Hardcore Twenty-Four (Stephanie Plum, #24)by Published 14 Nov 2017
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Janet Evanovich’s #1 New York Times bestselling sensation Stephanie Plum returns in her twenty-fourth thriller as mutilated corpses litter the streets of New Jersey...
Trouble comes in bunches for Stephanie Plum. First, professional grave robber and semi-professional loon, Simon Diggery, won’t let her take him in until she agrees to care for his boa constrictor, Ethel. Stephanie’s main qualification for babysitting an extremely large snake is that she owns a stun gun—whether that’s for use on the wandering serpent or the petrified neighbors remains to be seen.
Events take a dark turn when headless bodies start appearing across town. At first, it’s just corpses from a funeral home and the morgue that have had the heads removed. But when a homeless man is murdered and dumped behind a church Stephanie knows that she’s the only one with a prayer of catching this killer.
If all that’s not enough, Diesel’s back in town. The 6-foot-tall, blonde-haired hunk is a man who accepts no limits—that includes locked doors, closed windows and underwear. Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli isn’t pleased at this unexpected arrival nor is Ranger, the high-powered security consultant who has his own plans for Stephanie.
As usual Jersey’s favorite bounty hunter is stuck in the middle with more questions than answers. What’s the deal with Grandma Mazur’s latest online paramour? Who is behind the startling epidemic of mutilated corpses? And is the enigmatic Diesel’s sudden appearance a coincidence or the cause of recent deadly events?
"Hardcore Twenty-Four (Stephanie Plum, #24)" Reviews
After Reading: Zombies. Are you kidding me???? About five years too late on that trend (in my opinion) and five times too ridiculous. Once again... no character development, no growth, same old same old, ping pong between Ranger and Morelli and add a Diesel just for kicks. It has been so long since his last appearance I remember nothing about him and I don't read the Wicked series, so it just seemed ridiculous to me.
At least she only totaled two cars this time.
Humor me here Evanovich... make 25 the last one and make your fan base not want to roll their eyes any harder.
Before Reading:This will be a library book for me.
After book 22 I was super excited some progression was made on the Morelli/Ranger front but it was all erased in book 23. Just make some sort of decision please! No more ping pong. Heck introduce a new character as a love interest. Something! I just don't want another book of cars blowing up, Stephanie getting kidnapped but saving the day in the last two chapters, and all the other repeating eccentricities that are so overplayed they're no longer eccentric.
Maybe book 25 will be it? If not I may be calling it quits even with the library copies.
I have a confession to make-- I do not care who Stephanie will choose for her forever love interest, or, I have to admit, if she ever chooses.
That being said I want to state the reason why I picked this book. For every book I read there are probably 10+ books that I desperately want to read but put on the side of a very, very long wish list because I see something in the description that I need or want at the moment. With the Stephanie Plum books the reason is laughter. I have never read a Stephanie Plum story that I didn't have at least one belly aching laugh out loud moment, sometimes even in embarrassing places with everyone that is there with me looking at me strangely.
The story is ridiculous, something that an extremely ordinary person like me (or even most people) never would go through. The characters are quirky, different but exceedingly human and after reading one of these in this series I enjoy most of them. I have read in critics that some find Stephanie too immature and she doesn't grow enough from one book to another. I do not quite see it that way. Yes she has a certain immaturity, but she doggedly goes in situations that she is uncertain of the out come and keeps trying until she succeeds, or asking for help when she knows it is too much for her.
Hardcore 24 had a number of belly aching laughs for me ( and yes, a number of them were in embarrassing places). Janet Evanovich had absolutey no problem pulling me in her book and keeping me there until the end.
"It's filled with raccoons. They were eating cereal and stuff and rearranging the furniture."
These books are like a movie-snack: popcorn, candy, you get the idea. I laugh and smile every time that I read one.
In this 24th book in the 'Stephanie Plum' series, the Trenton, New Jersey bounty hunter becomes the target of zombies. The book can be read as a standalone.
When grave robber Simon Diggery doesn't show up for his court date, bounty hunter Stephanie Plum has to track him down. Stephanie finds Simon taking refuge in a tree with his huge boa constrictor Ethel.
Simon explains that he was digging up a grave and accidently opened a portal for zombies, who streamed through screaming "brains" and tried to catch him.
Simon - fearing the zombies - says he'll let Stephanie take him to jail IF the bounty hunter will look after Ethel. Stephanie reluctantly agrees, which leads to various comic scenes, including Stephanie feeding the serpent hot dogs, barbecue chickens, and donuts.
Having dispensed with Diggery, Stephanie - accompanied by her zany, zaftig friend Lula - tries to track down other bail skips. These include Zero Slick, a nutty activist who blew up a building while he was cooking meth; and Edward Koot, who shot up a coffeehouse because his cup wasn't full enough.
As Stephanie goes about her bounty hunter business she wrecks several cars (one by exploding a groundhog); drops in for meals at her parents' house; and dilly-dallies with the men in her life: police detective Joe Morelli (her sexy Italian boyfriend); Ranger (a sexy security expert of Cuban heritage); and Diesel (a sexy blonde hunk with a mysterious job).
Meanwhile, dead bodies - both corpses in funeral homes and murder victims - are having their heads snatched. This head-pillaging seems to be the work of zombies who are collecting brains, and a couple of the zombies focus on Stephanie when she sideswipes an 'undead' with her car.
Thoroughly frightened, Stephanie and Lula try to elude the zombies, who smell like 'carnations and outhouse.' Lula thinks about creating bizarre (and horrible) scents to ward off the zombies, but they're too stinky to wear. There's plenty of action before the zombie situation is resolved, which is dangerous but hilarious.
As always, feisty, gun-toting Grandma Mazur is on hand. Grandma likes to go to funeral parlor visitations (for the corpses and the cookies), and is mighty annoyed that the headless bodies have closed coffins. Grandma also meets a man online (whose picture looks EXACTLY like the actor George Hamilton), and Granny is determined to meet the lothario in person - which drives Stephanie's mom bananas.
For pet fun, Morelli's dog Bob is on hand, as is Stephanie's hamster Rex - who has a sleepover at Ranger's apartment - along with Stephanie (uh-oh!).
Some of the later books in this series have been disappointing, but this is a good one. It's fun AND au courant, since it features designer drugs; drones; and online catfishing. I'd recommend the book to readers of cozy mysteries, especially fans of Stephanie Plum.
You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....
Oh, the usual Stephanie Plum book. Half the book is her and Lula eating enough junk food to feed a college frat house and the other half is her chasing after some dumbass criminals and totaling cars - often Ranger's cars...
“Bad news,” I said. “It’s about your Lexus.”
“One of my patrol cars drove by it an hour ago and said it was being circled by vultures.”
“There was an unfortunate incident with a dead groundhog.”
“I didn’t see that one coming,” Ranger said. “How bad is it?”
“There are vultures circling. How bad do you think it is?”
“You’re laughing again, aren’t you?” I asked him.
“Do I need to send someone in a hazmat suit?”
“Do you need another car? I’m running a tab.”
Now, I can start doing my usual bitching about how Stephanie is cheating on Morelli with Ranger, which she totally is, and how we would all freak out and not read the series if Morelli had a side-chick, but what's the point? I'll read the next one anyway. I'm like the old junkie who's chasing that first high... Aww, the good old days. I remember a time when I thought Stephanie might actually pick one of the guys. I was so young and naive.
Now, I'm like this shark.