If you are a fan of crime capers you may be aware of Janet Evanovich, who writes the Stephanie Plum novels. ‘The Job’ is the third book in a new series around Kate O’Hare, an ex-marine F.B.I. Agent, who is forced to team up with the world famous art-thief Nick Fox, in order to bring in criminals who have so far evaded arrest. Kate O’Hare had spent a good few years tracking Nick down to get him behind bars, only to have him ‘released’ and secretly work as a consultant for the F.B.I. Kate now has to babysit Nick, and work with him, in elaborate cons designed to fool their targets into exposing themselves, and enabling the F.B.I. to bring them to justice.
These novels are fun, fast-paced and full of action; I don’t find that there are as many laugh-out-loud moments as there are in the Stephanie Plum novels, these are slightly more serious in tone. This is the third book in the series; Kate, Nick and co. are on their third con, and have been working together for a while, so the books are starting to work to a tried-and-tested formula.
In this novel Nick Fox is being framed for art thefts across the world, Kate knows that it isn’t Nick committing the crimes, as he likes to go for hard to reach targets and creates a complex scenario, posing as a variety of different personas to get the job done; plus, you know, he’s working with her now.
There do seem to be some links to Nick though, and he is holding something back from Kate; together they decide to investigate to ‘clear’ Nick’s name, and arrest the real criminal. Of course there is the proverbial bad guy to take down on the way; a complicated scheme is rustled up to fool the bad guy, involving Fox and O’Hare’s motley crew of retired ex-military (including Kate’s father Jake), special effects guys, set designers, actors and adrenalin junkies, and lots of glamorous locations.
Kate and Nick have a lot of chemistry, and there is that ‘will-they-won’t-they’ element to the overarching story; not much really happens to upset the balance of their relationship in this novel. I can understand that this is a hook to get the readers invested in the series, but I hope Evanivich doesn’t drag it out as long as in the Stephanie Plum novels; we’re on book 21 and still waiting for Stephanie to pick Morelli or Ranger, and stop messing them both around.
With this outing I felt that the build up to the con was really good, there was a lot of tension and suspense, but that the actual finale of the book was really quick; if I’m honest that was a bit of a let down and I kept reading thinking that ‘surely that wasn’t it?’. The ending was a bit of an anti-climax.
Overall this is a fun, fast read (I got through it in about 4 hours), and a must if you like fast paced action thrillers with a comedic twist.