"What we are doing is more like a heist only with a person instead of an object. A successful heist is one that nobody notices until it's over and the thieves are long gone"
If you have ever read the novels by Time Dorsey or the early works by Carl Hiaasen you might like this novel very much. I had hoped that it was going to have the romantic heat and comedic flare as the duet authors of Jennifer Crusie and Bob Meyer did with "Agnes and the Hitman", but in a way "The Heist" was even better.
This was a perfect beach/vacation read; light but not fluffy, funny but not overly slapstick, with a perfect female protagonist. Kate is the perfect blend of hard-edged ex-Navy SEAL and chocoholic with a bit of a crush on Nick. She just cannot admit it to herself yet!
The secondary characters, especially Kate's father Jake, are great foils with none of the overly fluffiness that Janet's secondary characters from her Stephanie Plum series exhibit.
I don't usually say things like this when I review books because most of the books I read would not be apt to appeal to a male audience anyway. However, the way this one was written, with a clever plot and some good butt-kicking will most likely appeal to both sexes equally. This will make this book a good value for couples! LOL!
This seems like this is going to be a very interesting team of writers. I spent some time trying to figure out just who was writing what part, but then quickly gave up as I was pulled into the interesting story of cons and government double-dealing. I did need to stretch my disbelief a little thin in some parts, but I needed to remember that this was entertainment and not deep literature1
The idea of conning the scummy con-men and paying back the people they stole from is just perfect - a sort of modern day Robin Hood at it's loosest and best interpretation!
This was really a fun way to spend a weekend and to get us ready for the next book in this series.
I've read and enjoyed a couple of introductory short stories by this author combo which acquaintainted me with O’Hare and Fox prior to this full-length adventure.
The Shell Game
Pros and Cons
Well how was the full-length novel then? Best book ever?
No, but a steady 4 from 5. Fast-paced with an interesting premise at its heart, infused with humour, which TBH didn't always make me laugh, but wasn't so over the top that it turned me off either.
Our once adversaries are paired together in a kind of FBI-esque black-op, totally deniable operation to recover missing millions which a banker has disappeared with in connivance with his slightly less dodgy lawyer.
O’Hare and Fox recruit a crew of talented misfits to their team to enable them to outwit the lawyer initially, before setting their sights on the elusive banker with his hand on the funds.
Slightly unbelievable and unrealistic, but you know what? I was happy enough to suspend disbelief and get entertained as long as the ride lasted. Never a dull moment and well worth the time invested in it.
Satisfied and amused at the end of it all and ready for a future adventure with this pair of protagonists and this pair of co-authors. Ideal reading to banish some wintry December blues.
4 from 5
The second full length O'Hare and Fox book is The Chase, which has been followed recently by The Job.
Janet Evanovich has written several successful series of books, most notably the ones featuring Stephanie Plum.
Lee Goldberg has written for the small screen and has loads of novels to his name including some which reside on the shelves of the library, mainly featuring Mr Monk.
Borrowed from my local library in Leighton Buzzard.
I will start by saying I have not read Evanovich before; her Stephanie Plum books do not appeal to me as I'm not into that type of light-hearted PI mystery. I was a little wary of starting this new series but must admit the FBI/conman team-up did have my interest and while I don't many of them I do enjoy a "romantic" suspense every now and then as long as it is light on the romance. This book was pure joy to read with Fox and O'Hare's relationship coming off as a classic TV detective partnership with unrequited sexual tension in the air. In fact, as I read I couldn't help but feel as if this *was* a television show, probably because of Goldberg's extensive background in the industry. An unusual set-up to get these two together for a lasting period of time makes for an intriguing and fun read. This is light-hearted mystery, with lots of action, travel to Indonesia and a gathered group of eccentric people make up the crew for heists. Nicolas Fox is the type of man you can't help but love and Kate O'Hare is an awesome kick-butt agent who struggles against her attraction to the conman. I totally enjoyed them both as characters. The type of mystery I don't read very often but it was a pleasure and I can't wait to see what they get up to in their next case.
Kate is a feisty FBI agent and Nicholas is an audacious and charming con-man. Forced to work together to catch a corrupt investment banker, they proceed to assemble a band of clichés (the wheels `man'; the brilliant actor; the props guy, etc.). The action then moves around various exotic locations as they put into action a con designed to get their target back on US soil. Frankly this is not nearly as exciting as the above makes it sound - in fact, the whole thing reads like an instantly forgettable nineteen eighties US tv series. The only reason I haven't given it one star is because it does, at least, contain some of Janet Evanovich's zippy dialogue. If you're a fan, I would suggest you stick to her other series and give this one a miss.
