“One for the Money” by Janet Evanovich gives me hope. Not for the youth of America, or for the intelligence of our populace, but for my writing career. If this book can get published, as well as to #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list, then anything I write would surely do well.
It’s a decent book. There are no glaring plot-holes or grammatical errors. It’s an easy read, but not very compelling, so I had no problem setting it down when it was time to do other things; it’s the perfect book to take to the doctor’s office, or mechanic.
It’s about a young woman, Stephanie Plum, who loses her job, and can’t find another one. She gets so desperate, she goes to get a job from her cousin Vinnie, a bail bondsman. She has to go out and collect people who have skipped out on their bail, and get them into police custody so she can get paid. She has to go after a guy she slept with as a teenager, who is suspected of murder. Of course, there’s some romance involved, but not a disgusting amount, and she doesn’t get all loopy-headed about the guy.
For most of the book Stephanie wanders around, not really knowing what she’s doing, or what’s going on. There are a couple big red flags that should have told her, “Maybe a murder investigation isn’t for you”. In the last 20 or 30 pages everything comes out, but by then everything is so compacted together it’s mostly one character saying, “This is what happened”, and I’m reading it thinking, “Wait, what? Why would that guy do that? But I thought he…oh the book’s over”.
I had actually acquired this three book set, “One for the Money”, “Two for the Dough”, “Three to get Deadly”, and after reading the first one, I feel no need to read the other two, much less anything else by Janet Evanovich. On the Clever Chick Scale this gets a “It’s an airport book”. Translation: It’s the kind of thing people buy at the last second when they’re about to get on a plane and realize they need something to read; it’s innocuous, inoffensive, and readable. That’s why Janet’s name is so huge on the cover; so you notice it across the terminal. Same goes for Dean Koontz.