Watch Your Back Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Watch Your Back

Stevie Mazzetti, a cop out on disability leave, is being stalked by several hit men. Stevie Mazzetti, a widowed cop out on disability leave due to a gunshot wound in her leg, has been investigating cases that were closed by her crooked partner, Silas Dandridge. Stevie and Silas had been partners for more than eight years until he was killed last year when he held her daughter, Cordy hostage. Her husband Paul, and her son, Paulie were both murdered eight years ago in a convenience store robbery.
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With a strong conscience to make any of her crooked partners' cases right, Stevie has been systematically going through all his closed ones to see which were closed illegally. Soon, Stevie's life becomes in danger and the bullets start flying at her and her daughter.

Clay Maynard, a private investigator, body guard and security specialist, has helped Stevie in the past along with other local policemen and district attorneys. He has also been in love with Stevie for over two years, but she has not returned his affections. He knows that she has feelings for him, but is afraid to show them.

Clay's life becomes entwined with Stevie and Cordy again, when by chance he is doing a security install at a horse farm for disabled children. Cordy is visiting, with her aunt Izzy, learning how to take care of the horses and ride. Cordy also uses the horses as therapy to overcome being held at gunpoint in her kitchen by Silas, last year. Cordy talks to the horses as she grooms them, explaining her fear of losing her mom and the fear she has living in her house, especially the fear she has for her kitchen. That same day, Izzy is called to do a photo shoot for a wedding to replace the bride and grooms original photographer who became ill. Clay volunteers to bring Cordy home, even though he knows Stevie will be angry with him. Stevie has made it clear that she does not want a relationship with him.

Meanwhile, Stevie is meeting a friend, Emma, for lunch. Emma is a psychologist who has written several books and is famous. Emma and Stevie became close friends after her husband and son were killed when she would meet with Emma for counseling. While talking with Emma at lunch, Stevie becomes angry, leaping out of her seat. As she leaves her seat, the glass window in the restaurant is shot out just missing her; but killing one waitress and one woman who was having an anniversary lunch with her husband.

J.D. Fitzpatrick, Stevie's current partner, arrives at the restaurant and he determines the shooter was aiming for Stevie. Stevie heads home after helping at the crime scene with Emma in tow. At home, Stevie see's Clay bringing Cordy home, and becomes irate. She told him, from her hospital bed when she was shot in the leg, that there was no us and he couldn't be part of her life anymore. In her anger, she tears out of the house as fast as she can, since she is walking with a cane, and is shot at by a drive-by shooter. Clay grabs Cordy and then Stevie, knocking them safely to the ground. J.D. shoots the driver in the arm. More cops swarm Stevie's home as the investigation continues and Clay offers to become Stevie and Cordy's bodyguard. It's decided that Stevie and Cordy will go to Clay's father's water front home where it is secure with top of the art security measures, including under water thermal changes.

Clay, Stevie, Cordy and Emma go to Clay's father's home where they are safe for a short time. Clay and Stevie become slightly closer during this time. They come close to having sex, but Clay felt he was being used and if they ever had sex, it would be because she loved him. They argue and the argument is interrupted by Clay's father's test on the security system arranged with the local police department. Shortly after, Clay's home is broken into by two different people, one ransacked it and the other murdered two policemen taking a photograph of Clay with his father by a boat.

Hoping to catch one of the suspects, the police and FBI setup a hotel room with an undercover woman FBI agent similar to Stevie's stature along with stuffing under the bed covers, imitating a sleeping child. One of the shooters shows up at the hotel, kills the FBI agent and shoots up the lump under the covers. Stevie feels guilty that more people are dying trying to protect her. The police suspicions are confirmed that there are more dirty cops within their police department. Stevie isn't sure who to trust, including her boss Hyatt. Since being betrayed by her dead partner Silas, has her wary.

After the security test, Stevie leaves Clay's father's house to investigate on her own. Clay quickly catches up with her even though he is still mad. They work together, along with J.D., investigating leads that go nowhere.

The safety at Clay's father's house is further tested when someone sneaks in with a pizza delivery guy. Several FBI agents along with several cops are killed. The shooter escapes, but is wounded.

Finally Stevie, Clay, J.D. and Hyatt, along with several FBI agents agree to try and let her lure the shooters in. Stevie, Clay, J.D. and several FBI agents take up residence in a hotel. Here, finally Stevie and Clay are together. He tells her he loves her and she is unable to reciprocate the words. She knows she loves him, but is afraid their relationship will not be as good as her and Paul's was.

While all of this is happening, you are introduced to this man named Robinette. After being discharged from the Army, he marries his first wife and has a son named Levi. They divorce and he sets his eyes on a woman who is married to his childhood best friend. His friend is the owner of a pharmaceutical plant which delivers vaccines to countries that are in need of them. Robinette kills his best friend, placing the bullet that did it inside of his friends Rubix Cube that he played with as a child. He marries his best friend's wife, Julie and gains control of the pharmaceutical company and then places the Rubix Cube on his desk. Robinette hires several old army buddies and along with them, they are inventing a new formula ¬plus shipping out sarin to foreign countries under the guise of vaccines. This illegal side of the business has made him extremely rich. Julie is soon murdered and all the evidence points to his son, Levi. Levi is shot and killed by Stevie. Stevie always thought that Robinette killed his wife and set up his son, Levi, but she couldn't prove it. Right after that, her husband and son were murdered so while on bereavement leave, the whole case was dropped.

