Trenton’s most renowned bounty hunter (Eleven on Top, 2005, etc.) becomes the prey of a delusional stalker.
Stephanie Plum, eternally unable to decide between the two men in her life, has long temporized by accepting the embraces of both. Joe Morelli, the high-school-heartthrob-turned-cop, has never been happy about this arrangement. But bounty hunter Ranger Manoso has eagerly accepted the challenge of muscling in on Morelli’s turf. Now the delicate balance between wild and wilder romance is upset by the sudden appearance of one Carmen Manoso, who identifies herself as Ranger’s wife and warns Stephanie off. Not to worry: She’s soon found shot dead in her SUV outside the bond enforcement agency where Stephanie works. Meantime, however, there’s been even more disturbing news: a report that Ranger has kidnapped his ten-year-old daughter from her mother and stepfather in Florida. Unlike Carmen’s revelation, this story is neither true nor toothless. The kidnapper is a demented wannabe who wants Ranger’s job, his kid and, of course, his woman. That would be Stephanie, who reacts with a predictable but highly entertaining blend of outrage, humor and proactive tactics of her own.
Evanovich wisely soft-pedals the mystery, which has never been her strong suit, and finds exactly the right tone of danger-laden farce for Stephanie’s duel with the false Ranger, spicing it with a million one-liners, aspiring bond enforcers and hapless criminals on the run.