Book review: The Scam by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

Thursday, September 17, 2015 Permalink

I came upon this series by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg at number three, but didn’t suffer at all for having missed the first two books… although I am keen to read them at some point. The series is based on a pretty simple— albeit very outlandish—premise, but if you can suspend disbelief then you’re in for a great ride.

The blurb

Nicolas Fox is a charming con man and master thief on the run. Kate O’Hare is the FBI agent who is hot on his trail. At least that’s what everyone thinks. In reality, Fox and O’Hare are secretly working together to bring down super-criminals the law can’t touch. Criminals like brutal casino magnate Evan Trace.

Evan Trace is running a money-laundering operation through his casino in Macau. Some of his best customers are mobsters, dictators, and global terrorists. Nick and Kate will have to go deep undercover as high-stakes gamblers, wagering millions of dollars—and their lives—in an attempt to topple Trace’s empire.

It’s a scam that will take Fox and O’Hare from the Las Vegas strip, to the sun-soaked beaches of Oahu’s North Shore, and into the dark back alleys of Macau. Their only backup—a self-absorbed actor, a Somali pirate, and Kate’s father, and an ex-soldier who believes a rocket launcher is the best way to solve every problem. What could possibly go wrong?

the scam

My thoughts

Nick and Kate hit the ground running in this book and readers are quickly entrenched in the action. I was however a little frustrated by their detour from ‘the scam’ by their sojourn to Hawaii and Kate’s father’s antics. The whole (middle of the jungle / helicopter) scenario seemed too over-the-top even in a series which prides itself on OTT sequences. Of course the whole Hawaii thing becomes useful later… but I didn’t know that at the time.

Fortunately the team’s back on task pretty quickly and the pace continues as they attempt to outplay a player (Trace). Naturally their plans are thwarted but they’ve got a backup and the action continues.

Again the characters are great—Nick and Kate continue to complement each other and their witty repartee is both familiar and comforting. And their eclectic support crew manage to be kinda scary and entertaining at the same time.

Readers hoping Nick and Kate eventually get together will be pleased there’s some (ummm…) movement on that front.

I enjoyed this latest outing and (given how it ended…. dum-dum!) am really looking forward to number 5!

The Scam by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg was released in Australia by Hachette on 15 September 2015.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.

  • Stormi D Johnson
    September 17, 2015

    I came in on this series at book two and enjoyed it. I can’t wait to get to this one, but bogged down on my review list right now..ugh. I got to quit requesting things.

    • Debbish
      September 17, 2015

      I hear ya! Had a night off reading tonight until I catch upon my reviews!

  • Rita @ View From My Home
    September 18, 2015

    Did you ever read the Plum books by her? I read the first twelve or so and then burned out because they got to be too similar for me, but in the beginning it was my first taste of a different type of mystery genre: the slightly snarky, sarcastic, self-deprecating humor type, and I loved it!

    • Debbish
      September 18, 2015

      I still do read the Plum books but missed the last one I think. They’re a bit like Sue Grafton’s Alphabet series for me (and this one too I guess)… good fun. I love the family interaction in them and the fact Stephanie Plum’s like is a bit of a mess!

  • Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library
    September 18, 2015

    I enjoy Evanovich’s writing though I can only take her in small doses. Like Rita I read the first several of her Stephanie Plum series before burning out and enjoyed them. This sounds like a series I would really enjoy as well. I think I saw them in audio so that might be a fun way to get these read.

    • Debbish
      September 18, 2015

      I’m yet to try an audio book Katherine and not sure I want to as I can’t imagine where / how I would listen to one though perhaps I’d be won over!

      These are probably a bit the same as the Plum series: working some big scam / play involving all sorts of salubrious offsiders (with Kate stressing as Nick skirts the boundaries of the law); then something goes wrong; but in the end it all works out.

      I’ve seen books referred to as ‘cozy’ reads of late and this is a bit like that sort of read for me. Formulaic but enjoyable nonetheless.

  • Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    September 25, 2015

    I love Janet! Particularly love the Stephanie Plum series. Haven’t heard of this one. Will put it on my birthday wish list!

    • Debbish
      September 26, 2015

      Do Leanne as these are great fun!

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