Janet Evanovich strikes again. Her latest Stephanie Plum novel, Hardcore Twenty-Fore hits all the pins. Zombies and paid protesters divert attention from the hardcore topic of synthetic drugs. In Hardcore Twenty-Four the key ingredient to a new drug is human brains.
If you have never read a Stephanie Plum novel, my advice is start with One For The Money. I was given this advice back in 2004 at a headache inducing conference meeting. It was good advice. However, the books certainly stand alone.
Stephanie Plum is torn between two lovers, cop Joe Morelli and the mysterious Ranger. In Hardcore Twenty-Four a third good looker pops backs into play. Diesel, a character most often seen in the Between the Numbers Plum mysteries, is crashing at Stephanie’s apartment. All end up in pursuit of a villainous master mind.
Evanovich creates characters that are zany and fun. But the true strengths in her writing lay elsewhere. The descriptive writing is among the best. The details she gives throughout allows you to visualize the people, the clothing and the setting. A reader sees Grandma Mazur. Women argue over Ranger and Morelli. Longtime readers view the Plum characters as family because we know how they look and think.
The other part of Evanovich’s writing I like is that she comments instead of preaches. I have noticed a trend lately among serial writers. They are using their writing to posit their opinions. While I think they are free to do that, I believe in some cases the positioning detracts from the writing. This is not the case with Hardcore Twenty-Four.
Janet Evanovich’s approach to current issues is done tongue in cheek. For example, in Hardcore Twenty-Four, paid protesters are protesting at a Korean grocery because the store lacks diversity. Evanovich utilizes one of her zaniest characters, Lulu who in a previous life was a hooker, to point out the irony.
The same approach is used with regards to the synthetic drugs. Here in the United States we currently have a problem with the manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs. Shortly before Thanksgiving, I read a serial novel with the same topic. I did not review it because the author ruined the story line with the preaching. However, Evanovich’s approach gave the same message without interfering with the story. In fact, her zany approach allows you to enjoy the story and reflect on the current issues of the day.
Janet Evanovich is one of my favorite writers. I would love to have lunch with her! She makes me laugh out loud with her writing. Life can be tough and laughter is great medicine. Her latest Stephanie Plum novel, Hardcore Twenty-Four made me smile, chuckle and laugh out loud in more than one place. This would be a good present under the tree.