A second round of unlikely larceny for FBI agent Kate O’Hare and her prey and partner, nonpareil con man Nicolas Fox (The Heist, 2013).
Under pressure from its creditors in Beijing, the White House has agreed to return a Qing dynasty statue of a bronze rooster to the Imperial Gardens, from which French and British forces carried it off 150 years ago. The only problem is that the rooster, currently housed in the Smithsonian, is a fake; someone stole the real rooster years ago and replaced it with a counterfeit. Kate and Nick, charged with finding the real rooster and switching it back before billionaire businessman Stanley Fu arrives to take it back home, waste no time in getting down to work. They fly to Scotland to bribe Nick’s mentor, retired thief Duff MacTaggert, to identify the thief and then assemble a team to go after Carter Grove, the former White House chief of staff Duff fingers. But Grove, an old political hand who’s now CEO of the mercenary services organization BlackRhino, is no ordinary target, and the pair has their work cut out for them. Even after they’ve stolen the bronze bird, further complications arise. Fu has arrived stateside a few days ahead of schedule and packed the phony rooster in the safe aboard his private luxury jet. Grove, missing the rooster, sends glamorous assassin Alexis Poulet after the thieves. Worst of all, their success has opened Nick’s eyes to an irresistible temptation to go up against Grove once more.
Less funny than Evanovich’s knockabout Stephanie Plum adventures but less mannered and annoying too: a comfy seriocomic caper just right for beach reading while you wait for the inevitable summer movie.