34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Marketing this novel as a thriller (or even a romantic comedy combined with a thriller) is seriously misleading. The Chase is too cute for its own good -- certainly too cute for readers who are looking for a plausible story. The Chase is so over-the-top that I was unable to buy into the plot or the characters. The cheesy banter between Kate and Nicolas, meant to be witty and suggestively sexual, seems designed to appeal to preteens. The Chase is intended as light reading, but it's so fluffy and insubstantial I felt like I was reading a cloud.
Special Agent Kate O'Hare is chasing the dreamy Nicolas Fox and not just because she would like to cuddle up against his lean and firm body. Fox seems to have robbed a bank but, as O'Hare knows, he has stolen from a safe deposit box at the FBI's direction to obtain evidence because the FBI is apparently unwilling or unable to get a warrant to search for it. The crime (the details of which are left unexplained) is ridiculous and O'Hare should go to prison for having any part in it. How she manages to reconcile her profound sense of law-and-order with her willingness to subvert the Constitution while being a party to a bank robbery is something Evanovich doesn't explain. I have difficulty cheering for a hypocrite who fails to recognize her own hypocrisy, and O'Hare's self-righteous justification for breaking the law (repeatedly) doesn't endear me to her.
Now the FBI needs O'Hare to commit a crime that's even more ridiculous: stealing a bronze rooster from the highly placed man who bought it from the thief who stole it from the Smithsonian. The man is so highly placed (think Karl Rove) that the FBI doesn't want to "embarrass" the country by arresting him. Eventually yet another theft needs to be orchestrated and the novel turns into a low-budget version of Ocean's Eleven. Unfortunately, the method used to commit the crime is far from innovative and not even remotely credible.
Evanovich works so hard to make O'Hare "tough but feminine" and Fox "devious but charming" that both characters seem inauthentic. They fit nicely into their stereotyped boxes but they lack believable personalities. O'Hare's "I just got stabbed and killed my assailant -- let's have champagne!" attitude wears thin quickly. The chemistry between the smitten FBI agent and the rakish conman with "lightly tousled" hair is utterly predictable and, for that reason, uninteresting. The villain is about as deep as Snidely Whiplash.
The parts of the novel that are meant to be funny failed to amuse me, but I often chuckled at parts that were not intended to provoke laughter (O'Hare's superdad carries hand grenades in his golf bag and the Karl Rove character, no longer in government, can instantly launch a predator drone armed with Hellfire missiles within the United States by making a phone call). Much of the novel is just too easy for O'Hare and Fox ("oh, don't worry, the secret door won't be guarded") and too many things that shouldn't be easy (like stealing from safe deposit boxes) are glossed over without explanation. Part of the novel takes place in China but it might as well be Kansas City. The local color sounds like it was cribbed from a tourism website. Evanovich does better when she describes the high-end outlet mall in Camarillo, California, a place she has apparently been. The ending is even more preposterous than the story that precedes it. The story moves quickly and parts of it are fun, but there are not enough of those parts to recommend the novel as a whole.
34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2014
I find myself unsure of how to rate/review this one. I like the entire premise of this new series, but it’s missing something. I mean, this really could be a great television show. Its ultra fast paced and the characters are snarky funny. I did suffer a bit from geographic schizophrenia though. They travel so much in this one book they earned platinum card status. There was just so much crammed in.
Kate and Nic make a great team and them working together is pure gold. But it really is lacking emotionally. I didn’t feel connected to them. I was left constantly wanting more. More emotion. More intimacy. More sizzle. Just more.
I told a friend, it read like a good script but didn’t have the depth I want from a book. I then learned later that Evanovichs’ co writer also writes for television. Yep, that explains it now.
I dunno guys I am rating it 3.5 because I did find it funny and entertaining. Overall though it was a bit meh :(
*Given via Netgalley for an honest review
29 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2014
I received an advance reader edition of this book from Random House Publishing Group and Net Galley for the purpose of providing an honest review.
I must say that I am rather disappointed in this book. I have been a long time fan of Evanovich and have insisted that many of my friends and family read her books. These books have had a history of being easy to read with some laughs, colorful characters, and silly fun. Her books have suffered a steady decline and it make me very sad.
This book is second in the Fox and O'Hare series. I found the first in the series somewhat enjoyable and had hoped that this one would be even better. Unfortunately, it is not. The characters felt flat throughout the book and I never cared about anyone in the book....at all. I had hoped that I would find something funny in the book...nope....nothing funny here....at all. I had hoped that there would be some chemistry between Nick and Kate....nothing going on here.
