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20171114CoverJanetEvanovichHardcoretwentyfour
HARDCORE TWENTY-FOUR

By Janet Evanovich

G.P. Putnam’s Sons
$28.00
ISBN 978-0399179198
Publication Date:  November 14, 2017

HARDCORE TWENTY-FOUR

Review by Danny Lindsey

Zombies are loose in the Burg, and Stephanie Plum is on the lookout for them. In Janet Evanovich’s latest in the Stephanie Plum series (Hard Core Twenty-Four, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2017) it’s a tossup whether bounty hunter Stephanie and plus-sized sidekick Lula will be squeezed to death by a 20-foot boa constrictor or have their brain sucked out through a straw by zombies. Neither prospect slows the familiar duo as they eat their way through chicken, donuts, sandwiches, and pizza on their way to apprehending a series of bail jumpers.

No Stephanie Plum tale is complete without a continuation of the “which man will it be next?” quandary that Steph finds herself in regularly. A semi-committed relationship with plainclothes cop Morelli is in her comfort zone, but the mysterious and oh-so-sexy Ranger is a constant temptation. If that weren’t enough, the newcomer Diesel takes her breath away and sends her hormones into orbit. It doesn’t help that she occasionally wakes up with him in the bed with her, naked.

For those not already fans of the series, Stephanie hunts bail jumpers for a living, for her cousin Vinnie’s bail bonds business. She’s been beaten up, rolled in various nasty substances, captured, tied up and left for dead, and shot at. Somehow either Morelli or Ranger, sometimes both, manage to rescue her and send her on to her next misadventure.

A girl with many talents, Stephanie excels at original ways to destroy cars, both hers and loaners from Ranger’s security fleet of luxury vehicles. Burned, bombed, crashed, filled with concrete, smashed by a garbage truck, stolen, drowned (without her in it), and filled with exploding animal carcasses are but a sampling of the ways she ends up on foot or driving her late grandfather’s indestructible ’53 Buick.

If you’re not a fan, you should be. If you only read serious fare, change. If you aren’t entertained by Evanovich’s female protagonist, you probably take life way too seriously. Have a donut (or six), grab a cold beer and a sandwich, and prepare to chuckle a lot and laugh out loud several times

Danny Lindsey keeps trying to retire. After a 20-year Army career and a 25-year second one in the private sector, he’s finally settled down. His current gig is as the Veteran Employment Services Manager for a Huntsville, A.L.  based non-profit, Still Serving Veterans. Both full careers were characterized by numerous writing assignments, from war plans to operating policies and procedures, then on to white papers, analyses of alternatives and competitive contract and grant proposals. Now his writing consists of blogs for the website www.ssv.org, podcasts for the local NPR affiliate, and a half dozen Pulitzer-worthy, albeit unpublished novels.

Update:  Danny won the 2017 Killer Nashville Claymore Award with his manuscript Serial Justice – so he will not be unpublished for long!