Genre: Fiction, Mystery/Crime
Release Date: 25/01/2012
Original Release Date: 23/06/1994
The first book in the series.
This Book Belongs to my mum.
Stephanie Plum is down on her luck. She's lost her job at New Jersey's most down-market lingerie store, her car's on the brink of repossession, and her apartment is fast becoming furniture-free.
Enter Cousin Vinnie, a low-life who runs a bail-bond company. If Stephanie can bring in vice cop turned outlaw Joe Morelli, she stands to pick up $10,000. But tracking down a cop wanted for murder isn't easy. And suddenly Stephanie has another problem on her hands.
Benito Ramirez, a prize-fighter with more menace than mentality, wants her to be his friend – and he won't take no for an answer. Soon Stephanie begins to know exactly what it feels like to be pursued – and the best person to protect her just happens to be on the run...
I feel like I am the last person to read this book. I know that's not true, but as far as bookworms are concerned I am definitely pretty late with this one. I usually don't read anything from the Crime genre, because I feel like there is enough of that in the world already and so I prefer the world of fiction to be filled with butterflies and lollipops. I can't remember if Mum bought this or if I bought it for her, but I did end up getting her the DVD of the movie and we both watched it before either of us even touched the book. Mum read it first and said it was "better than the movie" and so I picked it up and here I am.
I took a real long time to read this. It wasn't bad or boring at all, it was just that I had already seen the movie and I was shopping a lot on the Internet and thinking a lot about my nail art designs. You know how it is... I am hoping the sequel will be a quick read in comparison, because there is no movie for the second book...
I really liked the writing style and the main character. The story is told in first person from Stephanie Plum's perspective and it's not very often that a writer can completely pull this off without making the character seem a little self-possessed and whiny. Stephanie Plum is a character that I think a lot of women can relate to or would be inspired by. She's a strong woman because she challenges herself and isn't afraid to be different. She accepts her weaknesses and mistakes, but she doesn't dwell on them or cower easily. Her stubbornness, sarcasm and matter-of-fact narrating is refreshing and humorous enough to balance out the dark and creepy "Crime Fiction" vibe.
This story is as much about finding out what really happened as it is about getting the $10 000 for turning Morelli in and learning how to be a successful bounty hunter. We also get a little look at the setting Stephanie grew up in and get to know her family. I thought this book was really interesting because it was about a bounty hunter rather than a police officer or a detective (not that some of the minor characters in this book didn't have these job titles). This is an aspect of American Law/ Criminal Justice System that you don't tend to see a lot of in movies and TV shows...
Because Stephanie has history with Morelli there's a lot of debate about whether or not she's after him for just the money or if she wants to get revenge. This makes for an interesting relationship between the two characters. I think the title choice was really smart because Stephanie is the only character in the book who is confident that it's just for the money. I also like that the book number is in the title, this way there are no Goodreads look-ups to figure out what sequel comes next when I purchase more books for the series.
Overall, I give this book 4.5/5 stars. It was a great book and I am going to read the sequel straight away, but Crime is not my genre and I feel like I can't give it 5 stars because of the creepy factor (even though I understand this is probably necessary for a Crime Novel). As far as the movie vs the book goes, I agree that the book is better (though I have no problems what so ever with the casting or the acting in the movie). Ideally I would have preferred to have read the book first and then written a book vs movie post after watching the movie... I recommend this to anyone who is right into crime shows on TV.
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