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Semiretired mob guy Eddie DeCooch is caught trafficking contraband cigarettes through Trenton, New Jersey. When DeCooch fails to show for a court appearance, bond enforcement agent Stephanie Plum is assigned the task of finding him and dragging his decrepit ass back to jail. Not such an easy job, it turns out, since DeCooch has learned a lot of tricks over the years and isn't afraid to use his gun. He's already shot Loretta Ricci, an innocent old lady, and left her for worm food in his shed. He wouldn't mind shooting Stephanie next.
Likeable losers (and Steph's former high school classmates) Walter "MoonMan" Dunphy and Dougie "The Dealer" Kruper have inadvertently become involved with DeCooch. They've gotten sucked into an operation that is much more than simple cigarette smuggling and holds risks far greater than anyone could have imagined.
When Dougie disappears, Steph goes into search mode. When Mooner disappears, she calls in the heavy artillery and asks master bounty hunter Ranger for help. Ranger's price for the job? One night with Stephanie, dusk to dawn. Not information she's want to share with her sometime live-in roommate, vice cop Joe Morelli,
A typical dilemma in the world of Plum.
And on the homefront, Stephanie's "perfect" sister, Valerie, has decided to move back to Trenton, bringing her two kids from hell with her. Grandma Mazur is asking questions about being a lesbian, and Bob, the bulimic dog, is eating everything in sight--including the furniture.
Mud wrestling, motorcycles, fast cars, fast food, and fast men. It's Seven Up. Absolutely Janet Evanovich at her very best.
It's always a treat to go out on a case with Stephanie Plum, the sassy, adventurous, but not always successful Trenton, N.J., bounty hunter. In her seventh outing (after 2000's Hot Six), Stephanie's employer, her bailbondsman cousin, Vinnie, gives her an easy job: pick up vicious senior citizen Eddie DeChooch, who is constantly sighted racing around Trenton in a borrowed white Cadillac, but whom no one can grab. While in Virginia picking up the cigarettes he's charged with smuggling into New Jersey, he stole the heart from the recently dead body of his enemy, Louis DeStephano. The heart's whereabouts define the darkly hilarious trajectory of the plot. The usual characters inhabit the novel: Steph's former high school buddies, the zonked-out Dougie and Mooner; and Evanovich's best creation, feisty Grandma Mazur. Stephanie's much-resented sister Valerie returns from California with her two daughters, her "perfect" marriage ended, and moves in with her parents, to their dismay. Steph and her lover Joe Morelli almost set a wedding date, but again she avoids commitment, still attracted to fellow bounty hunter Ranger. At times the plot meanders: Stephanie and pal Lula spend too much time running from house to house in the inbred Burg neighborhood, while two semi-retired crooks looking for DeChooch keep breaking into her apartment for little reason. All in all this is another zesty Evanovich read, but one that doesn't quite hit the high marks of her last two.