Book Review: The Recovery Agent by Janet Evanovich

Posted July 8, 2022 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: The Recovery Agent by Janet Evanovich

I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Recovery Agent by Janet Evanovich
Genres: Adventure, Suspense
Published by Atria/Emily Bestler Books on March 22, 2022
Pages: 314
Format: eBook
Source: my own shelves

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Also by this author: Takedown Twenty, The Chase, Top Secret Twenty-One, The Job, Stephanie Plum #3 – #7, Wicked Charms, Love Overboard, Stephanie Plums, Plum Spooky, , Tricky Twenty-Two, The Pursuit, The Scam, Curious Minds, Turbo Twenty-Three, Dangerous Minds, Hardcore Twenty-Four, "The Shell Game", Look Alive Twenty-five, The Big Kahuna, Fortune and Glory, The Bounty, Full House

First in the Gabriela Rose humorous suspense series and revolving around a recovery agent, Gabriela Rose.

My Take

It’s a beach read and funny with plenty of adventure, the excitement of Indiana Jones, and the coziness of family, even if one of them is an ex, using third person protagonist point-of-view from Gabriela’s perspective.

I gotta confess that there is a lot of silly decision-making. It’s almost as if Gabriela were a character in a book with few day-to-day responsibilities and unlimited funds. Oops, wait, she is. Gabriela (and Rafer) jump from one adventure to the next in this partnership between the drug runners and Gabriela, with no sense of time passing. Life is too easy.

As for how Rafer is described as such a lazy slob with no ambition, how is it he runs a successful dive shop with three employees?

Rafer and Gabriela “hooking up” was too easy as well. Okay, Rafer figures he’s still in love with her — he does remind me of Diesel from the Stephanie Plum series. He’s an easygoing hunk, who refuses to take no for an answer. I do like how succinctly he sums up Gabriela’s character, lol.

The whole treasure hunt was too easy as well. In fact, all the action surrounding this story is more about the interactions between Gabriela and Rafer. As for the wealthy El Dragón — Pepe does point out that El Dragón is into corporate diversification, *grin* — talk about a comical stereotype and such a dichotomy. Although I do want to know how the green smoke action works.

It seems as if Evanovich wants Gabriela to be a practical Indiana Jones and yet she has her making these crazy decisions, giving money and treasure away, her fascination with pirates — she may even be a descendant of Blackbeard!

Oh, yeah. Coca leaves are a major food group. Is that like chocolate? As for hiking through the Amazon jungle, I would definitely be wearing La Perla panties. Not.

Hmm, there is an environmental issue here, but Jorge explains it:

“‘Very bad to shoot panther,’ Jorge said from the canoe. ‘They are on critically endangered list [but] humans aren’t endangered,’ . . . ‘Okay for panthers to eat them.'”

Annie sounds very convenient for Fanny, a very useful bogeyman.

The Recovery Agent is full of clichés and humor . . . and honest drug dealers! Read it when you need a laugh.

The Story

It’s a disaster. Literally. A storm destroyed Scoon, and the cost to re-build is encouraging too many to sell out and leave. Except the Roses. They don’t want to leave and Fanny has a crazy idea to rescue the town.

It’s an idea that plays right into Gabriela’s fascination for Bluebeard as well as her worries for her crazy family.

The Characters

Gabriela “Gabs” Rose is an independent recovery agent for insurance companies and private clients. G.R. McDuck is the name of Gabriela’s business in honor of Scrooge McDuck. Marcella Lott is Gabriela’s personal assistant and sole employee. She sounds like a gem! Jimmy has done some surveillance for McDuck.

Rafer Jones is Gabriela’s ex-husband who now lives on St Vincent and runs a dive shop in Kingstown. It was a lifetime friendship from kindergarten on, but marriage was not a good idea. His employees include Jaimie, Victoria, and Fluffy.

Scoon, South Carolina, is . . .
. . . Gabriela’s hometown. Maeberry Rose is Gabriela’s mother. Fanny is her grandmother, who speaks to Annie, a ghost ancestor. Her father owns a charter fishing boat, Mugs, on which Gabriela worked as mate, starting when she was 10 years old. Cousin Andy now works as mate. Grandpa used to supply half the town with illegal hooch. Aunt Sofie enrolled Gabriela in the fruit-of-the-month club. Jenny Gooley got Gabriela a job with her uncle. Old Man Gustavson had a prize bull. Eddie and Marge Dugan are gone; he closed up his auto body shop and they moved in with Marge’s sister in Atlanta. Scoots Bartlet loved to drive the ambulance, running the lights and sirens . . . even when he drove Mr Ratkowski to the cemetery.

St Vincent’s
Great-auntie Margareet, great-grandmother’s sister, had a house on the island that she left to Gabriela.

Costa Rica
Evan is a dive friend of Rafer’s. Dan Thompson runs a day boat, the Julie Dear, for fishing and diving. He’s also a descendant of Captain Thompson’s and owns Juliet Island. Mickey Forbes, a descendant of the first mate, has a helicopter service. Gracie’s Place is a nice hotel. Gloria is Dan’s ex-wife; Adele is Mickey’s ex. Manny Ortega has a henhouse and a boat. Raymond is Manny’s son.

Peru
Pepe will be Gabriela and Rafer’s guide with his Angelina, a Citroën. Ralph Grinty is Pepe’s cousin. The family has a coffee plantation in Peru. Cousin Maria runs a cafe in Quillabamba. Caballo will accompany them. Cousin Raymond gives them a ride. Cocinero is a good driver but a better cook. Miguel is uncle’s first lieutenant, his first son, and Pepe’s cousin. More of uncle’s men include Luis, Philip, Eduardo, Leonard, Marko, and Cesare. Bucky takes care of passports in California; he’s also the mayor. An uncle in California runs Happy Acres, a cemetery and crematorium, which Cousin Ralph manages.

Supay is the Incan god of death. El Dragón the Sorcerer, a.k.a. Leon Nadali, is his priest.

Ecuador
Jorge and Cuckoo are local guides. Henry Dodge is an archeologist with an amulet and bad luck. Cameron is part of the archeological dig.

New York City
Simon Gitten teaches antiquities at Columbia, works on restorations at the Met, and consults on private issues.

Mary Jane Cooney was a slut. Baker Fidelity has a case. Nan and Bill Wisneski — he’s the president of Consolidated Construction — may be the reason for the case. Vincent Krauss, a billionaire in South Africa, has a request. Back in the day, Norman Fuzcinski won the spelling bee. Mr Rachet taught history.

Sir Francis Drake was the first Englishman to sail around the world. The Treasure of Lima originated with Pizarro. Captain William Thompson, a trader, was the commander of the Mary Dear; James Alexander Forbes was his first mate.

The Cover and Title

The cover has vivid colors with a black and royal blue background and spears of green leaves pointing toward the middle where an orange and red oval creates a glow to silhouette Gabriela, her hair up, jeans, and a gun holstered at her hip. At the very top is an info blurb in white. Starting at Gabriela’s neck is the author’s name in white with the title just below her waist in yellow and white. At the bottom is another info blurb in yellow.

The title is all about Gabriela, The Recovery Agent.

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