This is, quite obviously, the tenth book in Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. It is a 319 page mystery-comedy novel that my Grandma lent me a while back. I started it last year, and just decided to finish it since she gave me the 18th one, and I realized I was falling behind a bit on the books she has lent me.
Right at the beginning of the novel, Stephanie witnesses a robbery and identifies the robber as the Red Devil, a member of a vicious gang. The entire novel pans out with her trying to find out his real identity, which causes his gang, the Comstock Street Slayers, to pursue her with a vengeance. Stephanie has to battle them with her sister’s impending wedding. She also has to juggle the two men that are interested in her and her safety. They attempt to keep her locked up behind their safe doors, but stubborn Stephanie won’t stand for it.
Originally, I stopped reading after the first 50 pages. The whole Red Devil thing didn’t really interest me, and I was a little bored with reading the Stephanie Plum books –I had just read nine of them in a row! I eventually picked up the book again, if only to finish it quick in 2012 to reach my reading goal. Unfortunately, I failed that goal because I lost interest again at about 150 pages. After another month, I picked it up again and finished the book.
I don’t think it speaks well for a novel when you have to force yourself to finish it. Near the end (pages 200-316), it finally got interesting. That was, until, Evanovich decided to wrap up the whole gang mystery in about the last ten pages. I was extremely disappointed with the ending of the novel. Of course everything was going to work out okay, because Stephanie goes on to more adventures in following books, but I feel Evanovich just gave up in the end of the novel and just decided to basically write, “Stephanie gets kidnapped again, and in even bigger trouble, but the men in her life rescue her and everything turns out fine. The end.” I swear the ending felt almost that short.
One of the redeeming qualities of this book is that Stephanie manages to find her way into Ranger’s apartment while he’s away for a few weeks. To me, Ranger is the most interesting character in the series, and getting even a little perspective into his life was really fun. But then again, the whole indecisive, “I can’t choose between two men so I’ll just keep them both hanging” plan she’s got going is getting just a bit annoying. Since the overall story of Stephanie Plum doesn’t involve needing to read every book, I would recommend skipping this one in the series. I’m going to take another break from it, and just hope that when I give #11 a chance, it will have a more satisfactory ending.