Metro Girl
Janet Evanovich
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Metro Girl
Janet Evanovich
384 pages
September 2005
rated 4 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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In her latest novel, Metro Girl, Janet Evanovich leads the reader on a madcap adventure through Miami, the Florida Keys, and even into Cuba. Murder, mayhem, sunken treasure, and high stakes are all part of this fast-paced and zany escapade. Plot twists and turns abound as you follow the misadventures of her characters in this smart, witty, and funny caper.

Alexandra Barnaby, aka Barney, knows her way around cars. She worked at her father’s garage all through high school and during summer breaks when she was in college. Her ability to rebuild any engine held her in good stead during the two years she raced in the local stock car races. But now she has a white-collar job as a supervisor over six claims adjusters for an insurance company. Her days are predictable and boring, but she’s convinced herself that her life is exactly how she likes it.

When the phone wakes Barney in the middle of the night and she hears her younger brother Bill’s voice on the line, she knows that the news can’t be good. Wild Bill Barnaby is more than a little wild. He likes to have fun and doesn’t do well with rules. Barney has been bailing her brother out of trouble her entire life, but this time he may have bitten off more than even she can handle. As he is telling her that some guys may be looking for him, Barney hears a woman scream in the background and then the phone line goes dead. Bill has disappeared.

Barney does what any big sister would do: she hops on a plane and flies down to Miami, determined to find her wayward brother. Knowing that he called her from a boat, she heads straight to the marina to try and gather more information about what trouble Bill might be involved in. It is there that she meets NASCAR driver Sam Hooker.

Sam Hooker is a beer-drinking, skirt-chasing, speed-crazy good ol’ boy from Texas. Unfortunately, he is also the very angry owner of the boat that Bill has stolen. He’d met Bill in a bar and hired him to captain the boat down to the Grenadines for him. Sam has two weeks of holidays and wants only to spend it on his boat, a sixty-five foot Hatteras Convertible called The Happy Hooker. Now Bill has “borrowed” his boat, and neither Bill nor the boat can be found.

Hooker decides that the best way to find Bill is to stick close to Barney. Bill’s apartment has been ransacked, not once, but twice. It seems that whatever trouble Bill has gotten himself into, he has two different groups of people after him. As Barney chases down leads, fight off thugs, and races around Florida trying to unravel the mystery, Hooker is by her side.

Their search leads them to some of the most unlikely places and sees them getting help from some unusual quarters. They uncover a plot to recover a sunken treasure of Cuban gold and a mysterious canister with Russian writing, both relics from the Cuban missile crisis. But there are others who want the treasure as well and will stop at nothing to get it. Barney and Hooker must find and secure it first if she is to have a prayer of bailing her brother out of this lethal game he is involved in. It is a deadly race to the end to see who can get there first.

Metro Girl is a fast ride from start to finish. Through the hot, sultry Miami days and nights, the reader chases Barney and Hooker from one misadventure to another as they pit their skills against the bad guys with the help of some friends, both old and new. With her usual skill, Evanovich combines outrageous actions, snappy dialogue, laugh-out-loud humor, and memorable characters to make Metro Girl a ride you’ll never forget.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Norma Collins, 2004

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