Saturday, January 4, 2014

TAKEDOWN TWENTY AUDIO EDITION by Janet Evanovich, read by Lorelei King

While I realize that gifted narrator Lorelei King has not read all of the Stephanie Plum series for my ears she simply is Stephanie’s voice.  She’s an accomplished British actress whose versatility shines in Takedown Twenty as she takes on the voices of “Uncle Sunny,” Grandma Mazur and others.  As fans of this series know there are always heaping servings of suspense and humor in each novel and the ante is upped in Evanovich’s latest.

This time out Stephanie, a New Jersey bounty hunter, and her pal former hooker, Lula, are tracking a scary mobster, Salvatore (Uncle Sunny” Sunucchi, who seems to have disappeared somewhere in Trenton.  The charge against him is murder for running over a guy (twice).  Yet no one is inclined to turn him in and some are even trying to throw Stephanie off his trail.  Even her boyfriend, Trenton cop Joe Morelli, isn’t on her side as this godfather is also his real godfather.  And, Joe’s grandmother is also on Uncle Sunny’s side.

As if all this were not conflicted enough security specialist Ranger also needs Stephanie’s help in finding the killer of a client’s mother who used to play bingo with Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur.  (Never knew that Trenton was such a small town!)

Evanovich’s dialogue continues to be snappy and she doesn’t fail to create comical scenes (think a giraffe running down the street), but this is the twentieth in her series which began in 1994, so for this listener the characters could use a bit of updating as their personalities and actions tend to become a tad predictable.

Nonetheless, this is the redoubtable Stephanie Plum and fans will welcome her.

- Gail Cooke

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