Book Title: SHARP SHOOTER
Author: Marianne Delacourt
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
No of Pages: 311
Tara Sharp should be just another unemployable, twenty-something, ex-private schoolgirl... but she has the gift - or curse as she sees it - of reading people's auras. The trouble is, auras sometimes tell you things about people they don't want you to know.
When a family friend recommends Mr Hara's Paralanguage School, Tara decides to give it a whirl - and graduates with flying colours. So when Mr Hara picks up passes on a job for a hot-shot lawyer she jumps at the chance despite some of his less-than-salubrious clients.
Tara should know better than to get involved when she learns the job involves mob boss Johnny Vogue. But she's broke and the magic words 'retainer' and 'bonus' have been mentioned. Soon Tara finds herself sucked into an underworld 'situation' that has her running for her life.
Tara Sharp is a newish entrant in the Australian amateur investigator / mad cap girl / chick lit style of crime fiction. With the added extra of a bit of paranormal ability, as in aura reading.
There's been a lot of entrants in this sort of slightly out of control, breathlessly 20-something, girl on the run, living in straightened circumstances, forging a way in the world type books recently, although I'm struggling to think of another one that has that added paranormal feature (that's not to say that there's not lots and lots of them out there). Tara's not overtly annoying, and the aura reading seemed unexceptional in the context of her character and her life. Some of the fem-jep aspects got a little tiresome after a while, as did the line up of expected clichés - clothes, boys, crushes and love affairs, living back with the parents and so on. Mind you, Mona the Monaro is a fantastic touch!
To be fair, this is not my sort of book. Having said that, for something that I normally wouldn't read it was okay, and it is good to know that there are some local offerings out there. If you're a fan of this sort of lighter, chick-lit styled book, then SHARP SHOOTER should be just the ticket.