Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Darcia Helle has a hit with "Hit List"

When authors can serve a dual purpose of entertaining and teaching at the same time, they surely have hit the mark.
Darcia Helle has done so with this book which not only provides a good story but brings out the subject of mental breakdowns and how children of parents who have a breakdown might best care for those they love.
Ian Mc Cormick's mother, Corinne, has had a serious breakdown and is frightened. Occasionally, when Ian arrives home he will see evidence of this such as his mother watching a blank screen TV.
When the psychiatrist she had doesn't seem to be helping, Ian hires a P.I. to find out what happened to his mom in the days prior to her breakdown. Why is Corinne so frightened? Perhaps the lovely P.I. Lucinella "Lu" Martel will find the answer.
The reader is made aware of two men, Nico and an employee, Skeets, discussing if Corinne really knows anything and what they should do with her. At the same time a Det. Graham and his partner are watching the house.
Lucianna and her efficient uncle, Vinny, find that Nico is the subject of a police investigation by Det. Graham.
Nico heads a gang called Unit K that deals with young children, some runaways, for use in pornography, or as young hookers. Lu also learns that before Corinne became detached, she dated a man named Sam Evans who works for Unit K as a private contractor.
What are the connections between the police watching the house, Nico and Unit K and Sam Evans? These are things Lu has to uncover as attachment for Ian grows.
Darcia Helle has done a fine job of tying the ends together while exploring the relationship between Ian and Lucianna. The author also brings out the effect of mental disorders on those around them and that even relatives often disassociate themselves from the afflicted. She also underlines the importance of an adult child caring for a parent who has a breakdown, rather than the easy route of having the parent placed in a home.

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