How and why does a not yet 16 year old, gorgeous stick blond with an IQ of 170+ after jettisoning a Private girls school in Montreal, become a “Contract Killer?” This is Mandal’s story. She is a genius, OCD, Bi-Polar, Manic are a few of her mental Illnesses. Her elite parents are about to drug her genius out of her mind. Thus, not yet 16, she runs. Over ten years later, after being a nude dancer, grifter, whore and finally a killer and being the concubine of a violent and obese monster in New Jersey, she runs with nearly a million dollars of his cash. Thus the hunt for her, by the mobster’s violent crews of sociopathic soldiers as she drives across the USA in her old Cadillac begins. Her destiny changes when she breaks down in a last chance Texas desert shit hole called “Inferno Flats.” It is a violent and ghastly place run by the maniacal and deadly COX family, Mava, Billy and his brother Arvan. They run a secret drug empire, and with the crews from NJ hunting her, she must lie, grift and use her violence, her knowledge of guns and above seduce everyone in the Cox family so she can escape. All of that changes, when she meets the 3rd brother, Jason Cox, a hideously burnt ex Green Beret which is a gifted savant of all things of life. He is a mysterious Shaman to the desert Indians. She falls in love with him, thus her plan for his and hers salvation begins to form in her insane and gifted mind. Does she make it out alive? We shall see.
How often do readers encounter a badass female protagonist? Not very often so I welcomed Mandal Beckwith with open arms.
Mandal is intricate. She deals with her issues, lives her life her way and decides to escape the clutches of her slimy underworld boss/boyfriend. Brazen, determined and prepared as if she were a Girl Scout, Mandal flees with nearly a million dollars stolen from her mafioso lover. We travel with our badgirl as she tries to reach Las Vegas to start fresh, looking over her shoulder, waiting for thugs to surface to claim the lifted money as well as Mandal – it is a trip to remember and the various characters she encounters make for plenty of action and entertainment. Great narrative, lots going on and it is well put together.
Badass Mandal refuses to cross the proverbial line, the line ultimately taking her to the dark side. Yes, she kicks ass defending herself as well as the weak and helpless but there is something within her heart and soul preventing her from terrorizing the world. She is one tough cookie with a heart yearning to love and be loved, intelligent and stunningly beautiful not to mention her sixth sense of people, her walls are high, desirable, and envied make her into the unique creature she is. Truly one of a kind character and the reader can’t help but find her endearing and heartbreaking as we champion her on in her quest for autonomy and freedom.
I adore Mandal and I embrace her flaws and respect her honesty. This story is full of action, drama, and colorful characters creating quite a stir. Definitely worthy your time and attention. Noir fans will thoroughly enjoy The Hit Woman’s Assassination Handbook. I salute the bold and daring Jane Brooke for introducing us to Mandal, a strong female protagonist taking no hostages.