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Hard Eight (2002)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312983867, Mass Market Paperback)In Hard Eight, Stephanie Plum picks up a case a little nastier than anything the wisecracking bounty hunter's seen before. Evelyn Soder and her young daughter have gone on the run, leaving an angry ex-husband who's planning to collect on a child custody bond that will leave Evelyn's grandmother homeless. Stephanie's first clue that there's more to it than that comes in the form of Eddie Abruzzi, a shady local businessman who warns her to butt out of the case. Stephanie doesn't scare easily, but when Abruzzi's henchmen leave a bag of snakes on her doorknob and tarantulas in her car, she has no choice but to call Ranger, the hunky man of mystery whom she already owes too many favors. Steph knows that Ranger will soon be calling in his marker, but with her ex- fiancé Joe Morelli out of the picture, that should be OK--shouldn't it? In the meantime, she's got other fugitives to catch, aided by the usual band of misfits, plus a bumbling correspondence-school lawyer who's developed the hots for Stephanie's sister, Valerie. And Steph's in for a surprise from her mother, who proves she's not above wielding a dangerous weapon to save her daughter's life.
Author Janet Evanovich has made a bold move in using a soupçon of child jeopardy to pull this series out of the comfortable but formulaic pattern it was threatening to fall into. It's still funny, and yes, some cars are destroyed, but now there's a real edge of darkness under the humor. Fans needn't fear, though: Jersey girl Stephanie is still full of sass and Tastykakes. --Barrie Trinkle
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:18:31 -0400)
Hard Eight "Keeps up Evanovich's standards for over-the-top situations"-Chicago Tribune. "[A] must read...readers will want to finish this delightful work in one sitting."--Midwest Book Review. "Offers the best action yet."-Newark Star-Ledger. "The girl mercenary is as fresh as ever."-People. "Hard Eight is most emphatically not Raymond Chandler but, like his work, a piece of finely crafted prose."-San Francisco Chronicle. "Plum is one of fiction's most irresistible heroines."-Seattle Post Intelligencer. "Evanovich has certainly come a long way since One for the Money; her latest Stephanie Plum mystery merits a one-day national laydown on June 18."--Library Journal. "Well plotted and cleverly resolved...her wickedly funny characterizations and the intriguing love triangle are what keep her readers coming back for more."-Bookpage. "As close to summer escapism as you can get. Evanovich hits a high note with her newest...a great addition to a well-stocked beach bag."-Houston Chronicle. "A perfect summer vacation book...promises fun, laughter, and unforgettable characters...Evanovich delivers."-Tennessean (Nashville, TN). "Thrills mixed with lust, seasoned with humor: a delightful escape."-News & Record (Greensboro, NC). "Evanovich produces more than "beach reading". She writes rollicking, raunchy, hysterical fiction that is so real, you will laugh out loud and want to visit the Burg."-Rockwall County News. "Just when you think the adventures of Plum and company can't get any funnier or more convoluted, Janet Evanovich proves you wrong-nobody does it better!"-Romantic Times. Seven Up. "A madcap comic mystery-Jersey-girl style."-The New York Times. "Expect a laugh per page...Bottom line: Plum Pick."-People. "If you like your summer reads hot and sassy, try Seven Up."-Boston Herald. "Evanovich is the crown princess of detective fiction...Seven Up is brassy, comical, and light-hearted."-Bookpage. "Seven Up is funny, sexy, scary."-Booklist. "Edgy romance triangle, the loopy family relationships, or the bounty-hunting jobs that skate between absurdity and genuine tension."-Denver Post. "An adventurous, amusing ride...billed as a crime novel, it has the requisite intrigue and chase scenes, but is also seasoned with humor."-Oakland Press (Pontiac, MI). "[A] fast, funny, and first-rate tale."-Ft. Myers News Press. "Romantic and laugh-out-loud funny, this caper is the perfect summer antidote to serious reading."-St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "The dialogue's snappy...the pace is quick...Evanovich's great gift is an ability to create situations zany enough to provoke bursts of laughter."-Philadelphia Inquirer. "Marked by wise-cracking humor, eccentric characters, and a gritty urban New Jersey setting...Evanovich's 'Stephanie Plum' series attracts an ever-increasing number of fans with each book."-Library Journal. "Loads of fun...with laughs on every page."-USA Today. "Evanovich continues...her successful formula...[she] provides a beginning that illustrates all that is right with this series and an ending that ties the story together, gives us a dose of reality, and leaves us with a cliffhanger."-Chicago Tribune.
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