TITLE: WICKED BUSINESS
AUTHOR: JANET EVANOVICH
Details: no. 2 Lizzy & Diesel
Received from Headline Review
Lizzy Tucker is a pastry chef who up until recently thought of herself as perfectly normal. That was before she met Diesel though. Diesel is not quite human although he looks just like a gorgeous, even hot, man. Diesel, no other names, has revealed to Lizzy that she has the gift to detect special powers in objects. It is a power Diesel doesn’t have (although he does have plenty other ones) and one he needs in his quest to stop the world from descending into hell. When the story starts a Harvard English professor has plunged to death from his balcony. And because Diesel is convinced this death has something to do with his quest, he and Lizzy visit the scene and, thanks to Diesel’s monkey, Carl, recover a small key. A key that holds a clue to the whereabouts of a Saligia Stone, one of seven stones which, when brought together, will mean the end of the world. This particular stone is connected to both true love and lust and it is up to Diesel and Lizzy to find it before others do. Because there are others who want this and the other stones for their own, evil, purposes. First of all there is Diesel’s cousin Wulf and his scary assistant Hatchet. But there is also another adversary, known only by the name Anarchy who is determined to get her hands on the stone regardless of the costs involved. A mad-cap hunt from clue to clue, from impossible situation to even more impossible situation follows. Assisted by Diesel’s monkey, Lizzy’s friend Glo, who may or may not be a witch, and her unflappable employer Clara, the unlikely duo sets out to find the stone, save the world while trying to keep their hands off each other. Because giving in to the attraction between them would put a stop to everything.
Confused? That doesn’t surprise me. But, you are just going to have to take my word for it when I say that the story makes a lot more sense when you are actually reading it. At the same time, this is not a serious story. In fact, this is a “suspend your disbelief” sort of read on many levels. Of course there is the fantasy element of the seven stones that need to be saved, and the special powers Lizzy, Wulf, Diesel and several other characters have. But even “normal” elements in this story are far from that. People don’t have as casual a reaction to being threatened or hurt as the characters in this story do. But, that is all part of the fantasy Janet Evanovich has created for her readers, and for some reason it all makes a weird sort of sense while you’re in the middle of the story.
Of course, Janet Evanovich, best known for her Stephanie Plum books, has a talent for creating quirky, loveable and entertaining characters. She knows how to put them in impossible situations and get them out again, against the odds. The dialogue between the characters is funny and sparkles, regularly puts a smile on the reader’s face and even brings the occasional laugh out loud moment. The story is fast-paced without a single boring moment and very easy to read.
This is the second book in a series, and although I didn’t read the first one, I can’t say that caused me any problems. Everything the reader really needs to know is explained without taking the flow out of the story. It is quite possible that I would have enjoyed this book more if I had read the prequel, but I never felt as if I was missing out on vital information.
In short, this is a fun read, not to be taken (too) seriously. Fast-paced and light-hearted this is the perfect book for a rainy weekend or any other time you need some light relief.