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Hard Eight (Stephanie Plum Novels) [Mass Market Paperback]

Janet Evanovich
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

In Hard Eight, Stephanie Plum picks up a case a little nastier than anything the wisecracking bounty hunter's seen before. Evelyn Soder and her young daughter have gone on the run, leaving an angry ex-husband who's planning to collect on a child custody bond that will leave Evelyn's grandmother homeless. Stephanie's first clue that there's more to it than that comes in the form of Eddie Abruzzi: a shady local businessman who warns her to butt out of the case. Stephanie doesn't scare easily, but when Abruzzi's henchmen leave a bag of snakes on her doorknob and tarantulas in her car, she has no choice but to call Ranger, the hunky man of mystery to whom she already owes too many favours. Steph knows that Ranger will soon be calling in his debts, but with her ex-fiancé Joe Morelli out of the picture, that should be OK--shouldn't it?

In the meantime, she's got other fugitives to catch, aided by the usual band of misfits, plus a bumbling correspondence-school lawyer who's developed the hots for Stephanie's sister, Valerie. And Steph's in for a surprise from her mother, who proves she's not above wielding a dangerous weapon to save her daughter's life. Author Janet Evanovich has made a bold move in using a soupçon of child jeopardy to pull this series out of the comfortable but formulaic pattern it was threatening to fall into. It's still funny, and yes, some cars are destroyed, but now there's a real edge of darkness under the humour. Fans needn't fear, though: Jersey girl Stephanie is still full of sass and Tastykakes. --Barrie Trinkle, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'Her gifts for screwball dialogue, vivid phase-making and farcical set-pieces are undiminished; so that, far from feeling stale or samey, her fiction still has a captivating comic energy' The Sunday Times (The Sunday Times)

'Slick dialogue, comic suspense, and surreal adventures' Daily Mail (Daily Mail)

'Fans won't be disappointed by the fast pace' Sunday Telegraph (Sunday Telegraph)

'Fans of Janet Evanovich will love this latest sassy instalment, and newcomers should warm to the endearing heroine.' Good Housekeeping (Good Housekeeping)

'Evanovich pretty well guarantees a laugh on every page.' Scotland on Sunday (Scotland on Sunday)

'Razor sharp wit' Sunday Express (Sunday Express)

'Another delectable plum' Bournemouth Daily Echo (Bournemouth Daily Echo)

'Guaranteed to provoke laughs...The usual mix of sassy attitude, fast-pacing and sharp dialogue keep Evanovich at the top of the female crime hit list' Glasgow Herald (Glasgow Herald)

'Witty, fresh, full of surprises and very funny, Janet Evanovich's most explosive thriller yet is Stephanie's best mis-adventure ever...Hysterical stuff.' Saffron Walden Observer (Saffron Walden Observer)

'This series is a breath of fresh air in the crime genre' Daily Telegraph (Australia) (Daily Telegraph (Australia))

'In the comedy-thriller stakes, Evanovich has few equals, and in Hard Eight she is firing on all cylinders, throwing out her trademark one-liners in a positively spendthrift fashion.' Good Book Guide, London Aug 2002 (Good Book Guide, London)

Surreal, wicked, exaggerated, warped, gorgeous and one of the funniest books on the block, Janet Evanovich just keeps getting better and better. (Chichester Observer)

'Keeps up Evanovich's standards for over-the-top situations' Chicago Tribune (Chicago Tribune)

'Evanovich does it again, delivering an even more suspenseful and more outrageous turn with the unstoppable Stephanie' Publishers Weekly (Publishers Weekly)

'The things Evanovich does so well - family angst, sweet eroticism, stealth shopping, that stunning mix of terror and hilarity - are done better than ever here' Booklist (Booklist)

'The girl mercenary is as fresh as ever' People (People)

'Hard Eight is most emphatically not Raymond Chandler but, like his work, a piece of finely crafted prose' San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco Chronicle)

'Just when you think the adventures of Plum and company can't get any funnier or more convoluted, Janet Evanovich proves you wrong nobody does it better!' Romantic Times (Romantic Times)

'That girl has some class' New York Times Book Review (New York Times Book Review)

Captivating comic energy. (The Sunday Times) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Witty, fresh and full of surprises, HARD EIGHT is Janet Evanovich's most explosive thriller yet - and Stephanie's funniest misadventure. The world of Plum has never been wilder. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

From the Author

I ate a lot of Cheez Doodles while I was writing HARD EIGHT. I finished the book and went through on an edit and discovered my heroine Stephanie Plum couldn’t fit into her Levis. Stephanie and I aren’t the same person, of course —it’s more that we tend to have similar problems. We’ve both had a bad hair day that’s lasted about fifteen years. Not that bad hair stops us from pushing on with life’s adventures. For instance, Plum is stalked by a killer rabbit in HARD EIGHT. Her car is blown to smithereens. And there are two sexy guys who want to romance her. Not to mention she’s doing her bounty hunter thing, tracking a guy who once went at her with a chain saw. Just an average day in the world of Plum. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Janet Evanovich now lives in New Hampshire but, like Stephanie Plum, grew up in New Jersey. She has won major crime fiction awards for her Stephanie Plum novels: ONE FOR THE MONEY was presented with the Crime Writers' Association John Creasey Award and the Dilys Award, TWO FOR THE DOUGH won the CWA Last Laugh Award and THREE TO GET DEADLY was awarded the CWA Silver Dagger for 1997. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

