Motor Mouth

Janet Evanovich, Author HarperCollins $26.95 (312p) ISBN 978-0-06-058403-0
At the start of this cool comedy thriller from bestseller Evanovich, her second novel to star Alexandra ""Barney"" Barnaby (after 2004's Metro Girl), Barney and her unfaithful NASCAR racing honey, Sam Hooker, find themselves in trouble after discovering the shrink-wrapped body of ruthless businessman Oscar Huevo in a rival racer's car hauler. The pair must pull together to protect a high-tech gizmo that can revolutionize racing-and save their lives. Evanovich burns some rubber and only hits the brakes a few times, thanks to her bright dialogue, race-track savvy and expert depiction of romantic mayhem. Though sometimes it seems as if she's still taking a test drive with this new cast of eccentrics, the pages fly by as the racy tension between Hooker and Barney adds heat to the fun. Action on the menu includes destruction of valuable race cars, a dognapping and a kidnapping. While Barney isn't likely to beat Stephanie Plum in a popularity contest, she's still a hoot.
Reviewed on: 10/01/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
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