Man” series, as well as the “Diagnosis Murder” and “Monk” series of original mystery novels.

The Shell Game by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

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The Shell Game by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg The Shell Game by Janet Evanovich, Lee Goldberg
Narrator: Scott Brick
Series: Fox and O'Hare #0.25
Published by Random House Audio on October 7, 2014
Source: Purchased
Genres: Crime Fiction, Short Story
Length: 48 mins
Format: Audiobook
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Con man Nick Fox is after Garson Klepper’s golden Peruvian relics. For Fox, convincing Klepper to hire him as security for the relocation of the relics to the Getty museum in L.A. was easy. Problem is, Fox wasn’t planning on Klepper also enlisting the help of the FBI. Fox also wasn’t planning on being paired up with rookie special agent Kate O’Hare. She’s smart, she’s tenacious, and when she’s conned, she holds a grudge. Life for Fox and O’Hare will never be the same again.

Short stories are always tough to talk about – I want people to know why I did/didn’t enjoy it, but I don’t want to give away too much. It’s even tougher when it’s a prequel to a series that I’ve read all the rest of, like this one.

The Shell Game details Nick Fox and Kate O’Hare’s first meeting. Nick’s a con-man/thief and Kate’s FBI. HE’s charming, she’s dedicated. They’re both intelligent and good-looking, although I’m not sure you get a feel for how attracted they are to each other in this mini-episode. Nick gets to show off his cleverness, Kate gets to show off her ability to see through him, but I missed their interactions with each other that are so much of the fun in the series.

Scott Brick does a good job as always as the narrator. His tone of voice fits the story, not melodramatic, but not straight either. Does that make sense. He knows the type of story it is, how over the top the characters can be, and just goes with it.

Over all it’s a good introduction, but I’m glad I read the full length stories first. I’m not sure this one would have made me immediately pick up the others and it’s a series I really enjoy- fun and light, adventure and sexual tension.

About Janet Evanovich

Janet Evanovich is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum series, the Lizzy and Diesel series, twelve romance novels, the Alexandra Barnaby novels and Trouble Maker graphic novel, and How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author, as well as the Fox and O’Hare series with co-author Lee Goldberg.

About Lee Goldberg

New York Times Bestselling author Lee Goldberg is a two-time Edgar Award and two-time Shamus Award nominee whose many TV writing and/or producing credits “Spenser: For Hire,” “Monk,” and “The Glades.” He’s also the author of the Fox & O’Hare series with Janet Evanovich, “The Walk,” “Watch Me Die,” “King City,” the “Dead Man” series, as well as the “Diagnosis Murder” and “Monk” series of original mystery novels.

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