To Catch a Bad Guy (Janet Maple Series #1) by Marie Astor

To Catch a Bad Guy (Janet Maple Series Book 1)


Janet Maple's stellar career ended with a lay off and her boyfriend of five years told her that he wants to be just friends. When she lands a job at one of New York’s premier boutique investment firms, Janet begins to hope that her luck is finally turning for the better. Not only is she happy with her new paycheck, but things also seem to be looking up on the personal front, as the company’s handsome attorney expresses keen interest in Janet. However, her euphoria is short-lived, as Janet soon discovers alarming facts about her new employer’s business tactics. When her boss dismisses her suspicions as groundless, Janet finds herself confiding to a cute IT engineer, Dean Snider. The closer she gets to Dean, the more Janet is tempted to break her rule of not dating co-workers, but what she doesn’t realize is that everything she knows about Dean, including his occupation and even his name, is a lie.

Dennis Walker is a top-notch white collar crime investigator who will stop at nothing to put culprits away. When an opportunity for an undercover assignment at one of New York’s premier boutique broker dealers comes up, Dennis jumps at the chance, adopting a persona of geeky IT engineer, Dean Snider. While he may be an ace at his job, years of experience fail him when Dennis meets Janet Maple and finds himself torn between his professional obligations and his personal desires. Will he have to choose between his feelings and duty, or will he find a way to satisfy both?


To Catch A Bad Guy was not a very good read. It wasn't horrible, but there was way too much background info on every characters and no pay off at the end. I didn't love it while I was reading it, but then once I finished I just though why did I even read this?? What was the point? Some spoilers ahead as I will talk about the ending.

Janet is the biggest doormat ever. She just lets people walk all over her. She is supposed to be this big attorney who used to work for the DA, but ugh. She got fired and is now working with her best friend, who I will get to a minute, and now that she is not fighting bad guys she is like against people who do. When Janet finds out who Dean/Dennis really is, what he is really doing, she is super angry. Why? I am not sure. I mean she sorta had his job just before this. She was working on the same kind of case, but from his side and not undercover, so I am not sure why she is so against what he is doing. That and she gets a job offer from his boss at the end and low and behold she goes to work for them! So she must not have that big of an issue with it...or she really has no principals and just changes her believes every two seconds.

So right from the first day Janet thinks there is something funny going on with her new job. Her best friend, Lisa, is kind of a flake. Lisa doesn't really want to work, she just is until she gets married to her guy who can raise her status. Lisa, and every other female on this book besides Janet, are so shallow, money grubbing materialistic nightmares. I don't know. They also always tell Janet how terrible she looks and everything she could do to look better. For example she needs to keep her hair down as she will never find a guy if she wears her hair up (or has short hair). Everyone knows guys like long hair and there is no way to get one was just a bit ridiculous, but not in a good way.

Lisa also always tries to set Janet up with whatever horrible guy who has lots of money so she should be happy to date them. It was...I wanted Janet to at some point stick up for herself. Oh well. Oh, the other strange thing in this book is how often the other characters used Janet's name. In just about every sentence when they spoke they said her name. It was just odd and not how people actually talk.

So Janet keeps investigated the strange things she uncovers. Jon is the evil brother, trying to make extra money in not exactly legal ways, while Paul is the bumbling little brother who does not have the best business sense and just doesn't really know what he is doing in his job (though he does try). He is the one marrying Lisa and he loves how Lisa enjoys her work and whatnot. I don't see that relationship working out very well since Lisa is just pretending the whole time she is with Paul, but whatever. I didn't really care. So Janet finds out some things and Dean/Dennis grows closer to her and eventually tells her who he is and what he is doing. He gets Janet to work with him even though she doesn't want to for some reason, and they are building a case to take down Jon (and possibly Paul because he is high up in the company and might not be safe). Well wouldn't you know at the same time they are going to move forward with this case Jon has a change of heart and goes to the police to help them get the people he was working with. Well...okay so you didn't even get the yes! We caught the bad guy moment. Instead the bad guy changed his mind and turned himself in. Kind of a let down.

The other let down in the end? Dennis and Janet don't even get together! So I guess you have to read another book to see them get together, but really this one wasn't good enough for me to continue. I don't really care that much, but since I did read the whole thing I wanted something to happen at the end besides kind of nothing.  It just felt like why did I just read this again? I won't be continuing the series.

Rating: ★ ★

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