I do enjoy a bit of a crime romp, with a sassy but imperfect heroine and a supporting case of intriguing and maybe disreputable characters. Marianne Delacourt’s Sharp Shooter delivers on both counts, with the bonus of being set in an Australian city. Delacourt’s Perth is a step to the left of the real Perth, but there’s plenty that’s recognisable about my old stomping grounds.
Tara Sharp, former basketballer and aura-reader, seems to be failing spectacularly at life, but getting a little guidance from one Mr Hara sets her on a new path. Trying to use her aura-reading skills to establish herself as a professional body-language interpreter, Tara ends up on the wrong side of a notorious criminal, his notoriously dangerous lawyer and a number of notorious-to-demented people, one or more of whom seem to want her dead.
At the same time, Tara is negotiating her attraction to a man she’s meant to be spying on, the demands of her friends and parents and, well, trying to be a proper grown up. The way to keep out of trouble is to keep her head down and her mouth shut. That gets a bit hard when, first up, you’re not a woman who knows how to shut up and, secondly, when someone, as a favour, has painted your Monaro burnt orange with racing flame insignia.
It’s all as hectic and occasionally ludicrous as you can imagine from that premise. It’s also immense fun. There’s action, awkward situations, unresolved sexual tension, unlikely friends, running like the clappers and a general sense of whirlwind adventure, with just a whisper of the paranormal. A rollicking good read!
Narrelle M Harris is a Melbourne-based writer. Find out more about her books, iPhone apps, public speaking and other activities at www.narrellemharris.com.