Today I hand over the reigns to my guest reviewer Mandie who has her review of Sharp Shooter, book one in the Tara Sharp series by Marianne Delacourt.
The Official Book Blurb
Tara Sharp can see auras, and it’s ruining her life.
When she tries to turn her inconvenient secret into a paying gig, her first job lands her in the middle of a tug of war between the biggest, baddest crime lord in town and the hottest business man Tara has ever met.
With only a narcoleptic ex-roadie, her pet galah and a vanilla slice for back up, Tara is ready to take on trouble with a capital ‘T’.
Sharp Shooter is a hilarious, action-packed novel and Tara Sharp is Triple F: Funny. Fast. Feisty.
WINNER of the Davitt Award 2010 Best Crime Novel and nominated for Ned Kelly Award 2010 Best First Crime Novel
Sharp Shooter by Marianne Delacourt is the first book in a series that introduces us to Tara Sharp a Private Investigator with an unusual gift – she can see auras.
When I first started reading this book I was not sure if I was going to like it. I have always been a bit sceptical of people who can talk to the dead or see auras as it has always seemed a bitblike mumbo jumbo, however despite ny misgivingd I kept reading. The book was a bit slow to start as the author spent a bit of time setting the scene of how Tara became a PI in the first place. You are not sure of the reasons behing Johnny Viaspa being so intent on taking local businessman Nick Tozzi down until quite late on and I will admit it was not for the reasons I first thought it would be.
Although there is quite a but of interaction between Tara and Mr Hara her mentor at the beginning of the book, he is soon side-lined and does not really feature for most of the story which I did think was a bit of a shame as more could have been made of his character and the sometimes humourous interactions between Tara and his wife.
When we meet Tara she is unemployed and living above her parents’ garage. Tara has always seen her “gift” as more of a curse and seeks the help of a family friend and therapist in the hope of turning her life around. Referred to Mr Hara who runs a Paralanguage School she finally learns to embrace her gift rather than fight it.
When she is promised a retainer and a bonus if she does a good job Tara starts working for a hot shot lawyer who represents local mob boss Johnny Viaspa. Attending a party that is broken up by police on a drug raid is just the start of her problems that sees her drawn into situations that threaten her life.
At first glance Tara seems to be the typical privately educated girl that has rebelled against her parents and can’t seem to settle into a career. Wanting to change her life and most definitely her living arrangements (if nothing else to escape the watchful eye of her disapproving mother) Tara throws herself into her new profession sometimes quite literally. Despite the initial lack of direction in her life I did like her.. she is totally disorganised, often forgetting to do her laundry or shop and has no inclination towards keeping her apartment tidy as is evident after she finds out that somebody broke in…and tidied the place up before leaving . Bok and Smitty her closest friends from school try to keep Tara out of trouble with little success.
Then there is Nick Tozzi a local businessman and the intended target that Tara was hired to get close to. There is definitely a spark between the two of them but there is one problem that neither of them is prepared to ignore… Nick is married. Over the course of the book they are thrown into several situations that see them become good friends. Having a hitman on her tail sees her hire a part time body guard. That in itself poses problems when the said bodyguard suffers from narcolepsy and can fall asleep at a moment’s notice.
There are several instances in the book that brought a smile to my face most of which involve her mother’s pet birds, my favourite being at the start of the book when in the process of catching one of the escaped birds she comes across a burglar breaking into a neighbour’s house and when she catches him she is found by the police with the bird on her shoulder and just wearing a t shirt and pants.
If I am honest I would have probably missed this book where it not for a request for review from my sister. That being said I am pleased that I could help. Sharp Shooter is not your typical dark PI novel but it is a good, fast and fun read.
Thanks to author Marianne Delacourt and Miriam Rune for providing a copy of the book. My review is completely voluntary.
You can purchase a copy of Sharp Shooter from the following links.