At the beginning of Janet Evanovich’s series, Ranger is Stephanie Plum’s co-worker and all-around mystery man. Eventually, he becomes one of Stephanie’s love interests, and we begin to learn more and more about him. Below is my log of various facts about his character.

This page is a work-in-progress, and will be updated as I continue re-reading the series. It was last updated on May 28th 2019, at which point I was on Book 5.

Ranger, the man and the mystery

“Ricardo Carlos Manoso. Second generation Cuban-American. Was Special Forces. Works for Vinnie now. He makes apprehensions other agents only dream about. He gets a little creative sometimes, but hey, that’s the way it is with a genius, right?”

One for the Money

“Ranger and I had a sort of loose partnership. Ranger was a genuine, cool-ass, numero-uno bounty hunter. I asked him to help me because I was still learning the trade and needed all the help I could get. His participation was in the ballpark of a pity fuck.”

Two for the Dough

In Three to Get Deadly, Ranger is now cited as “sometimes” working for Vinnie. There’s also a lot of mystery surrounding him and Lula begins to refer to him as Batman and his car as the Batmobile. His official address at the DMV is a vacant lot, so his real home is referred to as the Batcave. This is also the book where we begin to learn about Ranger’s diversification in business. “Mostly security related. Bodyguard, debris removal, security consultation.” He takes Stephanie to his office, which is a single room in four-floor brick building near the state buildings.

Ranger had been my mentor when I’d started in the business and was one very bad bounty hunter. In this case, bad meaning ultracool. He’d been one of those army guys who went around disguised as the night, eating tree bark and beetles, scaring the bejeezus out of emerging third-world insurgents. He was a civilian now, of sorts, sometimes working for Vinnie as an apprehension agent. He supposedly lived in the ‘hood among his Cuban relatives, and he knew things I’d never, ever know.

Three to Get Deadly

Ranger is a man of few words. He’s Cuban-American, former Special Forces, he makes a much better friend than an enemy, and he’s Vinnie’s numero uno bounty hunter.

Four to Score

In High Five, we learn more about Ranger aside from his business dealings. We learn that he had been married and has a 9 year old daughter who lives with her mother in Florida. Stephanie says she estimates his age to be between 25-35 years old.

“Nobody else will take this,” Connie said. “Ranger doesn’t take anything under ten grand.”

Ranger is my mentor and a world-class tracker. Ranger also never seems to be in dire need of rent money. Ranger has other sources of income.”

High Five

Ranger’s Cars

In Two for the Dough, Ranger is described as driving a black Mercedes sports car or a black Ford Bronco. But this changes in subsequent years.

“Ranger owned two cars. The first was a black Bronco equipped with state-of-the-art Bird Dog tracking system. When Ranger was doing a takedown and expected to transport felons he drove the Bronco. When Ranger wasn’t responsible for a takedown, he drove a black BMW, limited Production 850 Ci.”

Three to Get Deadly

In Four to Score, Ranger has a $98,000 BMW and a new black Range Rover.

In High Five, Ranger’s (always black) cars include a black Mercedes S600V SUV.

Ranger changed cars like other men changed socks. The only common denominator with Ranger’s cars was that they were always expensive and they were always black.

High Five

Ranger’s appearance

I knew Ranger was beside me because I could see his earring gleaming in the moonlight. Everything else about him–his T-shirt, his flack vest, his slicked-back hair, and 9-mm Glock–was as black as the night. Even his skin tone seemed to darken in the shade. Ricardo Carlos Manoso, the Cuban-American chameleon.

Two for the Dough

He wore his black hair slicked back into a ponytail, dressed in black and khaki, had a washboard belly, cast-iron biceps and the reflexes of a rattler.

Three to Get Deadly

He was dressed in a black T-shirt and black assault pants tucked into black boots. He had a body like Schwarzenegger, dark hair slicked back off his face and a two-hundred-watt smile. He was drop-dead sexy, he was as sane as Batman, and he was a primo bounty hunter.

Four to Score

Ranger’s Cuban-American. His features are Anglo, his eyes are Latino, his skin the color of a mocha latte, and his body is as good as a body can get. He had his black hair pulled back into a ponytail. He was wearing a black T-shirt that fit him like a tattoo and black SWAT pants tucked into black high-top boots.

High Five

Number of times he said babe

Two for the Dough: 3 (in contrast to Morelli, who said “babe” once)

Three to Get Deadly: 9

Four to Score: 2 (Morelli said “babe” twice in this book too, so it didn’t become Ranger’s schtick yet)

High Five: 18