Review: The US has a diplomatic problem: a rare bronze rooster, currently in the Smithsonian in Washington DC, is to be returned to China in a few days. Unfortunately it's just a copy. The real one was stolen years before and the FBI assigns Special Agent Kate O'Hare and master thief Nicholas Fox to steal it back and swap it with the fake before it leaves the country, in The Chase, the second adventure in this series by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg.
The real artifact is in the private collection of Carter Grove, a former White House Chief of Staff, now living in Palm Beach. His estate is guarded by the best men, his security system is state of the art, and there is no way to simply break in. So Fox devises a plan to have Carter invite them into his home where they will — with an appropriate diversion — acquire the rooster and walk out with it. All goes as planned, but as Kate and Nick return to Washington they're informed of a complication: the fake rooster was removed from the Smithsonian early and is already in a secure safe aboard a private jet sitting on the tarmac at Dulles. Now they need to break onto a plane and make the swap before local experts on the ground in China can authenticate it.
The Chase is generally harmless (and mindless) entertainment. There is an overall story arc, but the storyline itself reads like a series of loosely connected short novellas strung together: the theft of the real rooster from Palm Beach, the exchange of the real rooster for the fake one during a flight from Washington to Shanghai, the theft of three Rembrandts from a museum in Montreal, and finally a confrontation with Carter Grove at his ranch in Kentucky to wrap things up. To be sure, each of the subplots has some creative elements (mostly coming from Nick as Kate doesn't really contribute much to the scenarios; indeed, the secondary cast of characters is generally more interesting than either Nick or Kate), but for the most part this is a thinly developed adventure, more superficial action than intellectual substance.
Acknowledgment: Random House provided an eARC of The Chase for this review.
Review Copyright © 2014 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in The Chase: Palm Beach, Florida; Scotland; Shanghai, China; Montreal, Canada; Kentucky
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The Chase by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg — A Nicholas Fox and Kate O'Hare Mystery
Publication Date: February 2014
List Price: $28.00
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Page Author: Lance Wright
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