Aussie Book Review: Split by Tara Moss

split Split (Makedde Vanderwall #2) by Tara Moss


TBR pile

Harper Collins 2006 (originally published 2003)

Synopsis- Mak is beautiful, street-smart and single, a model paying her way through a degree in forensic psychology. She s come to Vancouver to finish her studies. But instead she walks straight into a city gripped by fear of a killer, and a campus where the students are the prey. As winter closes in and the nights grow longer, Mak is drawn into a shifting world of twisted minds, a world where no motive is clear and no desire is held in check

Review- It’s been about six months since I read Fetish, the first novel in the Makedde Vanderwall series by model and author Tara Moss. I really enjoyed the start to the series and was keen to pick up book 2, Split which I managed to read while I was on my honeymoon.

After the trauma Makedde experienced in the first novel while she was in Sydney, I was curious to see what would happen once she returned to her country of origin, Canada. And, of course I wanted to find out what would happen with Detective Andy Flynn whom she had a brief (but intense) affair with in Sydney during the investigation of the stiletto killer.

Split picks up a year after the events, with Makedde (now in Canada) studying her PHD in forensic psychology, with her specific interest in sociopaths and serial killers. She’s also trying very hard to ignore the signs of PTSD from disturbed sleep, to hypervigilance to her obsession with serial killers. Makedde is also eager to forget all about the handsome Australian detective whom she once had very strong feelings for. It soon becomes clear that she finds it increasingly difficult to keep him at a distance and when he attempts to make phone contact with her out of the blue and then confronts her at a conference on serial killers. It rattles her further when hebegins to work on a serial killer case right on her doorstep. Makedde soon becomes caught up in the case and in fact an indirect target of the perpetrator.

Makedde is quite hung up on the fact that Andy had to save her from the last serial killer and struggles with the fact that she was so helpless at that point in time. This hangs in the way of their developing a relationship as she feels she will always owe him for saving her life.

There was a lot about this book I enjoyed and some parts that let it down. Firstly, I think Makedde was a little more likeable this time around, though she does still come across a little too perfect. The psychology stuff did become a little forced earlier in the story to try and make her sound intelligent which was also a little offputting, but overall I connected with her better. However, she does make some silly decisions and is quite stubborn about following up on leads on her own rather than leaving it to the local police. She’s quite avoidant of the issues with Andy and instead starts to date another guy which conveniently begins just after Andy arrives in town when she hasn’t dated anyone else in the year since they’ve been apart.

The crime plot was interesting and I found myself drawn to Andy again, who is  far more easier to connect with on an emotional level than Makedde as he isn’t as well defended as she is. The other thing that seemed a little too coincidental tat Makedde inadvertently strays into the path of another serial killer- but I have a feeling this whole series will be serial killer related.

Despite these minor qualms, I did finish the book quite quickly and was satisfied with the ending, at least in respect to the romantic arc and I do intend to continue reading more books in this series.

Overall Rating


“Very enjoyable”

Split can be purchased from Fishpond and other leading book retailers

This book was read as part of the AWW2013 challenge:



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