I was a big fan of Evanovich and Stephanie Plum up until about book 11 in the series. For me, things went flat…the writing, the characters…the storylines. As the numbers progressed, nothing changed. The characters didn’t grow, the sexual tension didn’t intensify, nor was a partner decision ever made by Stephanie, and the story appeared to be written in some standard formula—a big writer no-no. I hadn’t quite given up on the series though, and made it to Tricky Twenty-Two, but now I’m done.
Lack of character growth, rinse and repeat story lines and boring relationships are all still strong cases against this being a good read, but there are other some serious problems in Tricky Twenty-Two. The sentence structure is off, shorter than her normal style. The pace didn’t hit the typical mark for any of the previous books. The emotional aspect of Stephanie is virtually gone in the first half of the book. She’s been dumped yet she really doesn’t care? I find that hard to believe. Lula and Grandma Mazur have always said stupid stuff, but it’s always been at least mildly funny. In this book, it’s bad. I mean, bad. None of it makes sense, with most of it random comments that appear to make an attempt at being funny but simply aren’t.
The inconsistencies frustrated me. Lula meets Hal for the first time, but if my memory serves me right (it usually does) she’s already gone out with him. If I’m wrong on this, please let me know. I thought Ranger worked on the 5th floor of his building, not the third. When I Googled to see if I was right, I learned I’m not the only one that noticed the mistake.
Evanovich has phoned in the last 11 Stephanie novels, but this one doesn’t even appear to have that courtesy. Instead, it seems as though someone else wrote it. Again, I Googled that and found I’m not the only one that thinks that too.
Purchase Tricky Twenty-Two on Amazon.
BLURB: #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Something big is brewing in Trenton, N.J., and it could blow at any minute.
Stephanie Plum might not be the world’s greatest bounty hunter, but she knows when she’s being played. Ken Globovic (aka Gobbles), hailed as the Supreme Exalted Zookeeper of the animal house known as Zeta fraternity, has been arrested for beating up the dean of students at Kiltman College. Gobbles has missed his court date and gone into hiding. People have seen him on campus, but no one will talk. Things just aren’t adding up, and Stephanie can’t shake the feeling that something funny is going on at the college—and it’s not just Zeta fraternity pranks.
As much as people love Gobbles, they hate Doug Linken. When Linken is gunned down in his backyard it’s good riddance, and the list of possible murder suspects is long. The only people who care about finding Linken’s killer are Trenton cop Joe Morelli, who has been assigned the case, security expert Ranger, who was hired to protect Linken, and Stephanie, who has her eye on a cash prize and hopefully has some tricks up her sleeve.