Book Review: The Chase by Janet Evanovich & Lee Goldberg

Posted March 10, 2014 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review:  The Chase by Janet Evanovich & Lee GoldbergThe Chase Published by Bantam on February 25, 2014
Pages: 303
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley


Things go from hot to nuclear when government secrets are on the line, and internationally renowned thief and con artist Nicolas Fox is famous for running elaborate and daring scams. His greatest con of all: convincing the FBI to team him up with the only person who has ever caught him, and the only woman to ever capture his attention, Special Agent Kate O’Hare. Together they’ll go undercover to swindle and catch the world’s most wanted—and untouchable—criminals.

Their newest target is Carter Grove, a former White House chief of staff and the ruthless leader of a private security agency. Grove has stolen a rare Chinese artifact from the Smithsonian, a crime that will torpedo U.S. relations with China if it ever becomes public. Nick and Kate must work under the radar — and against the clock — to devise a plan to steal the piece back.

Confronting Grove’s elite assassins, Nick and Kate rely on the skills of their ragtag crew, including a flamboyant actor, a Geek Squad techie, and a band of AARP-card-carrying mercenaries led by none other than Kate’s dad. A daring heist and a deadly chase lead Nick and Kate from Washington, D.C., to Shanghai, from the highlands of Scotland to the underbelly of Montreal. But it’ll take more than death threats, trained henchmen, sleepless nights, and the fate of a dynasty’s priceless heirloom to outsmart Fox and O’Hare.

Second in the Fox & O’Hare romantic suspense series and revolving around the very upright Kate O’Hare and her completely opposite prey, Nick Fox.

I did receive an ARC from the publisher.

My Take
Poor Kate. She believes so strongly in right and wrong, and here she’s assigned to be oh-so-wrong, lol.

The beauty of it is Evanovich is back in the saddle. All the humor and fun of her Stephanie Plum series that’s been lost has found itself over here in her new series: Fox & O’Hare. And if that doesn’t tell ya that she needs to end the Plum story…I don’t know what will. It’s crazy chases, snarky repartee, the parasail and gasoline tanker that got away, audacious art thefts, and laughter on every other page. A laughter somewhat balanced by my disgust with Carter Grove. Jesus. What that says about his relationship with the president…

That said, I could wish there were a little more angst in this with Kate torn between her attraction to Fox and her hatred for him. It seems too easy, although, perhaps not to Fox, *grin*. A few too many info dumps as well. Evanovich and Goldberg are experienced enough writers, they should be able to get around that one!

It’s too funny as Fox comes up with one more impossible plan after another, surmounting seemingly outrageous odds to do the even more inconceivable. And poor Jake, lamenting that the chase had to occur during the U.S. Open…*shakes her head, laughing*

“‘Did you have to go the wrong direction on a one-way street?’
‘I was worried you weren’t feeling challenged.'”

Oh, man, the feast Nick whips up when he “was pressed for time”…I’m lucky to get a PB&J when I’m pressed! His wisecracks, well, crack me up:

“‘Most people go when it’s open.’
‘I don’t like crowds.'”

Oh, man, talk about excess! When we get the tour of Carter Grove’s place, I can fully understand why Nick has his thievin’ policy! And we get a bit of the history behind Nick’s apprenticeship and later start as a solo operation. It’s in the telling of the tale that Nick finally gets a glimmer as to why Duff wants to kill him.

Too true!
“We broadcast property porn designed to sell paint, hardware, appliances, and furniture.”

Awww, it’s too sweet that Dad is finally making up for all the missed parent-teacher meetings and birthday parties…LOL. That moment when he figures prison could be a good place for him? Yup, probably the same people who’d think a garrote and grenades were sleep aids too, lolololol.

Oh, man,
“‘It’s a fake show.
‘Then I need a fake trailer.’
‘You’ll have to settle for an imaginary one.'”

Good tips for thieves as well as some very practical tips on how to pack paintings up for shipment. I gotta remember this the next time I move or have to ship some artwork out.

You know, for all the fun and fluff, there’s a heck of a lot of good information in here! I know it’s been awhile since I’ve said buy an Evanovich…and I’d definitely get this one!

The Story
Oopsies, someone’s been careless and lost the bronze rooster head from the Smithsonian, and now the Chinese want it back. Only a few people know the one in the Smithsonian is a fake, and the FBI would like to keep it that way.

