(published by Harper Collins Publishers 2012)
I’m all about supporting my fellow Australians, my fellow writers and my fellow females, so when Australian writer Tara Moss published her latest novel, Assassin, I knew I had to jump right into it. I have read all 5 of her previous novels (listed below) and was eagerly anticipating the wrap up in the stories of Makedde Vanderwall and her unfortunate habit of attracting trouble and drama.
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Assassin, like all of Moss’s novels in this series, follows on from her previous novel, Siren, and we find the main character, Makedde (pronounced Ma-kay-dee!) Vanderwall on the run yet again, missing and presumed dead, her life plagued by hitmen, murder, corruption and an unrelenting passion for her former Australian flame, Detective Andy Flynn. Makedde is now a qualified private investigator and forensic psychologist, with readers seeing her struggle to complete her studies through the first 5 books after moving on from the world of professional modelling, but this novel see’s her take on a completely different role. In a case of kill or be killed, Makedde turns the tables on those who hunt her and transforms herself into a skilled and unrelenting assassin, attempting to clear her name and deliver her own vigilante justice to those who hunt her. When she finally returns to Australia, she is torn between rekindling her love for Detective Andy Flynn, solving the cycle of vicious murders from a copycat “Stiletto Killer” and running from the corrupt Cavanagh Family, whose aim is to silence her for good to protect their family name and fortune.
Funnily enough, Makedde was never my favourite character in the previous books, but she is in this final instalment. She shows a much more violent and aggressive side, and emphasizes her intelligence in areas other than law enforcement. Previously, Makedde went to great lengths to take the moral high ground, to fight for the underdog and to assist the police in investigations of crimes against both herself and other characters. But in this book, she is a polar opposite; killing in cold blood, stealing from innocent young women and breaking the law at every turn. But her deep-set morals and vulnerability shine through right to the end, where she is revealed in the final chapter as finding all she ever wanted in life, surprising the reader with a final, shocking twist.
This book is a gripping thriller. As a busy mum I always have to give myself a deadline, a point where I must finish reading and get up and participate in family life, however this book had my family eating baked beans for dinner at 9pm and a mountain of washing and dirty floors as each chapter had me so hooked I had to keep going. The best aspect about Tara Moss’s writing is her level of research. She commits years to studying every theme she introduces in her novels, from learning to fire specific firearms, spending time in morgues, police stations and squad cars, prisons, psychology lectures and labs and even completed her Cert 3 in Private Investigator Credentials. Even more impressive is how she actually simulates the attack scenes in controlled environments to really experience the emotions her characters face, from being set on fire to being choked unconscious.
Alot of books that wrap up a long running storyline have a tendency to give up and you’re left with a mediocre, half hearted ending, but not this one! Really looking forward to the next book by this fantastic Australian authoress.
OTHER BOOKS BY TARA MOSS: FETISH