FOX HUNTER is the latest in Zoë Sharp’s highly acclaimed Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Fox crime thriller series.
‘The dead man had not gone quietly … There was a time when I would have given everything I owned to be the one responsible for that.’
Charlie Fox will never forget the men who put a brutal end to her military career, but she vowed a long time ago she would not go looking for them.
Now she doesn’t have a choice.
Her boss and former lover, Sean Meyer, is missing in Iraq where one of those men was working as a private security contractor. When the man’s butchered body is discovered, Charlie fears that Sean may be pursuing a twisted vendetta on her behalf.
Sean’s partner in their exclusive New York close-protection agency needs this dealt with—fast and quiet—before everything they’ve worked for is in ruins. He sends Charlie to the Middle East with very specific instructions:
Find Sean Meyer and stop him. By whatever means necessary.
At one time Charlie thought she knew Sean better than she knew herself, but it seems he’s turned into a violent stranger. As the trail grows more bloody, Charlie realises that unless she can get to Sean first, the hunter may soon become the hunted.
I'm delighted to be hosting the blog tour for Fox Hunter today, many thanks to the author, publishers and Ayo Onatade for inviting me and for my advance ebook in return for my honest review.
Fox Hunter is the twelfth book in Zoe Sharp's series about Charlie Fox, it's also the first I've read but luckily can be read as a standalone.
It's been a little while since I've read an action thriller but what a way to return to the genre! I was gripped by Fox Hunter from the very start. I must admit I was at a slight disadvantage not having read the earlier books but Zoe Sharp cleverly brings new readers up to speed organically through her plot building without having to constantly rehash the previous stories for long term fans. In this book Charlie is sent to Iraq to track down her former lover, Sean. He's not the man she used to know following his almost fatal shooting in a previous book - but has he really become a twisted killer?
I'm a huge fan of the television series, Homeland and Fox Hunter has some of the same elements of that show; high octane action, uncompromising violence, dangerous locations and the feeling that you never really know who you can trust. Charlie's mission takes her from one seemingly impossible situation to another, she seems to be in almost constant danger in this blisteringly fast paced thriller.
The pulse racing tension never comes at the expense of characterisation however. Charlie Fox is an unforgettable protagonist. She is highly capable, an efficient killer with a sharp mind. Her back story means she is also a very real character and relatable even though not many of us are ever going to have to face the extreme situations she finds herself in. Her instinctive ability to take a life isn't something she takes for granted, she's a survivor but killing another human - even one who was trying to kill her - affects her deeply. In Fox Hunter she learns more about her past, the shocking truth is handled with a searing honesty and never feels gratuitous. It's not just Charlie though, I absolutely loved all the strong female characters in this book, Luisa Dawson, Aubrey Hamilton and Madeleine. It's so refreshing to read an action thriller where the women take centre stage and aren't love interests, secretaries or sidekicks. They are all complex, interesting and believable women, their relationships with one another may sometimes be more than a little fraught and though the respect between them may be grudging at times, it's earned as they learn what they are each capable of.
Fox Hunter has the grit and glamour of a big screen action thriller, with its global locations and international cast of antagonists; it also has a thoughtful, poignant storyline that looks at revenge, justice and redemption, and examines the process of trying to move beyond horrific events that threaten to define not just the past but the present and future too. I really enjoyed this book, the gripping action, detailed and nuanced characterisation and fascinating narrative make this a superlative thriller and one I thoroughly recommend.
Don't miss the rest of the blog tour, dates are below.
About the Author
Zoë Sharp opted out of mainstream education at the age of twelve and wrote her first novel at fifteen. (Which, thankfully, still sits in a box in her attic, despite her father's suggestion that she should sell it on eBay.) She became a freelance photojournalist in 1988 and wrote the first of her highly acclaimed Charlotte 'Charlie' Fox crime thrillers after receiving death-threats in the course of her work.
It was at this point she took a keen interest in learning various forms of self-defence. She had also been a competition rifle shooter, both of which skills have come in very handy for her ex-Special Forces turned bodyguard heroine.
"I loved thrillers, but wanted to read about female characters who were just as self-reliant, and just as skilled as the guys. When I couldn't find any that fitted the bill, I decided I was simply going to have to write my own."
She has won a Lovey Award for Best Series and been nominated (often more than once) for Edgar, Anthony, Barry, Benjamin Franklin and Macavity Awards in the United States, as well as the CWA Dagger Award. Her work has been used in a Danish school textbook, turned into a short film, and optioned for TV and film.
Zoë is a regular blogger on her own website -- www.ZoeSharp.com -- on the group site MurderIsEverywhere, as well as wittering on Twitter (@AuthorZoeSharp) and fooling about on Facebook (@AuthorZoeSharp)