It took me a bit of time to get into the story. The first few chapters were a week-long struggle. But once past Mount Athos it got quicker. More interesting... As I was reading the book I had this image of Kate Beckett of the Castle TV show as our indomitable FBI Agent Kate O'Hare in my head. The images and scenes just seemed to click and fit together themselves. Or maybe I am just reading/watching too many crime fictions. Which is a really sad state of affairs from a self-professed urban fantasy geek, so why am I reading another crime fiction? I think I can attribute that, this time around, as a testament to the authors' story telling quality to lure me into a genre other than my own. Another evidence that this author dou is as good as Nick Fox at sweet-talking people, is the fact that although the story itself is a bit formulaic which had been played a few times too many around the block, but they still managed to pull it off and sell it as well! You have to give the authors kudos for pulling that kind of stunt! However the story ended with a few loose ends untied. I presume that these will be answered in the next book, which is a bit annoying but at the same time I am also looking forward to reading the next book, not only to get more Nick and Kate action but to see how these loose ends played out.
Empirical Evaluation: Story telling quality = 4 Character development = 3.5 Story itself = 3 Ending = 3.5 World building = 4 Cover art = 3 Pace = 3 Plot = 4
3.5/5 I've read all Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels - most recently Notorious Nineteen last year. (FYI - Takedown Twenty is due out in November) When I needed something light and fluffy at the end of a long day. I do remember thinking at the end of Nineteen that the books were becoming carbon copies, with a few names changed every time.
Well, Evanovich has teamed up with Lee Goldberg, (writer and producer for the TV series Monk among others) and penned the first book in a new series. The Heist was a nice surprise - a fresh, funny, light hearted little read that I quite enjoyed.
FBI Agent Kate O'Hare is good at her job - hunting down criminals. But the one that has continually eluded her for the past five years is Nicolas Fox - the ultimate con man. She finally captures him, only to have the tables turned. Fox is free on condition - that he team up with the FBI to catch a corrupt banker hiding on a private island. Traditional methods won't work; Nick's special skill set is needed. Kate now has to work with the man she's spent five years chasing. And together they'll have to pull the ultimate con job.
Kate is a great new character. She's tough, determined and feisty with a soft centre. And of course in trademark Evanovich style, she has an eclectic family backing her up. (Her dad is a personal favourite. Did you know there are sixteen ways to kill with a set of eyebrow tweezers?) Nick is an ingenious schemer who can smooth talk his way in and out of any situation. And of course, the other requisite element is that will they, won't they sense of romantic attraction.
The plot was lots of fun - I've always enjoyed the planning of crime capers. The back up crew was eclectic. I wonder if some of them will be brought back in future books? I liked Willie - a woman with attitude who can drive anything. You can see Goldberg's hand in the book - much of it felt like a light hearted television detective series, somewhat like Castle. That's a good thing.
Those looking for an entertaining light hearted read will find it here. I did notice that the reader for the audio version of The Heist is my all time favourite narrator - Scott Brick. I had a quick listen to it and his inflection and interpretation would make The Heist even more enjoyable. I think I'll listen to the next in this series - The Chase- due out in February 2014.
Evanovich and Goldberg had fun naming their characters - O'Hare and Fox is a sly nod to Aesop's fable of the same name.
I decided to give one of Janet Evanovich's series a try. She has a new series that she co-writes with Lee Goldberg involving an FBI special agent and an international fugitive/con man. They're tossed together by the FBI to hunt down other fugitives using "non-conventional methods." After reading the first installment titled The Heist, I think I'm going to like where this goes.
Kate O'Hare is the FBI agent, and she comes from a military/special forces background. She's no-nonsense, has a strong sense of law and order, and it's her life's mission to capture Nick Fox. Nick is a con man who has pulled off some incredible high-profile scams over the years. He's cocky and daring, and not bad looking to boot. Kate finally captures him, only to have him escape as he's being led to the courtoom. Her world goes completely upside down when she finds out that he escaped with the help of her own agency, and now she's expected to work with him to go after other fugitives that can't be touched by normal law enforcement methods. She hates the fact that she's attracted to Nick and is breaking the law, but she can't deny that she loves the thrill of bringing down high-profile criminals.
In Heist, they go after an investment banker who absconds with half a billion dollars in funds. He's squirrelled away in a small country with no extradition treaties with the US, so it's up to Kate and Nick (and a few team members they've picked up for the con) to find him, bring him back to US soil, AND get their hands on the stolen money. Using a seemingly unlimited slush fund to pull off the con, they pose as a rich (and bored) woman with her manservant cruising around "because they can". Add in pirates, Mexican drug lords, and elaborate props, and you have a recipe that walks the line between success and disaster.
This was a fun read for me. I really liked the reluctant romantic tension between Kate and Nick, and both characters were entertaining. Kate is a complete opposite from the Stephanie Plum character of Evanovich's other series, and I liked the change of pace. This series has a lot of room to explore, and I plan on keeping current on it.