Full Blast by Janet Evanovich

FULL BLAST 2004 Janet Evanovich with Charlotte Hughes

In this follow-up to the previous Full story, Jamie Swift is missing Max Holt, who hasn’t called in three weeks. She is trying to protect her heart from falling in love with him because he has made it clear his first wife turned him off to marriage – possibly forever. Jamie has her hands full with her hometown of Beaumont where the heat has everyone acting strange, even Vera, her surrogate mother and assistant editor. Psychic Destiny, who can see ghost, arrives looking for a job as a love columnist, and Jamie’s Personals section is linked to a murder. Jamie calls Max and they try to solve the murder before Destiny’s prediction of another death comes true.

This book is a blend of Evanovich’s crazy characters, hot for each other couples, and murder. It reminds me of J.D. Robb’s Eve and Roarke, especially since Max is rich and into high technology. The crimes are more light-hearted but the ending builds to a life-threatening situation that keeps the pages turning. This “Full” series is one of Evanovich’s best efforts.

Dark in Death by J.D. Robb

The best book about fan obsession, in my opinion, is Stephen King’s “Misery,” but J.D. Robb takes a fan’s obsession to a new level when she doesn’t like the eighth book in a series and decides to copycat each crime, ending with the writer’s death. Eve is determined to stop her and uses all her friends and Roarke’s library to beat the killer to the next victim.

Eve is all about standing for the victim and the cop being the hero, much like the written novels being copied, but the killer wants to be the hero and the psychology of that behavior could have been interesting. Robb touches on it, but writes the killer off as crazy. But was she? The killer’s dream of becoming a writer like her idol was crushed. When dreams die, how does that impact the dreamer? This book could give other writers ideas about taking on the psychology of murder. Why do people kill if not for money, jealousy, or revenge?

Secrets in Death by J.D. Robb

Eve is having lunch with Dr. DeWinter at one of Roarke’s fancy Du Vin bars when gossip writer Larinda Mars staggers upstairs and into Eve’s arms, dead. Mars had the scoop on everyone and was blackmailing the vulnerable for money or information. Eve feels for the victims more than Mars but does her duty, especially when an innocent is murdered to cover up the how of the crime.

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This story seemed sluggish because there were so many interviews and paperwork. It was probably closer to the truth of investigations than most police stories. I had an idea who the villain was early on, but Eve had to wait until he killed again to nail him. Peabody provided some comic relief, and a lot of minor characters made guest appearances. A few personal secrets were revealed, but anyone who has read the series already knew about them.

With a series with this many books, some are not going to interest the reader as much as others. This is one I don’t  plan on reading again. I think the series needs jump started with Eve and Roarke having a baby. What do you think?