Okay, so I could post this, earlier this morning I posted the (surprisingly) few other reviews I’d written on this series. Not sure why I don’t have all 15 up here. Who knows, maybe another time. But for now, at least, we have the last entries in the series covered. Concluding with one of the best and most enjoyable, Mr. Monk Gets Even.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I put off reading this book for a couple of days after receiving it, I just didn’t want the ride with Goldberg at the helm to end. Since Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse, Goldberg has taken the (great) characters from the TV show and given us sides/dimensions to them that the show didn’t have time or opportunity to develop. This is particularly true after the finale episode where Goldberg didn’t have to worry about contradicting the show’s canon, but was free to grow the characters…to add new ones, to make significant life changes and so on.
And when it comes to serialized detective fiction — no matter the medium, it’s the characters that count. Yes, the plots and mysteries need to be enough to hold your interest — and you need a laugh or two when the series is along the lines of Monk; and Goldberg can do that just fine. But what brings viewers and readers back again and again.
Mr. Monk Gets Even handles the character stuff flawlessly. To send himself off with a bang–Goldberg brings back Dale the Whale, larger and more preposterous than ever; Stottlemeyer’s career and life are in jeopardy; Monk may be wrong; Ambrose (I’d pay for Ambrose books written by Goldberg) reaches another major milestone; and, of course, Natalie is at a crossroads, too. And that’s just the major points. Shouldn’t forget some of the most prominent use of Julie Teeger in any medium.
Goldberg does it all with panache, respect for the characters, a lotta laughs, and just the right emotional moments to bring his time with the series to a close.