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Book: The Heist (Janet Evanovich + Lee Goldberg)

I am a fan of Janet Evanovich. I had no idea who Lee Goldberg was.

OK, that's out of the way. People who read Janet Evanovich's books are surely fans of Stephanie Plum, the clumsy and sometimes smart bounty hunter who keeps getting into trouble and finding herself in seemingly impossible situations and yet, somehow, manages to triumph over evil.

Evanovich is no stranger to co-writing stories with others and I have read a couple of them. Can't remember which but they are sitting somewhere on my bookshelves and I am not up to pulling the books out one by one. Each of those co-writing projects are good because it gives the stories and the writing a different feel.

With The Heist, I think the 'co-writing effect' is so much more obvious because it reads like a movie. A film that you can conjure up in your head, all by yourself.

The usual way Janet Evanovich writes is to write it so that we can see things from the protagonist's point of view. We don't see what we are about to see until the protagonist sees it for herself. With The Heist, it's like what you would see on a movie screen.

OK. I will illustrate. This is hard.

Novel Style
Jane walks across the bridge. Bridge is shaking and she knows she is about to fall off. She looks up and sees Jack on the other side of the bridge, hanging off a vine. She sees him swooping in and made a grab for his hand and they safely on the other side of the bridge. Jack tripped upon landing and Jane knocked her head on a huge arse rock. He quickly carries her to his car and rushes her to the hospital.

Movie Style
Jane walks across the bridge. Jane finds herself waking up from the inside of a car, dazed and confused about what happened. *flashback* *minutes before* Jack, the handsome sidekick flew in Tarzan-style, hanging off a vine, and swooped her off her feet but carelessly, he knocked her head on a big arse rock and she was knocked unconscious.

Not that I am complaining because it is extremely fun and exciting to follow the adventures these people take on.

Instead of having a sexy but clumsy female protagonist as the main character, we have FBI agent, Kate O'Hare, who is all seriousness, supremely kick-assy, don't take shit for answers, will break your skull if she doesn't get her way. She will defy her own limits to find, track down and bring behind bars, Nicolas Fox, a handsome conman who is extremely smart and have managed to outsmart Kate O'Hare by nano-seconds in the past. She makes it her life mission to sneer at him from the other side of a jail cell.

Nicolas Fox, on the other hand, is not muscled-up, armed and dangerous nor is he a nasty character with toilet-mouth. He is a smooth criminal. I can only think of 'Face' of The A Team. He knows he is good looking, he knows he is intelligent, he knows people get hurt when they fight so he finds ways to get other people to fight each other instead, while he gets away with the big stuff.

So, you have a She-Woman who knows guns like the back of her hand and she's got access to explosives. And then we have smooth guy who works his face like nobody's business.

The story is fine and I loved it all although I wished Kate would really soften up a little towards the end but there were a couple of things I would like to note. The other characters. Too many of them with unnecessary roles and touch-and-go character development. In fact, the way the couple found their 'team members' and convinced them to join up with their massive scheme was very movie-y (I don't care it's not a word - LOL). It would be better if there was more time spent on them.

I guess it is because the story line is very big and it stretches the canvas across several nations (some fictional ones too) and using many tricks which would have made it a good movie made it that way. You know what, if it is already a movie, I would want to watch it. It's just extravagant like that.


Only after finishing the book did I read the first page of the book which says...

'Lee Goldberg is a screenwriter, TV Producer, and the author of several books, including King City, The Walk, and the bestselling Monk series of mysteries. He has earned two Edgar Award nominations and was the 2012 recipient of the Poirot Award from Malice Domestic.'

Oh. I see.

Have a great weekend, ok?

XOXO,
Marsha
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