26 March 2010

Review: TAKE OUT, Felicity Young

Fremantle Press, 2010, ISBN 9-781921-361838, 314 pages
#3 in the Stevie Hooper series
Many thanks to Fremantle Press for supplying the review copy.
My abject apologies for taking 4 months to read and review it.

Skye Williams is a district nurse and Stevie Hooper's friend. Skye is visiting a stroke patient Lilly Hardegan who has become worried because her neighbours have disappeared. Stevie belongs to Perth's Central Crime Squad and really shouldn't be entering the house, but Skye has already tried unsuccessfully to get the local cops to take an interest. There are clear signs of what seems to have been a hasty departure - an unfinished meal, an overflowing mail box, and the stove is still on and contains the charred remains of apple pies. And then they make a discovery they had not expected.

Mrs Hardegan lives next door with her son who is also absent. Her speech has been severely affected by a stroke, which makes communication difficult, particularly as she seems to be prone to make up her own words.

Stevie feels that the local cops are not taking the case seriously enough and continues to take an interest even though she knows she should walk away. She has more than enough on her own plate - her husband Monty is due to have heart surgery any day now - but when Skye Williams is killed there is no way she can disconnect.

I liked the way TAKE OUT is constructed. There are some threats that raise the level of tension in the book very effectively. There is Monty's impending surgery, threats to Stevie herself and to her daughter Izzy, and a plot that involves a trade in bringing Thai girls into Australia illegally.  There is an interesting device which gives Mrs Hardegan "a voice" that reveals her role in her neighbours' disappearance.
I'm not sure I understand what the title means and Young has to resort to a heightened level of coincidences to bring the plot strands together. Nevertheless TAKE OUT provided a satisfying read.

My rating: 4.6

I've counted this in my Aussie Author challenge.

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Anonymous said...

Kerrie - Thanks for this review. Disappearances as a theme always fascinate me, and adding the extra complications to build the tension can be very effective.

Dorte H said...

This one sounds good. And I suppose you have something up your sleeve as you give us a "Y" already.

Bernadette said...

eeeek I have fallen behind in this series, still got Harum Scarum on the TBR pile. But this one sounds good.

Booklover Book Reviews said...

Sounds chilling, but intriguing - particularly the bit about the stroke victim's 'voice'.


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