ONE
Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time rolling on the ground with men who think a stiffy represents personal growth. The rolling round has nothing to do with my sex life. The rolling around is what happens when a bust goes crapola and there’s a last-ditch effort to hog-tie a big, dumb bad guy possessing a congenitally defective frontal lobe.
My name is Stephanie Plum, and I’m in the fugitive apprehension business . . . bond enforcement, to be exact, working for my cousin Vincent Plum. It wouldn’t be such a bad job except the direct result of bond enforcement is usually incarceration - and fugitives tend to not like this. Go figure. To encourage fugitive cooperation on the way back to the pokey I usually persuade the guys I capture to wear handcuffs and leg shackles. This works pretty good most of the time. And, if done right, cuts back on the rolling-around-on-the-ground stuff.
Unfortunately, today wasn’t most of the time. Martin Paulson, weighing in at 297 pounds and standing five feet, eight inches tall, was arrested for credit card fraud and for being a genuinely obnoxious person. He failed to show for his court appearance last week, and this put Martin on my Most Wanted List. Since Martin is not too bright, he hadn’t been too hard to find. Martin had, in fact, been at home engaged in what he does best . . . stealing merchandise off the Internet. I’d managed to get Martin into cuffs and leg shackles and into my car. I’d even managed to drive Martin to the police station on North Clinton Avenue. Unfortunately, when I attempted to get Martin out of my car he tipped over and was now rolling around on his belly, trussed up like a Christmas goose, unable to right himself.
We were in the parking lot adjacent to the municipal building. The back door leading to the docket lieutenant was less than fifty feet away. I could call for help, but I’d be the brunt of cop humor for days. I could unlock the cuffs or ankle shackles, but I didn’t trust Paulson. He was royally pissed off, red-faced and swearing, making obscene threats and horrifying animal sounds.
I was standing there, watching Paulson struggle, wondering what the hell I was going to do, because anything short of a forklift wasn’t going to get Paulson up off the pavement. And just then, Joe Juniak pulled into the lot. Juniak is a former police chief and is now mayor of Trenton. He’s a bunch of years older than me and about a foot taller. Juniak’s second cousin, Ziggy, is married to my cousin-in-law Gloria Jean. So we’re sort of family . . . in a remote way.
The driver’s side window slid down, and Juniak grinned at me, cutting his eyes to Paulson. ‘Is he yours?’
‘Yep.’
‘He’s illegally parked. His ass is over the white line.’
I toed Paulson, causing him to start rocking again. ‘He’s stuck.’
Juniak got out of his car and hauled Paulson up by his armpits. ‘You don’t mind if I embellish this story when I spread it all over town, do you?’
‘I do mind! Remember, I voted for you,’ I said. ‘And we’re almost related.’
‘Not gonna help you, cutie. Cops live for stuff like this.’
‘You’re not a cop any more.’
‘Once a cop, always a cop.’
Paulson and I watched Juniak get back into his car and drive away.
‘I can’t walk in these things,’ Paulson said, looking down at the shackles. ‘I’m gonna fall over again. I haven’t got a good sense of balance.’
‘Have you ever heard the bounty-hunter slogan, "Bring ‘em back - dead or alive"?’
‘Sure.’
‘Don’t tempt me.’
Actually, bringing someone back dead is a big no-no, but this seemed like a good time to make an empty threat. It was late afternoon. It was spring. And I wanted to get on with my life. Spending another hour coaxing Paulson to walk across the parking lot wasn’t high on my list of favored things to do.
I wanted to be on a beach somewhere with the sun blistering my skin until I looked like a fried pork rind. Okay, truth is at this time of year that might have to be Cancœn, and Cancœn didn’t figure into my budget. Still, the point was, I didn’t want to be here in this stupid parking lot with Paulson.
‘You probably don’t even have a gun,’ Paulson said.
‘Hey, give me a break. I haven’t got all day for this. I have other things to do.’
‘Like what?’
‘None of your business.’
‘Hah! You haven’t got anything better to do.’
I was wearing jeans and a T-shirt and black Caterpillar boots, and I had a real urge to kick him in the back of his leg with my size-seven CAT.
‘Tell me,’ he said.
‘I promised my parents I’d be home for dinner at six.’
Paulson burst out laughing. ‘That’s pathetic.’ The laughter turned into a coughing fit. Paulson leant forward, wobbled from side to side, and fell over. I reached for him, but it was too late. He was back on his belly, doing his beached-whale imitation. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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