Tuesday, March 16, 2021

The Bounty by Janet Evanovich and Steve Hamilton: review

4/5 stars on Goodreads

The Bounty by Janet Evanovich and Steve Hamilton

Janet Evanovich’s Fox and O’Hare series about unwilling cooperation between FBI agent Kate O’Hare and international thief Nick Fox has advanced to a seventh book, The Bounty. There’s a new co-author, Steve Hamilton, after a short-lived collaboration with Evanovich’s son Peter. The change is for the better.

This is perhaps the most coherent and exciting book in the series so far. The plot is intriguing. Nick’s estranged father is after a treasure map that should lead to a hidden hoard of Nazi gold, and Nick and Kate are swept along on the quest. They storm through Europe, trying to find the pieces of the map, which have been hidden in very imaginative and difficult-to-access places. And naturally they are pursued by a group of Nazis who want the gold for themselves. There are plenty of twists and turns before everything is solved.

The book is constant action with plenty of over-the-top violence, but there isn’t much of Evanovich’s trademark humour. Also the romance-that-almost-is between Kate and Nick is all but forgotten, with a token scene at the end. But it still manages to be light-hearted and not to take itself too seriously.

My only complaint is the lack of a coherent point of view. It switched between Nick and Kate from paragraph to paragraph with no clear indication to who was guiding the narrative. There were short stretches with a single narrator, usually in a minor character’s POV, but the general impression was vagueness and lack of depth. Character development has never been Evanovich’s strong suit, but here the characters were completely at the mercy of the plot. Nick especially felt like a shadow of his usual conman self. His outrageous heists used to be the heart of the books, but there were none here.

Nevertheless, the book was entertaining and engaging. It’s the best in the series so far, unless you miss the silly humour. I hope Evanovich continues the series with Hamilton. I’d definitely read their books.

I received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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