Stephanie Plum should have learned by now that trouble follows her. Her dream vacation, is nothing close to perfect. When she goes on vacation to Hawaii and returns home after an apparent argument between Ranger and Morelli, her life gets even rockier. Unable and unwilling to deal with the argument, she hops on the earliest flight and heads home. When she returns she learns the FBI are now looking for her. The man sitting next to her on the plane turns up dead, which explains why her seat was empty after the layover but a mysterious picture turns up in her messenger bag, it seems that everyone wants this picture but Stephanie no longer has it. Of course, she has real FBI agents, and fake FBI agents looking for her, a woman who claims to be the victim’s fiancé, and a dangerous attacker who will stop at nothing to get the picture from Stephanie. The FBI try to recreate the picture Stephanie had placed into her bag, the only problem is that she only glanced at the photo once and so far the sketches have come back looking like Tom Cruise and Ashton Kutcher. Morelli is not talking about Hawaii, Ranger doesn’t want to talk about Hawaii either, and Grandma Mazur wants to talk about Stephanie’s ring finger, and the tan that is clearly not where a ring once was. Stephanie decides she’s not talking about Hawaii either.
Janet Evanovich does not stray from her usual plot lines, Explosive Eighteen is exactly what readers have come to expect from her. If you’re looking for an entertaining read filled with mishaps, explosions/fires, funerals, mysterious people turning up in Stephanie’s apartment and Stephanie stuck between her love for two men this would be your read. If you’re looking for Stephanie to choose between these two men, and settle down- you’re going to be disappointed. While it does seem that Stephanie is beginning to lean more on the Morelli side, she does recognize that she will have to make a decision. This shows some growth from Stephanie and her bounty hunting skills are getting better. Grandma Mazur has a potion loving, bowling partner, and she isn’t as involved in this story. As a long time Stephanie Plum fan, I would love for her to choose one of the men, at this point either one but overall I know what to expect with these books and I am still entertained by them.
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