The Heist by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg
Series: Fox and O’Hare, #1
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Despite being a big fan of Lee Goldberg and Janet Evanovich, the prequel to this (Pros and Cons) left me apprehensive about The Heist. But I’m, so, so glad that I went ahead and picked this up.
Kate O’Hare’s a top-notch, driven FBI agent, cream of the crop type, who’s obsessed with bringing down Nick Fox, an equally driven and top-notch con man. After years of trying, she finally gets the cuffs on him, only to find herself thrown into an unwilling alliance with her target in an off-book mission to bring down some of the FBI’s most-wanted and most-difficult to catch. And then the globe-trotting hijinks ensue.
There are a few moments that are pretty heavy-handed, and early-on the humor is a little broader than it needed to be. But on the whole, this is a fun read. I was initially tempted to go over some of the laugh and/or smile generating lines and try to guess which author came up with them, but soon gave that up and just enjoyed them (I’m still pretty sure I could get 70% or better on a test of them).
The temptation would be to focus on Fox, O’Hare and their target. But Evanovich & Goldberg are sure to give the reader a decent amount of supporting characters — providing other people for the protagonists to react to, other perspectives for us to see the protagonists through, as well as people whose possession of skills Fox/O’Hare don’t have keep them from being total super-hero types. They need a team of experts to get them through this mission, and thankfully, the experts here are pretty amusing. I’m not sure I need to see most of them again — I’m not opposed to it, but it would be interesting to have an ever-changing team working with them. Other than O’Hare’s father, anyway — it’s clear he’s sticking around, as he should.
I’ve seen a few reviews on Goodreads compare this to USA’s White Collar — and I get that (tho’ Neal and Peter have a very different chemistry). But this feels more like Remington Steele to me — a tough, no-nonsense female investigator and a suave and debonair con man with an historic pop-culture obsession thrown together in an uneasy partnership with more than enough sexual tension to spare.*
Fun story, fun characters, with good action (and yet no one has a car get blown up!!), and some laughs. Promising start to a new series, I’m coming back for more!
* Only thought of the Remington Steele comparison when I was about halfway through this, and now I’m pretty sure I’m going to be seeing Stephanie Zimbalist and Pierce Brosnan in my mind next time I read one of these.