Title: One for the Money (Stephanie Plum series, #1)
Author: Janet Evanovich
Genre: Crime novel, Romance
Published: 1994 by St. Martin’s Press
WHAT’S THE BOOK ABOUT?
Here’s a description from the author’s website:
Watch out, world. Here comes Stephanie Plum, a bounty hunter with attitude. In Stephanie’s opinion, toxic waste, rabid drivers, armed schizophrenics, and August heat, humidity, and hydrocarbons are all part of the great adventure of living in Jersey.
She’s a product of the “burg,” a blue-collar pocket of Trenton where houses are attached and narrow, cars are American, windows are clean, and (God forbid you should be late) dinner is served at six.
Now Stephanie’s all grown up and out on her own, living five miles from Mom and Dad’s, doing her best to sever the world’s longest umbilical cord. Her mother is a meddler, and her grandmother is a few cans short of a case.
Out of work and out of money, with her Miata repossessed and her refrigerator empty, Stephanie blackmails her bail bondsman cousin, Vinnie, into giving her a try as an apprehension agent. Stephanie knows zilch about the job requirements, but she figures her new pal, fearless bounty hunter Ranger, can teach her what it takes to catch a crook.
Her first assignment: nail Joe Morelli, a former vice cop on the run from a charge of murder one. Morelli is also the irresistible macho pig who took Stephanie’s virginity at age sixteen and then wrote the details on the bathroom wall of Mario’s Sub Shop. There’s still powerful chemistry between these two, so the chase should be interesting.
It could also be extremely dangerous, especially when Stephanie encounters a heavyweight title contender who likes to play rough. Benito Ramirez is known for his brutality to women. At the very least, his obsession with Stephanie complicates her manhunt and brings terror and uncertainty into her life. At worst, it could lead to murder.
WHAT DID I THINK OF THE BOOK?
Stephanie Plum’s got spunk, but I didn’t really like her overall personality that much. I wanted to like her, really, but I just couldn’t. On a side note, if there was the slightest possibility of me chasing bad guys (being an “apprehension agent/bounty hunter”), I would probably wear more practical clothing on my first assignment… Like, you know, a pair of pants and not a skirt.
Anyway, moving on. The male characters were kind of jerks, in general (at least in this book). Morrelli had his moments, but not for the most part. I could understand why he annoyed Stephanie so much, but also couldn’t resist his charm at times he wasn’t acting like such a big jerk. Ranger was quite helpful, but was also a bit of a jerk sometimes. I only kinda liked the Eddie guy (who is married to Stephanie’s cousin, I think). As this is only the first book, perhaps the jerk-ish parts of the male characters would wane throughout the series.
I liked the first person narrative the story was told, but I can’t really say the same about the writing style or some of the language. Best part was the last few chapters, I think, not because it signified the end of the book is near but because that’s the part when the case all came together. It wasn’t so bad when the solving part came, though it still came across as a bit rushed.
TO WRAP IT UP…
Primarily, I bought it because it’s a crime novel and had what sounds like a strong female lead. I ended up not liking Ms. Plum that much. She seems like a very capable woman, I just didn’t find her or her personality endearing, I suppose. It seemed to me the case was there mainly for the introduction of characters, which is fine, but the characters didn’t really connect with me.
It’s a quick read and a pretty entertaining book, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea, I guess. It was a good enough book to pass the time, but I think I’ll pass on reading the other books in the series.