Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Book Review: Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich

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Description from Goodreads
New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum knows better than to mess with family. But when powerful mobster Salvatore “Uncle Sunny” Sunucchi goes on the lam in Trenton, it’s up to Stephanie to find him. Uncle Sunny is charged with murder for running over a guy (twice), and nobody wants to turn him in—not his poker buddies, not his bimbo girlfriend, not his two right-hand men, Shorty and Moe. Even Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, has skin in the game, because—just Stephanie’s luck—the godfather is his actual godfather. And while Morelli understands that the law is the law, his old-world grandmother, Bella, is doing everything she can to throw Stephanie off the trail.

It’s not just Uncle Sunny giving Stephanie the run-around. Security specialist Ranger needs her help to solve the bizarre death of a top client’s mother, a woman who happened to play bingo with Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur. Before Stephanie knows it, she’s working side by side with Ranger and Grandma at the senior center, trying to catch a killer on the loose—and the bingo balls are not rolling in their favor.

With bullet holes in her car, henchmen on her tail, and a giraffe named Kevin running wild in the streets of Trenton, Stephanie will have to up her game for the ultimate takedown.

My Review

I've been wanting to read this book since I first wrote about it in my Books I'm Excited for list in November 2013, and have just been waiting for it to be transferred to me at my local library. Usually I can catch the books I really want when they are first put in the system so I don't have to wait quite as long, but this time I didn't get as lucky! 

However, I'm kind of glad I had to wait so long.

It's the same Plum formula. Nothing is new here, so if you were hoping for something new, you'll be disappointed. 

The Stephanie Plum novels are like a worn in comfy chair, and I already have a butt-groove perfectly formed. So I can't get rid of the chair, because I've used it for so long. But I am getting tired of the same old chair. 

The novel mainly centers around Stephanie (and Lula, of course), trying to capture Salvatore Sunucchi, or "Uncle Sunny", because he broke his bond for murder. The problem is that everyone in the Burg loves Sunny. He's also Morelli's Godfather, which further complicates things. A lot of people know where Sunny is, they just don't spill the beans.

There are other little bond enforcements throughout the story that provide a chuckle, And, of course, Grandma Mazur is featured and always good for a laugh.

What really gets me is that I thought for once we'd start to get a little resolution about the Stephanie/Morelli/Ranger love triangle. Instead, it gets blown off again. 
Eventually, one of those two is going to get tired of it. Or I'M going to get too tired of it to keep reading about it. I seriously have no interest in Stephanie constantly cheating on Morelli, emotionally or otherwise.  Because it appears they are really a couple. Except, Morelli doesn't have Stephanie involved in family-type things, and really they don't interact much except for sex.

Which I wouldn't mind. If Stephanie just had sex with both Morelli and Ranger, I'd be all for it so long as all parties were agreeable (or, rather, just didn't disagree with the arrangement). But she clearly eventually wants to be with Morelli. 
There is no sex between Ranger and Stephanie in this book (I don't think that's considered a spoiler), but she wants to. 

What this review boils down to is I'm tired of the formula, and wish she would shake things up a bit. I feel like this exact story has been done before for the Plum novels. 
I like a good, refreshing, predictable novel as much as the next girl. But I like a little variety in an on-going series. 
So please, switch up the formula. Kill off a main character. Get Stephanie for real engaged to one of those guys.
Just... do something!

I'm giving this book two stars on Goodreads. I was entertained by it, but it was just okay.
If you'd like to purchase a copy of this book, you can purchase a copy for Kindle here, or a hardcover copy here.

FTC: I borrowed this book from my local library. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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