The plot of the book can be summed up quite easily. Kate is an FBI agent who has been paired up with a thief, Nick Fox to steal things. They steal things in this book several times. They almost get caught several times. That is basically it.
This book makes me sad. I miss the days when I would be sure to go to the book store on the release day for any of Evanovich's books. I would make no plans that day and I would spend a couple of hours laughing at something crazy. Things started slowly declining and somewhere along the line I started checked these books out at the library and getting to them when I had a chance. I actually have the most recent Stephanie Plum book sitting on my kindle unread months after its release.
I do wonder who wrote this book. Was it Goldberg trying to imitate Evanovich? Was it a collaboration of efforts? I also wonder what input the editor had on the book. I really wonder how many naps this book will induce. I fell asleep at least three times while reading this book. I am the kind of person who stays up late reading one more page but with this book I repeatedly found myself falling asleep.
I really cannot recommend this book. I do hope that Evanovich finds her spark again someday but it is becoming doubtful. This is really one of those books that I am just glad I finished so that I can move on to something else.
17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on February 26, 2014
Master criminal Nicolas Fox is at it again. This time he has to help the FBI track down a pricess statue to avoid an internation incident. The target? Carter Grove, a former chief of staff that has gone on to form his own elite private security firm. Fox and his handler Agent Kate O'Hare have to form their own team and outsmart Grove.
I really liked the banter between Nicolas and Kate. It was lighthearted with underlying sexual tension. Kate is a great female character. She's both tough and smart. Her dad was pretty funny too.
This was an easy, fast-paced read. There was a lot of action with a little romance sprinkled in. I definitely enjoyed it more than the past few Stephanie Plum books!
*I received a copy of this title through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
FBI Special Agent Kate O'Hare and Nick Fox (FBI's 10 most wanted list) team up for some exciting times. Their trips take them from LA to Glasgow, the Smithsonian, Palm Beach, Shanghai, Montreal, KY and finally back to LA!
Nick is the consummate thief whereas Kate is his opposite. In these situations, however, they work well as a team. The story involves the Chinese wanting their Qing Dynasty rooster back plus the theft of Rembrandts from a Montreal museum.
The cast of characters is extremely varied in nature. One is a geek, another a dare devil driver, an actor - of sorts, and Kate's dad and his buds are added for that little extra something.
This is one hilarious story intermingled with the shady side of the criminal world. Kate's appetite for unhealthy foods made me laugh several times.
Found it to be an entertaining read and appreciated the humor immensely.
Most highly recommended.
11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2014
*What Anita Thought*
Whoa!! Hold onto the grab bars folks, it’s going to be a bumpy ride! So think Mission Impossible with a dash of James Bond and finish it off with a smattering of those madcap rom-coms from the 40’s and you have The Chase! Our H and h, Nick Fox, an international thief and con man extraordinaire and Kate O’Hara, hard-nosed FBI agent, are back in a hilarious and action-packed tale that will have you on the edge of your chair biting your nails or spitting out your coffee while laughing hysterically. Nick was caught by the FBI and now, in exchange for his freedom, he has talked the FBI into giving him a job (yes, ala that TV show, White Collar). And who is his partner? Yep, Kate. Now Nick is a charming and sexy bad boy with a thing for the finer things in life like Champagne and caviar – and Kate.
Kate was a Navy SEAL and practically eats bad guys for breakfast. But she does notice that our Nick is a hottie. The chemistry between these two is sizzling. The book opens with a heck of a bang, literally. A bank has just been blown up. Kate and her partner are in a car while Kate is scarfing down fast food (my goodness the diet that young woman consumes made my cholesterol skyrocket!!) and they are called to the scene. After an absolutely harrowing drive through LA traffic with Kate at the wheel while eating her burger, they arrive at the bank. A number of other law enforcement agencies are there. Kate suspects something is off about the scene and following her instincts, winds up chasing a thief who is dressed as a police officer AND is driving a police car. Hmmm.
What’s wrong with this picture?! So it is at this point where we are told what these two have to do. Seems that the US has found itself in an embarrassing position and needs our dynamic duo to steal what is supposed to be a precious Chinese artifact from an ex-White House chief of staff. He lives in a replica of a Louis XIV palace that is guarded by a top notch security company he happens to own. So thus begins Nick and Kate’s journey through California, Scotland, China, etc. Along the way they engage an assortment of friends, family members, fellow thieves and other memorable characters to help them with their scheme. They piss off a bunch of bad guys, including the extremely angry ex-chief of staff. Kate’s father is an absolute hoot. He is a former Black ops guy and is involved in a scene at the faux palace that is screamingly funny. Kate has to continually deal with her feelings on right and wrong and how it feels to do so much wrong to make a few things right. After all, she IS an FBI agent and they are supposed to arrest the bad guys – not be the bad guys.
