Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Book Review: 'The Me Too Girl' by Lance and James Morcan

The Me Too Girl by Lance Morcan

A literary amber/red alert!

New Zealand novelist and screenwriter Lance Morcan is a former journalist and newspaper editor with twenty published books to his credit. He regularly writes in collaboration with his son James Morcan, an actor, writer, podcast host and producer who resides in Sydney, Australia. Together they have published twenty-five novels as a team, many in multiple languages. According to the authors, ‘This novel is dedicated to abused women everywhere – and to those individuals (men and women) who help convict the abusers.’

The quality of prose is excellent – likely attributable in part to the authors’ experience with creating film both in storyline and acting. From the opening page the mood is set – ‘ Susan Fox was lost in thought as the cab she traveled in negotiated the City of Angels’ horrendous rush-hour traffic. Her destination was the Sheraton Grand Hotel in South Hope Street – the venue for a celebration of the recent re-election of Los Angles’ popular mayor, Dean Lopez. Twenty-two-year-old Susan, or Suzie to friends and colleagues, was attending the function in her capacity as a member of the mayor’s now disbanded election team of voluntary canvassers. That successful exercise, along with a glowing testimonial from an appreciative Mayor Lopez, had helped her secure her sought-after position as an account executive with a prestigious boutique public relations firm. It was her first job, her first real job, since graduating from UCLA where she excelled in the allied fields of communications and journalism. When the cab stopped for a red light, Suzie reflected on the past week. It was, she thought, the week form hell. And that was saying something. As someone who had been subjected to sexual abuse throughout her teens, first by a guardian with pedophiliac predilections in Illinois and then by a sadistic predator in California, she’d had some bad times to contend with, but this past week, in her opinion, had to be the worst.’

It is with the same degree of imaginative intensity that this story is revealed, as the synopsis describes the plot: ‘Young Los Angeles public relations exec Suzie Fox is being blackmailed for sex by a bad cop, a senior officer of the LAPD no less. Suzie fights back the only way she knows how, and, in the process, unwittingly becomes a beacon, a shining light, for America's Me Too movement and for abused women everywhere. But will justice be served?’

An immensely impressive novel as well as a wake-up call for increased attention to the crime of sexual abuse, this book is important – as well as being a fine read. Highly recommended. 

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.