Published: December 2016 by Deadlines
Format reviewed: E-book (mobi)
Series: Tara Sharp #2
Genres: Crime, paranormal
Reading Challenges: Australian Women Writers Challenge 2017
Available: Publisher (print and electronic) ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Book Depository ~ Booktopia~ Kobo ~ Smashwords
Disclaimer: I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This review contains spoilers for previous volumes/books.
Tara’s quirky PI business is attracting some even quirkier customers. She’s not sure how Madame Vine’s Escort Agency got her number. And then there’s the eccentric motorcycle racing team owner, Bolo Ignatius. Both these clients want to Tara to investigate suspicious circumstances that turn up dead bodies. That can only mean one thing in this town: John Viaspa. Tara goes in for round two with the local crime boss, while balancing the tight rope of her deliciously complicated love life.
Sharp Turn is the second Tara Sharp book and continues to be fast-paced fun. Although Tara finds herself in some prickly situations (sometimes quite literally), the story maintains a light-hearted tone.
The first book in the series got off to a bit of a slow start, but Sharp Turn came roaring out of the gate. Within two chapters, the story had reintroduced reoccurring characters and set up several new plots. It verged on a little too fast for me, but fortunately settled.
I really enjoyed the return of some of the characters. Cass was a particular surprise–a streetwise teen who helped Tara out in the first book. She’d seemed like just a passing character, so I was delighted to see her back. Not only that, but she gets fleshed out as we learn a bit more about her background. She serves as an excellent foil for Tara. The fact she has more life skills than Tara–particularly when it comes to cooking–highlights Tara’s privilege, as does Cass’s relationship with Tara’s mother.
The romantic relationships were a bit of a weak point of the book. There are appearances from both love interests, just long enough to remind us that they are still there with very little meaningful interaction. New complications are added to both relationships, but these felt flimsy and unsatisfying. Overall, Tara gives the impression of not being interested in any kind of relationship beyond the superficial.
The mystery elements were stronger, with each of the cases deftly intertwined. Coming from a family of motorbike enthusiasts, I also really enjoyed the setting. It felt vibrant and full of tension.
If you’re looking for a quick, fun read, Sharp Turn doesn’t disappoint.