Book Review: Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich

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Title: Takedown Twenty
Author: Janet Evanovich
Published:19 November 2013
Publisher:  Headline Review
Twitter: @janetevanovich


Stephanie Plum has her sights set on catching a notorious mob boss. If she doesn’t take him down, he may take her out.

New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum knows better than to mess with family. But when powerful mobster Salvatore “Uncle Sunny” Sunucchi goes on the lam in Trenton, it’s up to Stephanie to find him. Uncle Sunny is charged with murder for running over a guy (twice), and nobody wants to turn him in – not his poker buddies, not his bimbo girlfriend, not his two right-hand men, Shorty and Moe. Even Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, has skin in the game, because – just Stephanie’s luck – the godfather is his actual godfather. And while Morelli understands that the law is the law, his old-world grandmother, Bella, is doing everything she can to throw Stephanie off the trail.

It’s not just Uncle Sunny giving Stephanie the run-around. Security specialist Ranger needs her help to solve the bizarre death of a top client’s mother, a woman who happened to play bingo with Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur. Before Stephanie knows it, she’s working side by side with Ranger and Grandma at the senior centre, trying to catch a killer on the loose – and the bingo balls are not rolling in their favour. 

With bullet holes in her car, henchmen on her tail, and a giraffe named Kevin running wild in the streets of Trenton, Stephanie will have to up her game for the ultimate takedown.

I’m a big fan of Janet Evanovich and have been for about 10 years, when I first read one of the ‘Plum’ series. Some of the books in the series are better than others, however they always make me laugh more than most other books that I have read.
This book is number 20 in the ‘Plum’ series and features bounty hunter Stephanie Plum and the regular cast members – her partner in crime and ex-hooker Lula, wrinkly Grandma Mazur, mysteriously sexy Ranger and hot cop, Joe Morelli – along with an escaped giraffe running wild in Trenton.
I’ve seen a number of reviews, both good and bad, and I have to say that this was not my favourite book in the series. In fact, it is probably one of the weaker ones. The book was somewhat predictable with Stephanie’s car problems and klutzy nature, her inability to decide between Ranger and Morelli, Lula’s unique dress sense, Grandma Mazur’s obsession with dead bodies etc… basically, the books are quite similar just with a different murder scenario and a different killer. Don’t get me wrong, I still found a few laughs in this book and I like some of the predictability of the characters, however the book feels rushed, as though written to meet a deadline rather than with a good plot in mind. It feels almost like a ‘filler’ in the series rather than a stand-out good story.
The main draw for me about the book is the humour and the characters. The story is designed to be silly and fun. There is no pretence to great literature, just laughs and escapism. Unfortunately, there was not quite enough of those moments to make me really enjoy this book.
I thought the earlier books in the series were much better and, being a huge Plum fan, I’m sorry to say that maybe it is time for the author to bring the series to a conclusion or, possibly, to wait longer between the books until some new inspiration hits.
Saying that, I am still a huge Janet Evanovich fan and I’m looking forward to giving her new series a try.
Rating: 2 out of 5.
The book is released in electronic format at £3.99 or paperback edition at £6.39 on Amazon UK.

About the Author

Image of Janet Evanovich 

No. 1 bestselling author Janet Evanovich is the recipient of the Crime Writers’ Association’s John Creasey Memorial, Last Laugh and Silver Dagger awards, as well as the Left Coast Crime’s Lefty award, and is the two-time recipient of the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association’s Dilys award.
She lives in New Hampshire, where she is at work on her next Stephanie Plum adventure.

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich

  1. oh! That bad? People I know are saying that Evanovich's writing is amazing. I have one book (#1 from the Plum series) but still laying on TBR pile… 20 books in a series is a huge amount though.@Vanilla Reads


  2. Unfortunately it just didn't work for me. I'm a big Evanovich fan and I love the earlier books, particularly #6 (I think it was called Hot Six) but the later books just don't have quite the same impact. I would definitely recommend the earlier ones though, they are silly, fun and easy-reading with so many laugh out loud moments. They're some of the few books that I can read over and over again.


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