Audio reviews reflect PW
's assessment of the audio adaptation of a book and should be quoted only in reference to the audio version.
TEN BIG ONES: A Stephanie Plum Novel
, read by Lorelei King. Audio Renaissance
, unabridged, five cassettes, 8.5 hrs., $29.95 ISBN 1-55927-783-1
"I think of myself more as an entertainer than as a writer," Evanovich says in a bonus interview at the end of this audiobook, and indeed, her latest offering (following To The Nines
) will leave listeners with little doubt that she is a master of screwball comedy. At the start of this adventure, bumbling New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum and her sassy sidekick, Lula, witness a gang member known as the Red Devil rob a convenience store and attempt to bomb it with a Molotov cocktail, which hits Stephanie's car instead. Stephanie gets a good look at the Red Devil, making her a key witness and a target for a nasty gang called the Slayers. Her sometime boyfriend, vice cop Joe Morelli, insists she stay home and out of danger, but Stephanie would rather be bringing in two-bit criminals than lying low. Narrator King steps neatly into Stephanie's shoes, her agile voice conveying not only Stephanie's fear and frustration, but her plaintive, why-does-this-always-happen-to-me attitude. King also nails the manly, mysterious voice of gorgeous bounty hunter Ranger, Stephanie's sometime superhero. Although the high-pitched voice King gives Stephanie's adventure-loving grandmother may grate on some listeners nerves, her vocal stylings are generally as superb as Evanovich's zany characterizations. Simultaneous release with the St. Martin's hardcover (Forecasts, June 7). (June)