HIT - Tara Moss

Reviewed By
Karen Chisholm

Meaghan Wallace is invited to one of the "must be at" social events in Sydney - a party at the very very rich Cavanagh household. When her escort (and boss) finally passes out, she stumbles across Damien, the very spoilt son of the family, arguing with other men in the same room as a bed, and a very young, dead Asian girl. Meaghan uses her phone camera to videotape the event, amazed at the famous faces she's encountering at this party, but is caught by Damien's friend Simon who smashes the phone and quietly removes Meaghan from the party. When Meaghan is found dead in her own apartment a few days later, a young drug-addled junkie who is also there is assumed guilty by the police, but Meaghan's boss is not so sure.

Makedde Vanderwall is working freelance for the PI firm he hires, saving up the money to open her own forensic psychology practice, and she is assigned the case. It also seems that Simon is not such a great minder for his friend after all and Damien's father - Jack - is forced to step in to clean up after his son and protect the family reputation and business.

HIT is not a who or why done it - it's a thriller. You know that there are two main threads converging - Makedde's investigation and the Cavanagh family tidying up. HIT is all about how and when these elements collide. The book changes perspective with each chapter - from Makedde's investigation to the family and the activities of their hired help.

The good thing about HIT is the "bad guys". Whilst the action swirls around Damien, he is a very one dimensional character, but Simon is a classic leached on friend. He is Damien's minder and pimp, for the money he can redirect his way, but mostly because of the influence that being the "friend of Damien" gives him. Jack Cavanagh has a "minder" of his own - an enigmatic character known as "The American" who sorts out problems. There is a hired killer, bought in from India, an Australian with a Sydney based history, an unforgettable appearance and a big reputation as an efficient killer.

The bad thing about HIT is the Makedde chapters which frequently slow the pace to snails crawl, with extraneous padding and repetitive elements that become hard work. The major sex scene, albeit short, between Makedde and her boyfriend Andy, would probably qualify for the Literary Review Bad Sex Awards. There is also way too much made of the fact that everyone underestimates Makedde because of the way she looks, and too many pointless references to Makedde's blissful unawareness of how her stunning good looks stop conversation in restaurants and create murmurings in shopping centres. And why the push up bra and skimpy singlet "that she felt might come in handy"? Did it come in handy? This reader is still wondering.

Ultimately HIT will please fans of Tara Moss, and could well find a market in those looking for pure entertainment.

Year of Publication

Makedde Vanderwall has her PhD and she has started a new life in Australia with her detective boyfriend, Andy Flynn. To scrape together extra cash to start her first forensic psychology practice, Mak begins working part-time for an infamous Sydney PI.

With a knack for investigation and bending the law, she might just have stumbled across her true calling - and the career choice that could finally bust up her relationship once and for all. Then Mak is hired by a mysterious client to investigate the murder of A-list PA Meaghan Wallace. The police believe it's an open and shut case: a junkie street-kid is guilty. But the case turns out to be a lot more complicated as Mak uncovers a dangerous web of cover-ups, killers for hire, the powerful and debauched rich and Australia's sleazy underbelly.

If the boy didn't kill Meaghan, then who set him up? And how far will they go to keep their guilt a secret?

Review HIT - Tara Moss
Karen Chisholm
Monday, September 10, 2007

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