If you like these sorts of escapist comedic suspense novels with a little romance, then this is the book for you. So did I like it? Yes I did! Some of the writing is a little corny – a few characters use the word “caper.” I don’t think James Bond ever used the word “caper!” But the banter is spot on. Nick and Kate fit together. When they are squished together in the trunk of the car (you have to read it to find out why!) I thought I’d die laughing. Not a lot of depth but hey, that’s ok. The secondary characters were great. Though there were quite a few of them, you never lost track of the action or who the characters were. A few of the situations just seem so unbelievable but that’s why we read – to take us out of our everyday lives. There are a number of funny asides about popular culture – Honey Boo Boo, anyone? The action moves along quickly with mostly crisp writing. Occasionally there were a few clunky passages but for the most part you could read this book in a couple of hours. And it will leave you smiling. Which is just what we want – a few hours of escape and a smile. I will look for more of the authors’ works.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2014
Just OK. I expected more humor. Story was so-so. Characters not very fun. Probably won't buy any more title in this series.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2014
I enjoyed reading this book as much as the first one in the series (The Heist). The characters are likeable, and a bit more clearly drawn in this installment. Evanovich's gently sarcastic brand of humor shines throughout the book. Although not laugh-out-loud funny, this book was quite enjoyable, and I would highly recommend it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2015
But we can't do halfsies, so I'll give Evanovich/Goldberg an extra half star. I did enjoy this one a bit more than the first (The Heist). The supporting characters are better defined just because most of them are showing up for the second time. Willie is a hoot as well as a hottie; and Kate's dad gets a smidgen more exposure here. Clay is an obvious rip-off of John Malkovich's character in the movie "REDS" (Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, et. al.) but then, most of what Evanovich writes is lightweight recycled material - fun, an easy summer read, very derivative. I got the book for free (I get bonus pts from my credit card which I can use at The Last Remaining Big Bookseller) so that made this easier to like, too.
As I said in the review of "The Heist", Kay Hooper refuses to write another Quinn book and Suzanne Enoch seems finished with Sam & Rick. So the Nick Fox series is our only example of a genre that is endlessly popular yet strangely ignored by authors - the dapper, elusive, attractive gentleman thief (only Enoch was smart enough to turn it around to make the thief a woman!). It's a classic but sparsely populated theme: there's the legendary Arsène Lupin, who occasionally wanders in and out of Sherlock Holmes' world; going on to Leslie Charteris' The Saint/Simon Templar in the war-weary 1930's (ignore the absolutely disgusting movie versions, btw); and then on to TV: BBC's "The Protectors" with Robert Vaughn and of course, Remington Steele with Pierce Brosnan. The greatest movie version of this criminal-but-hero, of course, is the legendary Cary Grant in Hitchcock's 1955, "To Catch A Thief," a movie so perfect (despite Grant's age) that I can't imagine it ever being surpassed.
Why are there so few of these bad-boy-but-with-class anti-heroes? I have no idea but I wish there were more series of this type to choose from. Sigh.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
So I'm finding I really like the Fox and O'Hare series from Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg. The second installment, The Chase, was just as good as the first. It's a nice change from the Stephanie Plum series I'm used to from Evanovich, and I can see this series having legs.
FBI agent Kate O'Hare and con artist Nicolas Fox team up again to take down a nasty character who is hiding a piece of art that could cause an international incident if not returned. He's a former White House chief of staff (with plenty of contacts) and a ton of money from running a security firm known for their ruthlessness. He has an ancient Chinese chicken sculpture that is thought to be in the Smithsonian. The US is going to return the item, but the statue in the museum isn't the real thing. Fox and O'Hare need to pull off a swap under multiple layers of security and virtually no lead time to make it all work. As far as Fox is concerned, it's not any fun if it's not "impossible". O'Hare is certain that there's no way she'll come out of this without a prison term... either in the States or China.
I really like the intricate cons that Evanovich and Goldberg set up for the characters. It's a constant cliffhanger as things are always on the edge of breaking down completely in a way that will kill off one or both of them. O'Hare is great as a tough ex-military cop who is constantly fighting her feelings about what is right and wrong (as well as whether she is falling for Fox). Fox is a smooth con man who is extremely likable and can weave some great adventures. Add the sexual tension between the two, and it's a lot of fun.
I'm set to read the third book in the series, and I really hope that this collaboration between two very good authors continues for a very long time.
Obtained From: Library