Full Blast by Janet Evanovich

Full Blast by Janet Evanovich and Charlotte Hughes

Reviewed by L.D.Y.

Mass market, 344 pages, 2004

Rating: 8/10

Reason for Reading: Getting in my Evanovich fix while I wait to get my hands on Ten Big Ones.

Synopsis: Jamie Swift, editor of a small-town newspaper, discovers that a series of murders being committed seem to be linked to the personals section she’s recently started including in the paper. Helping with her amateur sleuthing is her love interest, Max Holt, a millionaire playboy-type who seems to blow in and out of town far too often to get involved in anything resembling a real relationship. This is the fourth book in the series.

Why you should read this book: More fun fluff to keep you occupied in a mindless kind of way while enjoying the summer. Good for a comfort read, with some action and romance mixed together with generally good results. Joining the cast of characters this time around is Destiny, a psychic that appears in town (accompanied by a redneck spirit who doesn’t know how to cross over) just as the murders are beginning, adding a bit of a twist into the series. Skipping the third book, Full Speed, didn’t seem to matter, but events in the second book, Full Tilt are refered to more frequently – and skipping the first in the series (the characters are just loosely linked), Full House is actually preferable in this case. The casual, conversational tone is good if you just want a bit of entertainment, no thinking required.

Why you should avoid this book: Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series is funnier, with somewhat more fleshed out characters than in the ‘Full’ series, but when it comes down to it, both series are highly predictable. Some of the characters are recycled so terribly from the Plum series that they’re differentiated by name only, like Vera stemming from Stephanie’s grandmother. Despite this being the fourth book in the series, Max and Jamie are written somewhat stiffly at times, and Max’s sister Dee Dee has lost some of her flair. Fun, but lacking the spark the Plum series shows on a more consistent level.

Opening paragraph:

Jamie Swift had been in the newspaper business long enough to realize it was a lot like being a waitress. You had to meet the needs of those you served – the rich, the poor, the in-between, even the crazies who complained no matter what you did. And like a waitress, you had to hope the tips were good. A big tip could make all the difference. A big tip in her case meant headlines, and she was in the business of finding headlines. But they didn’t come easy in a small Southern town where life was, for the most part, uneventful, even predictable. She had to scramble for newsworthy events.

Fabulous quotes:

Damn. She had tried so hard not to fall for him. She had fought her growing attraction to him every step of the way, only to realize that she was beginning to entertain thoughts of a possible future with him.
As she saw it, she had two choices. She could try to get the man out of her system and wonder for the rest of her life if anything would have become of them or she could continue to wait.
Neither option sounded particularly appealing.

Jamie wanted to send Destiny on her way, but the woman appeared too upset to drive. ‘Destiny, we need to get you inside,’ she said. ‘You don’t look so good.’
Max followed them. Jamie noticed he didn’t seem a bit skeptical when Destiny announed that Ronnie was right behind her. Jamie turned and eyed Destiny suspiciously. ‘If you’re so certain this murder is going to take place, why can’t you see the killer?’
Destiny paused and looked at her. ‘I’m blocked, okay? Everything is murky. I don’t know where or when the murder is going to take place, but one thing is for sure-‘ She suddenly sneezed. ‘It’s only a matter of time.’

Also recommended: Chopping Spree by Diane Mott Davidson; Girls Night by Stef Ann Holm.

Also by this author: Motor Mouth; Metro Girl; Hot Stuff; Plum Lovin’; Lean Mean Thirteen; Twelve Sharp; Eleven on Top; Ten Big Ones; To the Nines; Visions of Sugar Plums; Hard Eight; Seven Up; Hot Six; High Five; Four to Score; Three to Get Deadly; Two for the Dough; One for the Money; Full Scoop; Full House; Full Tilt; Full Speed; Full Bloom; How I Write; Back to the Bedroom; The Rocky Road to Romance; Love Overboard.

Author’s website: evanovich.com

Fun tidbit: Try entering on Evanovich’s website (before August 31, 2004) to name the eleventh Stephanie Plum book and get your name published in the acknowledgements.

© Lisa Yanaky 2003-2007

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