This is not my normal genre of book, but I loved the cover so I entered the Hawkeye Books competition for a free copy.
Here’s my (ahem) winning entry:
The title promises chaotic joy.
The cover shows an alarmed emu and a strong capable woman alone on a motorcycle.
I’m already smiling in anticipation.
I want more.
Here’s the link to the book, which is launched 5 May 2021. I got sent an advanced copy in exchange for this review. Although I have my own copy on its way. Which I won.
I did mention I won a copy, right?
The cover is perfect for this book. (As is my brilliant description of it. Ahem). There’s a lot of fun packed into 142 pages.
International jewel-thief-for-hire, Mallory Cash, roars through the Australian desert on a motorbike. She’s one of several professional thieves heading for a town called Cooper Pedy. They all have their eyes on the Virgin Rainbow, a beautiful opal due to be exhibited there. If you can accept this premise – and hey, why not? I’ve believed stranger things in pursuit of a good read – then this world will not disappoint.
Mallory is haunted by disappearance of her ‘gentleman robber’ father, some twelve years ago. Can she find him? What would he make of his daughter now? And while we are asking questions, who is the mysterious First Lady and what does she want with Mallory?
Mallory, aided by the charming (read extremely hot) but duplicitous British thief Derek, steals the opal then leaves town pursued by Jimmy the Cat, another jewel thief also after the gem. Mallory also leaves behind the delectable local hunk Sam, despite their obvious (read intense almost irresistible) chemistry. But is Sam everything he seems?
Is anything the way it seems?
No sooner does Mallory have the opal than she loses it. It’s vital she gets it back – Trafford, the guy who hired her, is not a forgiving man. And so begins The Hunt for the Virgin Rainbow in earnest.
If that little lot isn’t enough to get you turning the pages I don’t know what will.
Steele gently and knowingly plays with all the classic tropes. It works because Mallory is so engaging. She’s a capable woman with a weakness for a handsome face and a ripped torso.
She’s not exactly ruthless, she’d rather not shoot people, but she will if absolutely necessary … as role models go, we could all do worse than Mallory Cash.
Well, apart from the blatant lawbreaking I suppose.
The Australian desert landscape is vividly rendered. As a Brit I am instantly charmed by tales of emus racing across sandy vistas, journeys by camel (in Australia? You learn something every day) and budgerigars flying wild.
Now I’ve finished the book, I can still visualise scenes from it and I have to agree with the critic who suggested it would make a great movie.
First in a series.
Because I don’t think we’ve heard the last of Mallory Cash.