Tuesday 28 November 2017

Book ~ "Hardcore Twenty-four" (2017) Janet Evanovich

From Goodreads ~ Trouble comes in bunches for Stephanie Plum. First, professional grave robber and semi-professional loon, Simon Diggery, won’t let her take him in until she agrees to care for his boa constrictor, Ethel. Stephanie’s main qualification for babysitting an extremely large snake is that she owns a stun gun - whether that’s for use on the wandering serpent or the petrified neighbors remains to be seen.

Events take a dark turn when headless bodies start appearing across town. At first, it’s just corpses from a funeral home and the morgue that have had the heads removed. But when a homeless man is murdered and dumped behind a church Stephanie knows that she’s the only one with a prayer of catching this killer.

If all that’s not enough, Diesel’s back in town. The 6-foot-tall, blonde-haired hunk is a man who accepts no limits - that includes locked doors, closed windows and underwear. Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli isn’t pleased at this unexpected arrival nor is Ranger, the high-powered security consultant who has his own plans for Stephanie.

As usual Jersey’s favorite bounty hunter is stuck in the middle with more questions than answers. What’s the deal with Grandma Mazur’s latest online paramour? Who is behind the startling epidemic of mutilated corpses? And is the enigmatic Diesel’s sudden appearance a coincidence or the cause of recent deadly events?

Zombies are running wild in Trenton, NJ, and bodies are turning up with no heads.  Stephanie works for her bail bondsman cousin and Lulu is a former 'ho who works with her.  They have to take grave robber Diggery in because he missed his court date.  He has no problem with this as he figures he'll be safer in jail away from the zombies but he makes Stephanie promise that she will take care of his snake, Ethel, while he is gone.  Among the other cases she has, she's also looking for Slick Zero, an amateur videographer and blogger, who is hoping to catch the zombies on film. 

Diesel, a mysterious man who pops in and out of Stephanie's life and the author has spun off into another series, arrives and is staying at her place and, as usual, is putting the moves on her and she's having a hard time resisting.

Stephanie and Joe, the police officer, are still together and this relationship is still drifting.  Ranger, her former colleague, is still hot and lusting after Stephanie and she doesn't act very committed to Joe around him.

This is the 24th in the Stephanie Plum series and I've read them all.  As in previous books, Evanovich continues to follow her formula:
  • Stephanie is lusting after Morelli and Ranger ... check
  • Stephanie's mom's nerves are shot so drinks and irons/cooks ... check
  • Grandma Masur is outrageous and checking out the viewings at the funeral home ... check
  • Lulu talks about food all the time and gets offended when someone refers to her weight ... check
  • Stephanie goes home to mooch meals from her parents ... check 
  • Morelli calls Stephanie "Cupcake" and just wants to have sex with her ... check 
  • Ranger calls Stephanie "Babe" and just wants to have sex with her with no commitment  ... check 
  • Stephanie borrows Ranger's vehicles and destroys them ... check

I'm not into zombies so didn't find the storyline or the whodunnit exciting or interesting.  It's written in first person perspective from Stephanie's point of view.  There is some swearing and some adult situations.

Since it's basically the same story over and over, I stopped buying these books a long time ago and now borrow them from the library.  It's a mindless familiar read, though I didn't find I enjoyed this one much at all.

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