Three to Get Deadly by Janet Evanovich

July 10, 2013

Plot summary (from the publisher): A “saintly” old candy-store owner is on the lam-and bounty hunter extraordinaire Stephanie Plum is on the case. As the body count rises, Stephanie finds herself dealing with dead drug dealers and slippery fugitives on the chase of her life. And with the help of eccentric friends and family, Steph must see to it that this case doesn’t end up being her last…

Warning: Spoilers below!

Liked:

  • Stephanie Plum is still a likable character. She isn’t a superstar at her job and she has commonplace problems, such as an unreliable car and awkward family dinners. I like this kind of character much better than a totally unbelievable take-no-prisoners badass.
  • The relationship between Stephanie and Joe Morelli seems pretty realistic. They know they have something, but neither are up for making a full commitment one way or the other. I enjoy their casual pizza and beer get-togethers more than anything, but don’t mind the occasional make-out session either.
  • Ranger is emerging as the most intriguing character of the bunch. In the first couple of books, I thought he might turn into a cliche of the aforementioned “take-no-prisoners badass” type. But so far he has been hanging around in the background and not riding to the rescue at the last minute every time, which certainly adds to his mystique.

Disliked:

  • The first half of the book was very slow and boring. I felt that Evanovich didn’t do a good job of distributing information/clues in this one, so the plot made zero progress. Stephanie would ask someone, “Where’s Mo?” and the answer would inevitably be, “Why are you looking for him? He’s a good man, leave him alone!” The end. *Yawn*
  • I would have liked to see a bit more development from Stephanie as a bounty hunter. I mean, I like that she’s not a pro, but she should at least be able to catch the odd FTA (failure to appear) culprit — like the kid who worked at the fast food joint — without completely screwing things up.
  • Lula, who was fun in the last book, was all kinds of obnoxious and useless in this one. What’s her purpose? Just to drive Stephanie around? Maybe if she actually contributed in some real way, I could accept her presence out in the field. But for now, she’s just annoying.
  • The “mystery” itself was unraveled in a convoluted way, and seemed extremely forced once all the answers were revealed.

Rating:

Three to Get Deadly wasn’t nearly as good as the first two books in the Stephanie Plum series and has dampened my enthusiasm for the remaining titles. I’ll probably still continue reading them at some point, but I don’t have any desire to jump to the next one just yet. This book had some strengths, but was mostly boring and uninteresting. I give it 2 stars out of 5.

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