Hard Eight: A Stephanie Plum Novel Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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In Hard Eight, Stephanie Plum picks up a case a little nastier than anything the wisecracking bounty hunter's seen before. Evelyn Soder and her young daughter have gone on the run, leaving an angry ex-husband who's planning to collect on a child custody bond that will leave Evelyn's grandmother homeless. Stephanie's first clue that there's more to it than that comes in the form of Eddie Abruzzi, a shady local businessman who warns her to butt out of the case. Stephanie doesn't scare easily, but when Abruzzi's henchmen leave a bag of snakes on her doorknob and tarantulas in her car, she has no choice but to call Ranger, the hunky man of mystery whom she already owes too many favors. Steph knows that Ranger will soon be calling in his marker, but with her ex- fiancé Joe Morelli out of the picture, that should be OK--shouldn't it? In the meantime, she's got other fugitives to catch, aided by the usual band of misfits, plus a bumbling correspondence-school lawyer who's developed the hots for Stephanie's sister, Valerie. And Steph's in for a surprise from her mother, who proves she's not above wielding a dangerous weapon to save her daughter's life.
Author Janet Evanovich has made a bold move in using a soupçon of child jeopardy to pull this series out of the comfortable but formulaic pattern it was threatening to fall into. It's still funny, and yes, some cars are destroyed, but now there's a real edge of darkness under the humor. Fans needn't fear, though: Jersey girl Stephanie is still full of sass and Tastykakes. --Barrie Trinkle --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
The menace is more personal for Trenton's favorite bounty hunter and the energy more manic in this latest outing than in last year's Seven Up. As a favor to her mother's next-door neighbor, Mabel Markowitz, Stephanie agrees to check up on the lady's granddaughter, Evelyn Soder, who has suddenly taken off with her little girl, Annie, leaving behind a child custody bond against Mabel's house. The son-in-law is a bad guy who lost his bar to Eddie Abruzzi, a very nasty character who owns evelyn's building. Soon someone in a bunny suit is trailing Stephanie, her car is blown up, her apartment infiltrated and a dead body appears on her couch. She calls in her associate, Ranger, the gorgeous and mysterious Cuban bond agent, while her sometime boyfriend, Morelli the cop, also gets on the case - a real doozy for which she's not getting paid. On the home front, ever-raunchy Grandma Mazur is eager to assist. Sister Valerie and kids have moved back in as well, so there's nowhere but the couch for Stephanie and one bathroom for all. Valerie is inexplicably attracted to Evelyn's goofy lawyer, who's been tagging along with Stephanie and the ever-outrageous file clerk and ex-hooker Lula, further complicating this twisted case. Life in the Burg takes on a sinister turn with serious results. Evanovich does it again, delivering an even more suspenseful and more outrageous turn with the unstoppable Stephanie, heroine of all those who have to live on peanut butter until the next check comes through. Waiting for nine will be tough.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Oh my God - this book sucks!!! I'm having a horrible time trying to get through it and I wouldn't even bother but I'm told there were two bad ones and then they go back to being good. They must have meant #7 (not great) and #8 (deserves to be burnt).
Facts were incorrect in this one (eg. Stephanie receives 15% of bond rather than 10% like in the other books), some names were different (mud wrestler's name has changed to just Maggie), and the characters just weren't likeable anymore.
I have a very hard time believing that it was the same author for this book as the other ones. It just doesn't read at all the way the other ones did.
Fingers crossed that I can make it to the end of this one and that nine is back to the quality I received from the first six.
Plum is a disaster-prone bounty hunter working for her cousin Vinnie, a bail bondsman in Trenton, NJ. In this novel, Stephanie volunteers to help out her parents' next door neighbor, Mabel, who's put up her home to guarantee a child custody bond taken out on her granddaughter, Evelyn, who had one imposed on her by the judge in a recent divorce ruling. Now, Evelyn has skipped town with her daughter, Annie, and Mabel will be tossed into the street if the missing child isn't found. But, as becomes evident in all of Stephanie's adventures, there's more to the story than is obvious. Especially after the corpse of Evelyn's aggrieved husband, Steven, is left on the couch of Plum's apartment. Steven had been sawed in half.
The imagination of author Janet Evanovich worked overtime in making HARD EIGHT perhaps one of the craziest to date. It's a nice touch that Stephanie faces off against a virtual menagerie. And she's finally beginning to take her .38, usually kept unloaded in a cookie jar, seriously. And her unfortunate association with fire-bombed vehicles reaches a record high. Notwithstanding these plot devices, however, books one to eight in the series are basically interchangeable. (I'm struggling, perhaps unsuccessfully, to keep from writing the same review over and over.)
Evanovich needs to mature her heroine, who seems to have a slow learning curve. I suggest that Plum finally marry, or at least permanently set up house, with Detective Joe Morelli. It might not be a relationship made in heaven, but it would supply grist for any number of new episodes.Read more ›
I think I speak for a few people when I say that the tendency for repeating all the facts about Morelli and Steph's past, Vinnie/Lula/Connie and their own weird characteristics, and Grandma Mazur's reason for living with Steph's parents are getting annoying. I'm willing to ignore those little bits because I understand that readers may be reading the series for the first time, and they need the explanations to understand what's up.
I can see how some may think this novel is a teensy bit darker than the others. I guess it got a little serious with Eddie Abruzzi and his stalker antics. However, the added seriousness of this particular novel doesn't diminish the fact that this novel is still great.
'Hard Eight' is fast-paced, and things move along a little faster than it usually does in the other Plum novels. How it ended was a little abrupt, but, while others may disagree, what Ranger did made me like him even more (Yeah--weird, I know).
My only complaint is just that things are getting a little repetative. We know what'll eventually happen to Steph's cars; we know about Grandma's viewings at the funeral; we're not as surprised anymore with Lula's actions. I don't mind this as much as other readers might, because I still haven't gotten sick of any of the novels yet. Sure, I may like some books more than others, but it doesn't mean I'll stop reading the series.
Anyways, I heard 'To the Nines' is a little different than what we're used to, so I'm looking forward to reading about another one of Stephanie's adventures.
Most recent customer reviews
Even knowing how most of the characters would react, knowing that Stephanie would fantasize over Ranger and Morelli, knowing that her car would be destroyed and that Grandma Mazur... Read morePublished on July 6 2004 by Avid Reader
I don't know who is writing these reviews, but you've got to be kidding me. This was one of the most trite books I've ever read. It was like every cop/action movie, but worse. Read morePublished on June 8 2004
Stephanie Plum novels are terrific to listen to while working out. A walk or a run goes by more quickly while listening to these light and funny mysteries. Read morePublished on May 23 2004
This is the first of Janet Evanovich's novels I've read and I can say so far the style and content is superior to Crusie's in "Fast Women. Read morePublished on April 9 2004 by avid reader
The answer to the question is "yes", because that is how I felt with this book. In it Stephanie has two more vehicles that get blown up plus Ranger's. Read morePublished on April 7 2004 by Shirley Schwartz
I have read 1 thru 7. Thats enough! Its not funny anymore, the plot is weak and this adult woman can't seem to make up her mind whether she is in love or not and with whom. Read morePublished on Jan. 2 2004 by Dick Stemp
I have to agree with the Fort Worth reader. The story has some funny moments, but this is just another romance novel, complete with insipid heroine in need of being rescued, then... Read morePublished on Dec 22 2003
The eighth in the Stephanie Plum series, HARD EIGHT, has the bounty hunter searching for a missing mother and child. Read morePublished on Oct. 13 2003 by Beverly J. Scott
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