Explosive Eighteen is currently the last book in the long running Stephanie Plum series. At one book a month including the holiday Plum specials, this series has taken me close to two years to complete. What am I going to do now?!
But enough about me and on to the book itself. Unlike the rest of the series, Explosive Eighteen starts in medias res with Stephanie already in trouble and on her way back from a shortened holiday to Hawaii.
Whilst a brief explanation is given as to how Stephanie can afford to go to Hawaii when she can usually barely scrape her rent, it would behove any new to the series to read Smokin’ Seventeen for the complete story. Likewise why Vinnie’s Bail Bond is working out of an RV can also be found in the previous books.
What isn’t explained in the previous book is why Stephanie is fleeing from the two men in her life; Joe Morrelli and Ranger. But that explanation comes later and it’s something of a fun tale.
Not only that but one of the FTAs (Failure To Appear) is none other Joyce Barnhardt, Stephanie’s arch-nemesis. Combine all that with Stephanie being pursued by FBI agents (both real and fake), an assassin as well as a murder victim’s fiancée over a photo that Stephanie no longer even has and there you have a complex story despite the short length of just over 200 pages.
A final point that I have to say that has nothing to do with this book per se is that this is the first Plum novel I’ve read since seeing the movie of One for the Money. And the characters that I pictured whilst reading were those I’d pictured all along and bore no resemble to the wonderful cast of the film that I enjoyed. This is not a complaint but merely an observation.