Book Review: Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich

Posted February 26, 2014 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

Book Review: Takedown Twenty by Janet EvanovichTakedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich
Genres: Humorous, Mystery
Published by Bantam on November 19, 2013
Pages: 309
Format: Hardcover
Source: the library


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.

Also by this author: 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

Twentieth in the Stephanie Plum romantic suspense series and revolving around a bumbling bounty hunter.

My Take
Evanovich needs to end this series. She’s obviously lost the heart of Stephanie Plum, and I know I’d appreciate her not writing any more half-hearted stories like Takedown Twenty. I have so loved this series and to see it deteriorate as it has since book 14, Fearless Fourteen, well, it’s just been one disappointment after another. I know, I know, so stop reading them. I don’t think I can. I keep hoping that Evanovich will get re-energized somehow and the original zest for fun and mayhem will return. Sue me, I’m a masochist…sigh…

Ranger wants Stephanie in his bed but without the marriage ring. In the earlier books, it was an erotic treat as Ranger pursued Stephanie. Not this time out. Unfortunately, both men are dull without much of the romantic suspense one would expect.

At one point Evanovich mentions that Stephanie’s mother is going back to school to be a nurse. Whatever happened to that idea? I had visions of Mom getting more involved in some of Stephanie’s chases. I did like the comment Stephanie did make in this: “My mother is the middle child caught between my grandmother and me.”

Stephanie and Joe have been dating forever, and she doesn’t know about game day??

Evanovich is setting Stephanie up, per usual, but the set-ups aren’t going anywhere but through the motions. It’s dull, it’s boring. I used to line-up at the bookstore to get my Stephanie Plum book. Now, I don’t mind if it takes months on the waiting list at the library. How sad is that?

The Story
Seems Uncle Sunny was caught in the act of running Stanley Dugan over. Twice. Now Uncle Sunny has skipped out on his bond, and it’s Stephanie’s job to bring this much-loved crook back into the jailhouse fold.

The Characters
Stephanie Plum is a hapless bounty hunter who usually gets her man, no matter how inept she may be. Rex is her hamster. Joe Morelli is a Trenton cop she’s been seeing, and we see very little of him in this. Bob, the furniture-eating dog, is Joe’s. Mildred Frick‘s comment brought out the funny in Grandma, thank god. Grandma Bella is Joe’s scary granny who hates Stephanie and is always putting the eye on her.

Ranger is the badass third of their unfulfilled menage and former Special Forces. He’s magic. He no longer pursues bounties, but he’s willing to help Steph out. Tank is Ranger’s second-in-command, who won’t give up his cats for anyone.

Lula is a plus-size woman in a petite-sized outfit, the better to display her bountiful self. She’s Stephanie’s sidekick in their crazy adventures.

Salvatore Sunucchi, a.k.a., Uncle Sunny, is wanted for murder. And he’s Joe’s godfather. Moe and Shorty are his henchmen. Rita Raguzzi is Sunny’s main squeeze, and she’s hoping for more. Ziggy is one of Stephanie’s bounties. Gordon Krutch is one of Grandma’s sweeties. Mary Treetrunk has a very organic outlook on life. Randy Berger, the former butcher and now deli owner, is one of Mom’s hookups for Stephanie. Mr. Newcomb is Stephanie’s old algebra teacher.

Vincent Plum is Stephanie’s cousin as well as the boss of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds—Stephanie’s boss. He’s a pervert readers used to laugh at as Evanovich kicked in with the craziness of Vinnie. No more…sigh… Harry the Hammer is Vinnie’s father-in-law and owns the bonds office. Connie is his office manager, and the girls regularly plot against Vinnie.

Ruppert Gillian has asked Ranger to investigate his mother’s, Melvina‘s, murder. Lois Fratelli, Rose Walchek, and Bitsy Muddle are other victims. Butch Shiller is the cop in charge of the investigation. Kenny and Leo are a couple of Joe’s cop buddies. Little Anthony shows up at Joe’s with his son Bobby; Angelina is his wife.

The Cover
The cover is fat rays of yellow radiating out from the center as a backdrop to “Janet Evanovich” in white and the title in purple.

The title is a make-do. Evanovich needed a “twenty” in it, and since Stephanie is always doing a “takedown”, I guess Takedown Twenty seemed adequate.

Reviewed by Kathy Davie, who is fast gaining followers in Goodreads and Amazon for her honest book reviews. Passionate about reading, writing, and editing, she searches the Internet for tips, tricks, and warnings with a keen interest in ideas that will foster reading in children as well as adults while aiding writers in their craft. Kathy blogs daily at KD Did It Takes on Books.

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2 responses to “Book Review: Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich

    • ladystorm

      Glad you enjoyed the review, Lexxie. I suspect Evanovich has channeled her creative energy into her new series, Fox & O’Hare, as I’ve found her old liveliness there.

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