One for the Money: Janet Evanovich, private eyes and guns

Case O' Guns

Case O’ Guns (Photo credit: Gregory Wild-Smith)

One for the money by Janet Evanovich

I am ambiguous towards this book because of the fact that around half-way through it started [apparently] enjoying the use of  guns and the main character became very pleased about how she could shoot well and how she could carry a concealed weapon and use it… this is because I don’t like guns! Very emphatically.

Are guns useful? Only sometimes and only in extreme times.

Should you and me as citizens carry guns? No.

Should police carry guns? Again No, except when chasing silly fools with guns.

Guns breed guns and breed death by guns – or at least that is what I think and I know this is going to make me unpopular with some people. If children couldn’t get hold of guns then there would be fewer incidents in schools and colleges – and if parents didn’t have them then the children wouldn’t think it was right for them too… and even be able to take them. Or burglars for that matter. We once spent several days confined to our houses at night by armed police stationed around us, as a burglar had got hold of a gun from a house he burgled. He was wandering around the local area and so we were being kept safe – as we lived in a fairly isolated spot with fields and woods around us – where he was hiding it seemed. This was not really a fun time…

I now live in London and we have seen gun crime go down recently. It is now possibly the safest city on the planet according to our local newspaper – the Evening Standard. – which is given away free to commuters on the Tube and read avidly… it is even quite well written and is not full of adverts..

Some statistics:

In 2012 there were 6 gun murders in London in the whole year!

In the same year there were 47 knife murders – a 42 year low for murders.

Now a comedian I shall not name says that the US has less knife murders because they have less bread knifes to hand – as they use mainly sliced bread … but it is also true that most of our UK murders, especially knife, are in the family – or are people known to each other. They are very rarely indeed random acts of violence without some argument to set them off.

These figures compare to a total of 155 in 2008 so 56 less in four years.

Compare this to New York:

So far in 2013, New York City has logged only 18 murders — compared with 23 for the same period in 2012 — for a decrease of 21.7 percent, records show.

There were just 414 homicides in 2012 — an NYPD record that the department chalked up to operations that flood high-crime areas with patrol officers. [http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/no_cold_or_hot_cases_tj57cl1RpSeNvyeXQ5MAfN]

And then there is Chicago: With at least 18 homicides in the first ten days of 2013, Chicago, Illinois is on pace for more than 700 murders this year – a figure which would far surpass last year’s 516 and leave New York City’s murder rate in the dust. [http://rt.com/usa/news/18-chicago-year-murder-812/]

So after that little rant, back to the book. I rather liked the main character Stephanie Plum – but then this independent female who is slightly scatty but quite sporty, feisty and funny type of characterisation is now quite common for female private eyes.  That said this book was first published – or at least my edition – in 1994, so not as common then. Since then it has almost become a cliché. Which is perhaps why I am not so impressed by it. Overall, I was not very impressed by the writing style either – sorry – and I won’t be buying any more in the series and may even refuse a free kindle edition…

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