The second of the Jennifer Shot series I've read, SHOT THROUGH THE HEART is Australian crime fiction of the humorous, slightly dippy female protagonist kind. The sort of girl (and that's appropriate in this case) that lives a quirky alternative lifestyle (this time in an old multi-storied mansion type house in Tasmania - with a view and, I think, a turret or something). She shares that house with a bunch of eccentric types, and they all live one of those slightly breathless, wise-cracking, funny chats, ribbing each other constantly, all good friends together scenarios that's full to the brim of friendship, joking and harmless japes.
On reading an earlier book in this series, THE FIRST SHOT, this reader had some reservations about that whole heavy-handed humour thing, although that book did seem to show some promise, particularly in the set up for the central character, Jennifer Shot.
Whilst SHOT THROUGH THE HEART does continue firmly down the path of the heavy-handed humour, and is still very much from the softer, sillier side of crime fiction, alas the jokes don't seem to work as well. The banter this time out is in the 75kg+ weight-lifting category and seems to have taken over.
To be fair, this sort of style is most definitely not my preferred reading material. Although those that have worked, tend towards a better balance between plot and character and are less caught up in the whole "cleverness" of the chatter between the characters. There is a fundamental element - the crime - that gets a lot more focus. Particularly when you are dealing with killers of the serial variety and a startlingly rapid pile up of bodies.
None of this was helped by the rather predictable elements of an international drug ring, a couple of romantic interests in the persona of an American mercenary and the policeman old flame, with a dollop of handsome millionaire complicating matters for the heroine who, it seems, is the centre of all attention. All of which probably goes to say there's likely to be an audience out there that's a lot more receptive than this one.