After the murder of his second wife, Robinette became a pillar of the community with the help of his attorney and PR person, Brenda Lee. Community service has become a large portion of his life. He has since remarried, Lisa, who is extremely wealthy in her own right. She has persuaded Robinette to run for State Senator. Brenda Lee is furious because it will be harder to keep his indiscretions hidden, including his financial records. Robinette is also carrying on an affair with his friend, Fletcher who was in the army with him. Fletcher is also the scientist of the group for his illegal side of the business. Lisa is afraid that Robinette is having an affair with Brenda Lee, but she sets Lisa straight by telling her it was Fletcher he's been sleeping with. Lisa is furious and throws out his clothes, toys and any item that she could fit in the trash. She also clears out their checking and savings accounts. This allows the FBI to get some DNA evidence to catch him as the shooter.

Robinette has hired three people to try and kill Stevie and her child, but they are unsuccessful, so he takes on the responsibility. He is a little crazy at this point. After studying the photograph that he stole from Clay's house, he is able to make out the name of the boat that Clay and his father are pictured in front of. Robinette sneaks onto the property and tries shooting at Cordy while she is being transported to a boat. Since the property had been comprised earlier, they decided to move Cordy to the horse farm where it is safe. Clay's company had just finished installing all of the security equipment, so Stevie agreed.

Paige, a friend and private investigator with Clay, who is transporting Cordy to the boat, is shot in the leg and falls to the ground. Clay runs to her rescue and safely gets Cordy on the boat so they can speed away. Cordy is brought to the horse farm and Robinette escapes.

Finally the case is coming together as well as Stevie and Clay's relationship. She finally admits to him that she loves him and they have enough evidence to get a search warrant for Robinette's home and business. The crooked cops they were able to identify are being killed off by Robinette's hit men. While executing the search warrant at the business, a Rubix Cube is taken. Stevie mentions that the stickers had been removed and it was glued shut. Prying it open, they find the bullet that he used to kill his best friend with. The investigation continues and all of the shooters are identified and caught and they all lead back to Robinette.

Robinette finally has his chance to kill Stevie when the police, FBI, Stevie and Clay arrive at Robinette's mansion in search of him. Not finding him in the house, they prepare to leave. J.D. gets a tip that Robinette is at the airport attempting to fly out of the country. Everyone leaves for the airport except for Clay and Stevie. Robinette is biding his time hidden on his property to kill Stevie and then his wife, Lisa. Robinette sneaks up on Clay and Stevie, shooting Clay in the leg. He grabs Stevie and threatens to kill her if Clay does not hand over his gun. Reluctantly, he does so. Knowing that Robinette is injured in his left arm from the gunshot wound he received yesterday, Clay tries to relay this to Stevie in code, who finally catches on. Understanding, she hurts his injured arm, and then rolls him on the ground, holding him at gunpoint. Stevie threatens to kill him, but she can't. Clay tells her he would not feel any different towards her or turn her in, if she takes the killing shot. Then, as Robinette reaches for the gun that Clay tossed on the ground earlier, three shots ring out: Stevie's, Clay's and her bosses, Hyatt, each hitting him in the head. Hyatt had stayed behind in case the airport was a trick, and also tells Stevie he would not have turned her in for killing Robinette outright. Clay is brought to the hospital and requires surgery to fix his leg wound.

Meanwhile, another cop, Scott has received in the mail, an envelope of belongings that were his father's. His father had been a drug addict and assumed dead. Eight years ago, Scott had been invited to a bachelor party and lost a day and a half of his life and when he woke, there was a gun by his side. The items in the envelope included his father's wedding ring, wallet, other miscellaneous items and a matchbook with the name of a strip joint. The strip joint was where the bachelor party was held. After doing some investigating and speaking with an attorney, Scott was able to piece together what had happened during the time he missed.

Scott was drugged at the bar and brought to a hotel room, gagged and tied to a chair by Silas, Stevie's crooked partner. Silas photographed Scott and blackmailed his father into killing Paul Mazzetti by threatening to kill Scott. Silas worked for Robinette and was afraid that Stevie would find out that Robinette killed his wife instead of his son Levi, so to avoid Stevie finding out, he arranged for the murder of her husband. Paulie, their son, was not supposed to be with Paul that night and even though Silas knew it, he still ordered the hit. Consumed with grief, Silas knew Stevie would drop the investigation, which she did until recently when she was shot in the leg and needed to do some police work.

This devastated Stevie: knowing that her partner, Silas, whom she trusted, was a monster and had a hit put on her husband, taking her son's life as well. Tired of the police department and for the safety of her daughter, she is plans to take a PI position with Clay. Clay and Stevie buy a house and talk about their future: marriage.
Best part of story, including ending: I liked this story because it was filled with excitement, was a great investigation story and had a love story in it.

Best scene in story: My favorite scene was when Stevie had Robinette at gun point and was warring with herself to murder him or cuff him.

Opinion about the main character: What I disliked most about Stevie was how stubborn she was when it came to the feelings she felt for Clay. Her husband had been dead for eight years and instead of moving on after all that time she still continued to cling to her feelings for her husband, or rather thought any relationship would not be as perfect as their was. All of her friends kept telling her how right Clay was for her and Cordy, but she didn't want to hear it.   Even her daughter loved Clay and he loved her in return.

The review of this Book prepared by Karenann Knotoff a Level 2 American Robin scholar

Chapter Analysis of Watch Your Back

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 30%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes General Crime (including known murderer)    -   Yes Who's the criminal enemy here?    -   evil corporation/rich guy If story PRIMARILY about main chr. being hunted...    -   hunted by killer/stalker Is Romance a MAJOR (25%+) part of story?    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   government investigator Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


City?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   touching of anatomy    -   actual description of sex    -   descript. of breasts Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Karen Rose Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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