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In the fifth book of the Stephanie Plum series, Stephanie is faced with a real dilemma. Her mentor who has taught her everything about apprehending fugitives is now one of her cases and she is assigned to apprehend him! Carlos Manoso, known as Ranger was a Special Forces agent and also, according to other characters in the book, sexually interested in Stephanie. He is wanted for murder and Stephanie isn't sure if he is guilty, if she can capture him or even if she should.

Her enemy from childhood, Joyce, is also looking for Ranger and Stephanie certainly doesn't want her to find him.

Stephanie's relationship with Joe Morelli, the police officer who is her love interest is slowed down by the fact that Stephanie's Grandma Mazur has decided to move in with her. She is unhappy living with Stephanie's parents and thinks that Stephanie's apartment is a good place to stay while she is looking for a home of her own.

New characters are introduced to the series in this book. Stephanie is being followed by Mitchell and Habib but she doesn't know exactly who they work for or why they are following her. My favourite individual is Walter "Moon Man" Dunphy who has used too many drugs in his lifetime and viewed everything in a very simple but positive manner. He and his buddy, Douger who is better known as "Dealer" are always quick to help Stephanie find things that she needs even if they aren't legal.

The "bad guys" in this book are members of the Ramos family who are gun runners and drug dealers. When Homer Ramos is found dead Ranger is accused because he was observed on a video recording leaving Homer just minutes before his death.

In this book, Stephanie takes far more chances than either Ranger or Morelli think she should. Both of them have warned her and, in fact, Ranger wants to lock her up so that she is safe. That doesn't stop her tough and she is not only kidnapped but knows that her life is in serious danger. She knows that she could easily become the fourth corpse in this novel.

So, once again, Stephanie is found struggling to pay her bills by being a bounty hunter, build her relationship with Morelli and maintain as much of her privacy and safety as possible.

Janet Evanovich continues to capture the attention of the reader by using "off the wall" characters, interesting dialog and a plot that just keeps getting more and more complex. Stephanie's parents, Grandma Mazur, Lulu, Morelli, Ranger, Joyce and Vinnie all contribute to the fun and the action.

I really like the way that she interweaves a plot that is filled with suspense and mystery with really good humour and laughs.

Now that I have read the first six books in the Stephanie Plum series, I am even more eager to move on to the next ones. These are all "laugh out loud" books that are easy to read and thoroughly enjoyable.


Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email office@drlindahancock.com


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