cover image She'll Take It

She'll Take It

Mary Carter. Kensington Publishing Corporation, $12.95 (304pp) ISBN 978-0-7582-1354-9

ncCarter's debut sucks the reader into the hyper-neurotic world of struggling actress cum talented kleptomaniac Melanie Zeitgar, for whom the guilty thrill of a good theft can take the sting out of boyfriend mishaps, job failures and dysfunctional family affairs. But stealing stops being a palliative for this 20-something New Yorker when the habit veers out of control and jeopardizes her shot at a relationship with a man who demands nothing more than honesty. With incisive, funny writing, Carter reveals a highly troubled but very likeable woman lost in the big city. Though the conclusion disintegrates into pat psychobabble that explains Melanie's need to steal, the novel adds the twist of deep-seeded pathology to the basic chick lit formula, and, in so doing, contains an element of frantic desperation that is as sad as it is amusing.