Friday, April 18, 2014

The Chase: A Novel (Fox and O'Hare), by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

 From the publisher:

Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg, bestselling authors of The Heist, return in this action-packed, exciting adventure featuring master con artist Nicolas Fox and die-hard FBI agent Kate O’Hare. And this time around, things go from hot to nuclear when government secrets are on the line.

Internationally renowned thief and con artist Nicolas Fox is famous for running elaborate and daring scams. His greatest con of all: convincing the FBI to team him up with the only person who has ever caught him, and the only woman to ever capture his attention, Special Agent Kate O’Hare. Together they’ll go undercover to swindle and catch the world’s most wanted—and untouchable—criminals.

Their newest target is Carter Grove, a former White House chief of staff and the ruthless leader of a private security agency. Grove has stolen a rare Chinese artifact from the Smithsonian, a crime that will torpedo U.S. relations with China if it ever becomes public. Nick and Kate must work under the radar—and against the clock—to devise a plan to steal the piece back. Confronting Grove’s elite assassins, Nick and Kate rely on the skills of their ragtag crew, including a flamboyant actor, a Geek Squad techie, and a band of AARP-card-carrying mercenaries led by none other than Kate’s dad.

A daring heist and a deadly chase lead Nick and Kate from Washington, D.C., to Shanghai, from the highlands of Scotland to the underbelly of Montreal. But it’ll take more than death threats, trained henchmen, sleepless nights, and the fate of a dynasty’s priceless heirloom to outsmart Fox and O’Hare.

My Review:

This book has been pushed aside in favor of other books for quite some time. I'm not sure why I hadn't read it yet; I guess I just wasn't in the mood for a crime novel. I enjoyed reading this book and wish that I would have read it sooner!

I like crime novels and FBI and forensic stuff. In fact, one of my favorite TV shows is White Collar... that's also exactly where this book went wrong. Nick Fox might as well be renamed Neil Caffrey. World renowned art thief who spouts historical facts about pieces of art work? Neil Caffrey. A character who has a friend with access to all sorts of gadgets and gizmos to get through security, break into things, etc... Neil Caffrey. Taken out of prison by the same FBI agent who put him there? The only one who knew him well enough to catch him, and liked him well enough to enlist his help and friendship? Neil Caffrey. This book is completely unoriginal. You could swap Kate out and make her male and she'd be Peter Burke. Instead of having her father to help her out every now and then, it would just be Elizabeth, Peter's wife. Instead of the quirky old guy who owns a haberdashery, it might as well be Mozzie. And replace Nick with Neil... Then what do you have? White Collar.

The characters are White Collar characters, renamed and regendered.

The plot is something straight out of an episode of White Collar, just in a different setting, with a different piece of art work.

This would have been a great book if there would have been anything about it that was original. I enjoyed reading the book, but throughout the entire book all I could think was "I'm reading an episode of White Collar."

The plot also had a few holes in it, but it's possible that there were things explained in the first book of the series that I would have known had I read it. I felt like it was never really explained how or why Kate and Nick are working together secretly... this was a fact that was hidden from the FBI, yet it was an FBI operation. I am still confused about how Nick landed this sweet deal, what connection there is to the FBI, other than the fact that his handler is an FBI agent.

I think the characters were probably well-developed, but it could have just been me assigning everything I know about Neil Caffrey to Nicholas Fox.

Plagiarism is defined by the google dictionary as "the practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own." By that definition, I feel like this entire book was plagiarized. It may have been a good book, but if it's not original, then it's worthless.

*Disclaimer* I received a free copy of this book from Random House via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
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