Sunday, March 15, 2015
Hit and Run by Maxine O’Callaghan
The PI business has been hard on Delilah West over the last year. Her husband and business partner was murdered and her last case left her with a broken arm, cracked ribs, and big medical bills, forcing her to moonlight as a waitress to pay the bills. As if that wasn’t bad enough, she’s jogging on a rain-slicked road when a speeding Trans Am clips her and mows down an old man. But things take a bizarre turn when the driver’s mother hires Delilah to clear her teenage son of the hit & run killing that Delilah witnessed. Or did she? Nothing is what it appears to be in a twisty, deadly case, that could end with Delilah as road kill.
Review by Rochelle Weber:
Brash Books likes to revive old classics. Hit and Run was first published in 1989, so our heroine, Delilah, has to work this case the old fashioned way—without Google or even a cell phone. She doesn’t actually witness the Trans Am mowing down the elderly man; she hears a thud while pulling herself up from where she landed when the car climbed the curb where she was standing and she dove for safety. Then, she found the body of Joseph Collins in the street while limping to a telephone booth trying to figure out who to call for a ride. So when the teenage driver, Michael Morales’s mother swears the old man was already lying dead in the street and Mike did not realize he’d even hit a human being, Delilah agrees to think about taking the case. And that’s when things start to get really weird.
The janitor in Delilah’s office building (where she’s living, hoping business will pick up) is a would-be sleuth named Harry Polk who is thrilled to have a real PI in the place. He appoints himself as her assistant, and gets beaten up by someone who doesn’t want her to pursue her investigation. Charlie Colfax, a friend of her late husband, shows up and offers her various jobs, trying to get her to close her office and work for him. He even introduces her to Erik Lundstrom, a millionaire who’s looking for someone to join his security team. The job even includes an apartment on Erik’s estate. But when she sees Erik with one of the major players in the Collins case, she realizes the job was just another ploy to get her to stop investigating a case that seems to be pointing toward issues much larger than the death of an elderly gentleman.
Hit and Run sucked me in on the first page and didn’t spit me out until the end. I liked Delilah and the people around her; even Michael Morales grew on me. The only glitch I found was a tendency to use adjectives when Ms. O’Callaghan should have used adverbs, a trend I see about as often as comma splices which were blessedly missing from this book. The characters were three dimensional, and the dialogue was natural. Delilah West is the forerunner and role model for such female sleuths as V.I. Warshawski and Stephanie Plum, and she sets the bar pretty high. Grab Hit and Run while you can, and see how it all started.
Length: 182 Pages
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Thanks for visiting. Rose, Julie, Donna, & Rochelle