Too bad, too few are in on the need to swap! Although it certainly opens up one heck of an opportunity to steal. On board that Airbus 380. Now if only they’d brought a flashlight…

The Characters
FBI Special Agent Kate O’Hare is ex-Special Forces with a firm belief in law and order. Jake O’Hare is her supposedly retired dad—I think he’s my favorite character in this. José Rodarte is his old army buddy, also sick of retirement. Walter “Eagle Eye” Wurzel, the guy with the black patch over one eye?, is the sniper Dad picks up. Clay Mandell doesn’t officially exist—and he reckons kKate is fit and fertile with fine birthing hips. Megan is Kate’s younger, married, sister with two kids—Sara and Tyler, her husband, Roger, and their Jack Russell terrier, Jack Russell, living in a guarded and gated community. Don’t know why when she’s got her dad living on the premises?? She’s mad keen to set her big sister up on blind dates with anyone.

Thrown out of Harvard for cheating, Nick Fox is the consummate thief with a letch for Kate. He simply adores getting a rise out of her. As John Steed, I should think he’d terrify realtors and banks everywhere! Duff MacTaggert is the thief—looks like a mad experiment which crossed a Scottish terrier with a man and doesn’t that just bring up a visual!—who taught Nick all he knows. Now he runs a pub, the Hideaway, and is the unofficial mayor in Kilmarny, Ireland. Turtleneck and Crewneck are his bodyguards. Poor babies. Zev Gelman is a tailor with a wide variety of abilities and interests.

The crew
Joe Morey turned whistleblower, and now he’s untouchable, and way down the ladder, working as a member of the Geek Squad. We met Boyd Capwell, the usually unemployed actor, who likes to wing it, and the tarty Willie Owens, who can and will drive absolutely anything, in The Heist, 1. Boyd will be the host of The Most Spectacular Homes on Earth. Jim Rockford and Lucy Carmichael are the producers. Natalia and Natasha, or is it Natasha and Natalia?, help bolster Boyd’s role, *snicker*. Hugh Sinclair is another unwitting accomplice.

Agent Seth Ryerson is Kate’s unknowing partner. Carl Jessup is the special-agent-in-charge in Los Angeles. He and Deputy Director Fletcher Bolton know the truth about Kate and Nick. Special Agent Andrew Tourneur is an ex-boyfriend who hates Kate’s obsession with Fox.

The targets
Fred Bose has been a very naughty boy with his meds. Enrique Montoya is the point man for the Vibora cartel Southern California distribution network and now the proud owner of the “stolen” house. Julian Starke is a middle man, an art blogger and dealer who isn’t above fleecing a client. Walter Clagmann and Mecham Florentiny contribute in that their fortunes created the Musée de Florentiny where Ralph Dennis works as a security guard. Huck Moseby fancies himself as a modern-day Moriarty. Too bad he teamed up with the tweet-obsessed Michel Montoute.

Carter Grove, a.k.a., Mr. Wayne, is a former White House chief of staff. Seems it was a very useful position in so many ways. Now he runs BlackRhino, an elite private security agency the Pentagon uses for ultra-secret black ops. He knows where the bodies are buried. Veronica Dell is Carter’s personal assistant. More BlackRhino operatives include the too-aware Rocco Randisi, an ex-army commando; Alexis Poulet is one of BlackRhino’s best, a former spy and assassin for DCRI; Bernbaum is an ex-CIA analyst; and, Vin Turbo‘s been taking too many steroids. Dr. Hardin Davison is an ancestor of Grove’s. Sheriff Travis Villency in Hancock County is gonna get his day made.

Stanley Fu is a billionaire businessman entrusted with the task of bringing the $20 million dollar rooster head back to its home. Police Inspector Zhaoji Li intends to capture Nick Fox. Lui Wei is an antiquities expert. Rigor and Mortis are the Shanghai officers guarding Kate. Susan Chow is with the U.S. consulate in Shanghai.

Botan Omar Wehliye is the rebel leader and Muktar Diriye Abdhullahi the dictator. Carter Grove is taking contracts from both of them. Harry and Dottie Prestin unknowingly contribute the household goods. Razzie Olden‘s restaurant decor and menus sound truly disgusting at La Guerre.

The Cover
The cover has a bright blue background that helps showcase the black silhouettes of a pony-tailed Kate side-on to an intent Nick. The authors’ names are prominently displayed in front of them with the title below.

The title is too apt, for it’s The Chase to beat ’em all as Kate and Nick keep on the run, huntin’ art.

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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