on 23 June 2002
The surreal adventures of Stephanie Plum are as gripping as ever. Although this book does not have the romantic cliff-hanger ending of many of the others in the series, the relationships between the zany bounty hunter and the men in her life are as complicated as ever but, to me, it is the interplay between Stephanie and the other characters (Lula, Connie, the Plum family and even the appalling Vinnie) who make the book sparkle. I look forward to the next one! Next year?? Get writing, Janet!
on 4 August 2003
As a dedicated fan of the marvellously funny series, I found Hard Eight a total delight! Obviously, as the books have evolved along with the characters, each story gets better but Hard Eight is a real treat. Stephanie faces homicial animals, a moral (and lust) conflict between Morelli or Ranger, not to mention her ever so slightly disfunctional family. Existing characters are developed, new ones appear and make this book a real gem. Having read To The Nines, I still prefer this one.
Anyone starting the Stephanie Plum series with HARD EIGHT is sure to get hooked. It's Stephanie at her wackiest.
Plum is a disaster-prone bounty hunter working for her cousin Vinnie, a bail bondsman in Trenton, NJ. In this novel, Stephanie volunteers to help out her parents' next door neighbor, Mabel, who's put up her home to guarantee a child custody bond taken out on her granddaughter, Evelyn, who had one imposed on her by the judge in a recent divorce ruling. Now, Evelyn has skipped town with her daughter, Annie, and Mabel will be tossed into the street if the missing child isn't found. But, as becomes evident in all of Stephanie's adventures, there's more to the story than is obvious. Especially after the corpse of Evelyn's aggrieved husband, Steven, is left on the couch of Plum's apartment. Steven had been sawed in half.
The imagination of author Janet Evanovich worked overtime in making HARD EIGHT perhaps one of the craziest to date. It's a nice touch that Stephanie faces off against a virtual menagerie. And she's finally beginning to take her .38, usually kept unloaded in a cookie jar, seriously. And her unfortunate association with fire-bombed vehicles reaches a record high. Notwithstanding these plot devices, however, books one to eight in the series are basically interchangeable. (I'm struggling, perhaps unsuccessfully, to keep from writing the same review over and over.)
Evanovich needs to mature her heroine, who seems to have a slow learning curve. I suggest that Plum finally marry, or at least permanently set up house, with Detective Joe Morelli. It might not be a relationship made in heaven, but it would supply grist for any number of new episodes. And Lula, Stephanie's sometime partner in her Keystone Cop takedowns, is growing tiresome, as is the fact that the author refuses to bring Stephanie's Dad more into the limelight.
Mind you, I'm still finding the Plum novels immensely enjoyable in a mindless sort of way. But even the best of a good thing, like a premium chocolate chip cookie, begins to get stale after awhile. Perhaps I've read too many in too short a time, and should alternate with the likes of WAR AND PEACE and the works of Plato.
on 15 July 2003
This book was disappointing. I always look forward to the latest episode of Stephanie's life so was surprised when I realised I was bored half way through reading it. Previous books were much funnier, I think I only laughed twice. The relationship between Stephanie and Morelli has always been the key to the books, this time there was a feeling that their relationship had been played out and there was nothing more to say.
on 23 June 2002
Hard Eight is a great follow up to the rest of the Stephanie Plum series and will have you in hysterics! Stephanie again finds herself in the middle of a ridiculous situation as she tries to help out her next door neighbour. This time she is stalked by a large rabbit...
Before reading this book I was worried it would be a disappointment. I loved the others so much and couldn't see how Janet Evanovich could produce another original storyline but I was proved wrong. If you haven't read any of the Stephanie Plum novels yet you should definitely do so now!
I eagerly await each new installment of the Stephanie Plum saga and this year was no exception. I finished the book in one day so it rates high as a page turner. I have to say that I thought that it wasn't as good as her earlier books. It may be that the formula is a little tired (or the reader), but I feel that it could do with a bit more pizzaz. I still laughed out loud, just not as much as I usually do. I loved the episode with the geese and I enjoyed the fact that the thriller bit was quite hard edged, getting back to the scariness of books 1-3. I didn't think there was so much romantic tension this time and I quite missed that aspect of the books. Still great but not her best. I am not deterred however, and will still eagerly await 9 this time next year.
on 20 June 2002
After a year of waiting I finally got this book yesterday, so I made all the preparations, snack food, comfy place etc and settled down for a good read.
The only disappointing this about this book was that I was finished it in three hours flat! If you've ever read and enjoyed any of the other Plum series then I can Guarantee you that you'll love this one.
The last book left you wondering whether Ranger was gonna collect his debt, this book ends with an equally intriguing situation.
As with the other Evanovich books, this one is full of laughs (my flatmate was giving me some very strange looks). The Crime novel element is there but Plums hilarious attempts at solving the puzzle combined with her various accomplices make it a very light hearted read.
Thankfully the tension between Stephanie, Ranger and Joe is still in this book, will she finally make a decision?
This is a great book if you want a good laugh or cheering up!
on 19 June 2002
This is the eighth book in the series featuring Stephanie Plum bounty hunter extraordinaire. To really appreciate this book I think that you need to read the rest of the series. Stephanie is as usual on some bad guy`s hit list, she is still bringing in Fta`s and the supporting cast has been enlerged with some amusing extras : Jeanne Ellen Burrows, the lawyer KLoughn (pronounced clown ) Vinnie and Lula also make an appearance In my opinion this book is a little darker than usual but this makes it a better book . We learn some new information about Ranger and his character is made more realistic. If you are a Ranger Babe I predict that you will love this book !!!!!!
An excellent addition to the series that I strongly recomend.
on 12 July 2002
Perhaps my expectations were just too high. But, while entertaining, the eighth Stephanie Plum is just too formulaeic. Her cars get torched, stun guns backfire, her pet hamster continues to be her primary relationship, Gradma Mazur makes off color remarks, Lulu's hair sports ever more colors. Plus Stephanie still can't get her love life straightened out. In her earlier adventures, Stephanie has made me laugh til I cried. This drew a few smiles and left me feeling that I'd really like this remarkable woman to move on in her life! Do read it if you're a fan, but be warned and don't expect too much.
Hard Eight takes the Stephanie Plum series to a whole new dimension. Janet Evanovich steps up the tempo, throwing her hapless, helpless, hopeless heroine into her deepest hole yet, and recharges the batteries on a series running low on juice.
The story departs from the "FTA from Hell" formula, and this time, Stephanie is on the hunt for a runaway mother and daughter as a favor to her mother's neighbor. Unfortunately, her quarry's husband has been keeping some rather nasty company, and before you can say "handcuffs", Stephanie comes under attack by snakes, tarantulas and a giant rabbit with a thing for gasoline and matches.
Bad guy Eddie Abruzzi and his goons are after runaway mom Evelyn in a big way, and with Stephanie on the case, cars blow up, dead bodies keep appearing, and her couch gets a bad case of the "death cooties".
Way out of her depth, Stephanie repeatedly blunders her way into trouble, and some of her just-in-time rescues come from extremely unexpected sources. Joe Morelli of course, is on the case, but so is Ranger, who has an unpaid debt he intends to collect.
Except for the slapstick calamities of Stephanie, the usual gang of idiots, an inept lawyer, and one unlucky FTA, this is the darkest and most violent installment yet, but one of the most enjoyable.