The Bounty by Janet Evanovich & Steve Hamilton, Review

The Bounty by Janet Evanovich and Steve Hamilton is the 7th action-packed globe-trotting adventure in the Fox and O’Hare series. Read my full review.

The Bounty, Review - Janet Evanovich & Steve Hamilton

The Bounty Synopsis

Straight as an arrow special agent Kate O’Hare and international criminal Nick Fox have brought down some of the biggest bad guys out there. But now they face their most dangerous foe yet—a vast, shadowy international organization known only as the Brotherhood.

Directly descended from the Vatican Bank priests who served Hitler during World War II, the Brotherhood is on a frantic search for a lost train loaded with $30 billion in Nazi gold, untouched for over seventy-five years somewhere in the mountains of Eastern Europe.

Kate and Nick know that there is only one man who can find the fortune and bring down the Brotherhood—the same man who taught Nick everything he knows—his father, Quentin. As the stakes get higher, they must also rely on Kate’s own father, Jake, who shares his daughter’s grit and stubbornness. Too bad they can never agree on anything.

From a remote monastery in the Swiss Alps to the lawless desert of the Western Sahara, Kate, Nick, and the two men who made them who they are today must crisscross the world in a desperate scramble to stop their deadliest foe in the biggest adventure of their lives.

(Atria Books – Simon & Schuster, March 2021)

Genre: Action-Adventure, Thriller, Mystery, Drama

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The Bounty Review

With fond memories of a very early Stephanie Plum novel I read back in the 90s, I jumped at the chance to reconnect with the publishing juggernaut Janet Evanovich has since become. In March 2020 it was reported that Evanovich had sold world rights to her next four titles (which included this novel The Bounty) for a substantial 8-figure sum.

So, to be clear, I was diving into this Fox and O’Hare Series at Book #7 with no background or pre-conceived ideas apart from the attention-grabbing synopsis above. That said, it is not unusual for me to join a series partway through; it rarely phases me. And, I have been known to enjoy some wildly escapist action-adventure fiction in my time, e.g. Matthew Reilly’s back catalogue.

The Bounty ticks off all the ingredients in the action-adventure thriller recipe book.

Evanovich & Hamilton’s narrative pacing is fast, unrelentingly so. The bad guys are caricature evil… you know the type, maniacally rotten to the core. Conveniently, money is no object for the good-guys (courtesy of sins committed prior to seeing the light) and ‘I-saved-their-life-once’ debts can be called upon in almost any location (courtesy of O’Hare and Fox’s fathers’ military and art-dealer careers). And luckily so, because a cornucopia of exotic locales are featured.

Plus there are quite literally symbols and maps to decode, successive clues to be hunted down, a puzzle of historic proportions to solve and hidden treasure to be found… All before the bad guys do and use that bounty for purposes detrimental to mankind.

This all made for a fabulously fun and entertaining reading rollercoaster. But, at times, The Bounty narrative felt light-weight. There was so much untapped potential, particularly in respect to character development.

Don’t get me wrong… the tension between Kate and Nick was appealing. Their unflappable natures, Nick’s cocky/corny jokes in a crisis and the father-child banter was good light-hearted entertainment. And sufficient reference was made to past escapades for me to be confident this Fox and O’Hare series would make an excellent Netflix-adaptation. But as a novel, it all just felt a little pre-determined. It lacked light and shade, the characters themselves displaying limited agency or inner depth, aside from their enviable physical prowess and resilience.

Untapped potential aside though, Evanovich & Hamilton’s The Bounty was an enjoyable weekend read.

BOOK RATING: The Story 3.5 / 5 ; The Writing 3.5 / 5

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More The Bounty Reviews

“The duo of Evanovich and Hamilton, each best-selling authors in their own right, start the action on page one and keep up the pace throughout. The dynamic, often-humorous storytelling won’t let readers out of its grip, and there’s a compelling romantic subplot, to boot. Fans of Evanovich won’t need any convincing here, but also offer this one to fans of The Da Vinci Code, as ancient symbols and academic sleuthing play a strong part in the unraveling of the mystery.”—Booklist (starred review)

“Fans of Janet Evanovich will not be disappointed; her writing blends perfectly with the award-winning mastery of Hamilton (“Alex McKnight” thrillers). The globetrotting only adds to the enjoyment of what is arguably even better than her “Stephanie Plum” books. Mission: Impossible meets National Treasure in this winner that one hopes will be the first of many more adventures and more collaboration with Hamilton.” —Library Journal

About the Authors, Janet Evanovich & Steve Hamilton

Over the last twenty-five years, Janet Evanovich has written a staggering twenty-four #1 New York Times bestsellers in the Stephanie Plum series. In addition to the Plum novels, Janet has co-authored the New York Times bestselling Fox and O’Hare series, the Knight and Moon series, the Lizzy and Diesel series, the Alexandra Barnaby novels, and the graphic novel, Troublemaker (with her daughter, Alex Evanovich). You can connect with Janet at her website, or on Facebook or Twitter.

Steve Hamilton is the two-time Edgar Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of the Alex McKnight crime series, the Nick Mason series, and The Lock Artist. He has either won or been nominated for the Shamus Award, Barry Award, Anthony Award, Dashiell Hammett Prize, American Library Association Alex Award, CWA Gold Dagger, and the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger. 

* My receiving a review copy of The Bounty from the publisher did not impact the expression of my honest opinions above.