I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review."The Shell Game" by Janet Evanovich, Lee Goldberg
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Bantam on October 7, 2014
Source: the library
Buy on Amazon
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, Look Alive Twenty-five
A short story prequel, 0.25, in the Fox and O’Hare romantic suspense series and revolving around an FBI agent eager to take on her first case.
Evanovich/Goldberg caught my attention right off the bat with Nick’s slick form of persuasion for Klepper to hire him, lol. It’s so Nick!!
More of that Nickish-sort of feeling is:
“Earnest, refreshingly unpretentious, full of energy, too determined to be professional to flirt with him. And she was as dedicated to upholding the law as he was to breaking it. She was exactly what he needed in his life. She was going to be fun.”
And truer words were never spoke, lol.
“The Shell Game” is a set-up to introduce us to Kate’s and Nick’s first meeting. It also introduces us to their personalities…and you just know it’s going to be a fun ride with the cute and earnest agent versus the charming, hunky thief.
Evanovich/Goldberg incorporate a third person dual point-of-view from Kate’s and Nick’s perspectives. Quite handy, as we get the FBI’s and con artist’s take on events.
Hmmm, I never thought there was a difference between soldier versus thief strategy. Who’d’a ever thunk of theft as performance art.
Hoo, boy, those “stolen” Peruvian artifacts can’t be stolen again or the U.S. will have egg on its face. And Drake has just scared the pants off the Getty who has requested FBI help.
Nick wasn’t counting on that.
FBI Special Agent Kate O’Hare, a six-month graduate from Quantico, is based in LA and incredibly bored with doing background checks. Carl Jessup is the special-agent-in-charge. Cosmo Uno, the “hyperactive mole”, is a cubicle partner.
Nicholas Fox, a.k.a., John Drake of Intertect Security, is a con artist with an imagination that knows no bounds. Wendy Rhee is the best getaway driver in Seoul. Artie Sondel used to drive a taxi in Manhattan and is an expert at guerilla driving. Evaristo Suarez is former army and used to transport arms and supplies along mined roads in Iraq.
Garson Klepper is a collector in Cleveland, who doesn’t object to buying stolen artifacts.
Picture Car Universe is a handy spot for renting vehicles for movies.
The Cover and Title
The cover has a violet to purple-fuchsia to pale pink mash-up of a background with a silhouette of a be-suited Nick in a confident pose, throwing a long shadow, in the crook of the primary author’s name at the top — which is outlined in black with a white core; the secondary author’s name is the same but in a much thinner font below the primary. The title is in at least two tones of yellow at the bottom with an info blurb beneath that.
The title is all on Nick, for he’s playing “The Shell Game”, to keep the law guessing.