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Metro Girl    by Janet Evanovich order for
Metro Girl
by Janet Evanovich
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2004 (2004)

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* *   Reviewed by Rashmi Srinivas

When her typically reckless brother Bill vanishes after a mysterious midnight phone call, Alex Barnaby hops on the next flight out to Miami in her usual big-sister-to-the-rescue mode. All she finds upon arrival is Bill's ransacked apartment, a vanished Cuban girl, and a very hot and very bothered NASCAR driver - Bill's absconded in Hooker's luxurious new boat. With an old gay friend in tow, and with Hooker sticking to her like a leech, Alex searches Miami and Key West, and then heads on to Cuba, in her tireless efforts to find Bill.

But also looking for Bill is an ever-growing mob of menacing bad guys. Alex receives more than her share of threats as she continually gets in their way, sometimes with deadly but often wildly hilarious results. Things heat up quickly, not only in the suspense department but also between Alex and Hooker. It rapidly becomes a race against time, with the fate of the entire world resting on who gets to Bill first. How this tangled mess is resolved makes for a thrilling read.

Janet Evanovich, famed for her 'Stephanie Plum' series, takes off in a new direction here. The zany humor and comical action sequences are signature Evanovich. Romance and fiery sexual tension blend with end-of-the-world danger to create a tense, suspenseful atmosphere. The tempestuous relationship between Alex and Hooker (and their constant, witty bantering) makes the story stand out. Apart from increasingly tedious 'NASCAR guy' jokes and an ending that's a bit over-the-top, Metro Girl is pure enjoyment.

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