Allen & Unwin, September 2012, $19.99
By Shane Pinnegar
I bet there’s not many out there who would have wagered on this reviewer getting through a chick lit novel about a rapper – much less actually enjoying it!
Before you start thinking I have gone soft, the case for the defence goes like this: There’s a guitar on the cover. A neon guitar. And bullet holes. So that’s a big point in my favour! Odd though, since there’s not a single whiff of guitar in the entire book!
The plot basically concerns Tara Sharp, a private investigator/jill of all trades type in Perth, who has got into some hot water (this is the third Tara Sharp novel, so the bio says, but I didn’t feel I needed any knowledge of the back story to successfully negotiate STAGE FRIGHT) so heads to Brisbane for a stint helping out a music promoter with his latest tour by a hyper sensitive young rapper named Slim.
Ignoring the primping and preening, the agonising over the hot model casual boytoy and the married love interest (despite the fact that Ms Sharp has apparently kept her honeypot untouched for months, despite being in something resembling love with both these stereotypical characters), and the constant eye on fashionable outfits, it’s obvious that Delacourt (apparently the pseudonym of an internationally published fantasy/sci fi novelist) can spin a decent yarn.
In short, Stage Fright is old school PI pulp fiction dragged into the now by it’s high heels and stylish skirt, deliberately designed to be easily readable – presumably by the busy chick on the go who wants a literary release without descending into the dross of a romance novel, the contrived smut of 50 Shades Of Grey, or the over-testosteroned field of blokey literature, and on that remit it succeeds with a gold star.
Review posted 22 August 2012