Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum’s life is set to blow sky high when international murder hits dangerously close to home, in this dynamite novel by Janet. Life is never dull for Stephanie Plum, but now she’s got an assassin and the FBI on her tail in Evanovich’s less than stellar 18th entry in her. STEPHANIE’S GOT A ONE-WAY TICKET TO TROUBLE. After a holiday from hell, Stephanie’s heading back to New Jersey and life as a bounty.
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New Jersey was 40, feet below me, obscured by cloud cover. Heaven was above me, beyond the thin skin of the plane.
And hell was sitting four rows back. Okay, maybe hell was too strong. Maybe it was just purgatory. The snoring had started somewhere over Denver and got really ugly over Kansas City. After several loud passenger comments suggesting someone take the initiative and smother the guy, flight attendants confiscated all the pillows and began passing out free alcoholic beverages.
Three—quarters of the plane was now desperately drunk, and the remaining quarter was either underage or alternatively medicated. Two of the underage were screaming-crying, and I was pretty sure the kid behind me had pooped in his pants. I was among the drunk. I was wondering how I was going to walk off the plane and navigate the terminal with any sort of dignity, and I was hoping my ride was waiting for me. Sasquatch gave an extra loud snork, and I ground my teeth together. Land it in a cornfield, on a highway, in the ocean.
Explosive Eighteen – Janet Evanovich | All The Books I Can Read
Just get me out of here! Lula pulled into my apartment building parking lot, and I thanked her for picking me up at the airport and bringing me home. I waved her off and trudged into my apartment building. I took the elevator to the second floor, dragged my luggage down the hall and into my apartment, and shuffled into my bedroom.
It was after midnight, and I was exhausted. My vacation in Hawaii had been unique, and the flight home had been hellish. Turbulence over the Pacific, a layover in L. I closed my eyes and tried to calm myself.
I was back to work tomorrow, but for now I had to make a choice. I was completely out of clean clothes.
That meant I could be a slut evznovich sleep naked, or I could be a slob and sleep in what I was wearing. I live in a one-bedroom, one-bath apartment in an aging three—story brick—faced apartment building located on the edge of Trenton. Grandma Mazur was at the front door when I pulled to the curb and parked.
Her steel-gray hair was cut short and tightly curled on her head. Her nails matched her bright red lipstick.
Explosiev lavender-and-white running suit hung slack on her bony shoulders. Ciak lives in the other half.
Explosive Eighteen – Janet Evanovich
Her husband has passed on, and she spends her days baking coffee cake and watching television. Each half of the house has a postage- stamp front yard, a small covered front porch, a back stoop leading to a long narrow backyard, and a detached single-car garage.
I lugged the laundry basket through the living room and dining room to the kitchen, where my mother was chopping vegetables. My mother glanced at the laundry basket.
Fortunately, I sat next to a guy who got off when we stopped in L. Grandma stared at my left hand. I blew out a sigh, poured myself a cup of coffee, and my phone rang. I dumped it all out onto the little kitchen table and pawed through it.
Granola bars, hairbrush, lip balm, hair scrunchies, notepad, wallet, socks, two magazines, a large yellow envelope, floss, mini flashlight, travel pack of tissues, three pens, and my phone. The caller was Connie Rosolli, the bail bonds office manager. I returned everything to my messenger bag, with the exception of the phone and the yellow envelope.
I put the phone in an outside pocket, and I looked at the envelope. No writing on it. I had no clue how it had gotten into my bag. I ripped it open and pulled a photograph out. It was an glossy of a man. He was standing on a street corner, looking just past the photographer. He was possibly midthirties to early forties, and nice looking in a button—down kind of way. Wearing a dark suit. Somehow on the trip home, I must have picked the envelope up by mistake—-maybe when I stopped at the newsstand in the airport.
My mother cut her eyes to the cupboard where she kept her whiskey. She glanced at the clock on the wall and gave up a small sigh of regret. I dropped the envelope and the photo into the trash, chugged my coffee, grabbed a bagel from the bag on the counter, and ran upstairs to change.
Twenty minutes later, I was at the bonds office. I use the term office lightly since we were operating out of a converted motor coach parked on Hamilton Avenue directly in front of the construction site for a new brick-and-mortar office. The new construction had been made necessary by a fire of suspicious origin that totally destroyed the original building.
He looks like a weasel in pointy—toed shoes and too-tight pants. The cinder-block shell of the eigheen bonds office was complete. The roof was on. Workers were inside banging in nails and using power tools.
I looked from the construction site to the bonds bus, where I could see light creeping out from drawn shades. It all looked like business as usual.
Explosive Eighteen Excerpt
I wrenched the coach door open and climbed the three steps up to the cockpit and beyond. Connie was at the dinette table, her purse on the bench seat next to her. Her laptop computer was closed. Connie is a couple years older than me and a much better shot with a gun. She was wearing a magenta sweater with a deep V—neck, showing more cleavage than I could ever hope to grow.
Her black hair had recently been straightened and was pulled up into a messy knot on the top of her head. She was wearing big chunky gold earrings and a matching necklace. She stood when she saw me.
Salvatore DeAngelo was the contractor Harry had hired to rebuild the bonds office after it burned to the ground. DeAngelo was better known as the contractor from hell since he did everything his way, did nothing without a bribe, and worked on DeAngelo Time, which had no relationship to eightene actual workweek. And the files on the table are for you. Oh great, I was supposed to babysit a bus that might eifhteen any moment go up in flames. On the b hand, Vinnie was my cousin and employer.
I took the Failure to Appear files outside, hauled a lawn chair out of the storage compartment under the bus, and set the chair in the shade. This way, I could divert a Molotov cocktail and not get trapped inside a flaming inferno. I sat in the chair and paged through the files. Purse snatcher, armed robbery, domestic violence, a burglary suspect, credit card fraud, assault, a second armed robbery. I wanted to be back in Hawaii. I closed my eyes and sucked in some air, searching for the smell of the sea and instead catching exhaust fumes and a funky stench coming off the construction Dumpster.
A car eased to a stop behind my RAV4 and two men got out. One of them was Salvatore DeAngelo, a short, barrel—chested guy with a lot of wavy black hair going gray. He was wearing pleated dress slacks, a silky black short—sleeved shirt, and a thick gold chain that was stuck in a mat of chest hair that looked slightly singed.
DeAngelo sauntered over to me and stood hands in pants pockets, jiggling change. Like, eplosive you looking for street business? And give me some credit here. DeAngelo turned away and walked into the half—finished bonds office building, and I returned to my files.
Evanovlch subject of the last file in the stack was a surprise. She was an obnoxious, sneaky, mean kid, and now she was an unscrupulous, self—serving, man—eating adult. Truth is, Joyce made her money through serial marriage, and last I looked, she was doing just fine. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
For information address Random House, Inc. Are you coming for dinner? Tall, Dark, and Handsome. Can it wait twenty minutes? I guess I snatched it up with a magazine. Is there a name on the back?