In this fast-paced series debut by the author of the wildly successful Stephanie Plum series, recovery agent Gabriela Rose must come up with a large sum of money to keep her family’s home from being wiped off the map after a powerful hurricane. As a recovery agent, she’s hired by individuals and companies seeking lost treasures, stolen heirlooms, or missing assets, and she’s hoping her new job will save them.
Inspired by an old family legend, Gabriela sets off for the jungles of Peru in pursuit of the Ring of Solomon and the lost treasure of Cortez, long-lost treasure of her ancestor Blackbeard the Pirate. The problem is her ex-husband, Rafer, has the map that may point to the treasure and he’s not about to let Gabriela find it without him. Even though he gets under her skin, Gabriela knows it’s going to take a team to defeat the vicious drug lord who has also been searching for the fabled ring. The duo races around the Caribbean, Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica, New York City, and California wine country after the ring that has purported magical powers.
I’ve always gotten a kick out of Janet Evanovich’s “Stephanie Plum” books (I’ve read twenty-three of them). They are light, funny, and short, just what I need after a heavy book. The first installment of her new “Gabriela Rose” series is fun, too, just not AS fun. It reminded me of the Romancing the Stone starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner and the epic Indiana Jones films in book form. It has bad guys at every turn, most principally El Dragón, the spokesperson for Supay, the Incan god of death, who guards the cache of treasure. The book has loads of adventure, an on-again-off-again romance, and a ghost story all rolled into 320 pages.
With a plot like that, why didn’t I rate The Recovery Agent higher? There are a few reasons. I couldn’t help but compare it to the Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, which I adore. The characters aren’t as endearing or have the same chemistry; it isn’t as humorous; and there is too much plot regurgitation. What in the world doesn that mean? In other words, there are too many formulaic similarities: frustrated lovers who foible their relationships but rekindle the flame and the protagonists have parents and grandmothers who are involved in the adventure. One other thing—I supplemented the ebook with audio, and the talented Lorelei King narrated most of the Stephanie Plum series and The Recovery Agent, which was confusing. Is The Recovery Agent entertaining? You bet. Will I read the next installment of the “Gabriela Rose” series? Yep. But I’m a reviewer and this one only gets 3.5 stars.
Published Date: March 2022
Read-alikes: Something Wilder by Christina Lauren; Marah Chase and the Conqueror’s Tomb by Jay Stringer, The Antiquities Hunter by Maya Kaathrine Bohnhoff
* Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a review copy of the book.