Bad Turn by Zoë Sharp #BookReview #BlogTour

One bad turn...deserves another.

Charlie has quit her job in close protection, been turned out of her apartment, and is apparently out of options. Why else would she be working for a shady arms dealer?

House-sitting in rural New Jersey has to be the pits—TV and TV dinners. A far cry from Iraq... Bulgaria... Afghanistan. Unlucky or not, she happens to be around at the right time to foil a violent kidnap attempt on Helena, wife of billionaire arms dealer, Eric Kincaid.

Kincaid offers her a job looking after Helena. The rumours about Kincaid’s business empire say he’s gone over to the dark side, but Charlie is in no position to be fussy. And protecting people against those who want to do them harm is what she’s good at. But when the threats against the Kincaids escalate, and then follow the couple over to Europe, Charlie’s really going to have to up her game. It’s time to take the fight to the enemy.

Charlie’s at her best putting an end to trouble. Now she must learn to strike first. And hope that the Kincaids don’t discover the secret she’s been keeping from them, right from the start. 

I'm thrilled to be hosting the blog tour for Bad Turn today, many thanks to Zoë Sharp and to Ayoola Onatade from for inviting me and for my advance digital copy of the novel.

I loved the previous Charlie Fox story, Fox Hunter and have been eagerly awaiting her return in Bad Turn. This is the thirteenth book in the series but Zoë Sharp certainly hasn't let her protagonist stagnate and I was looking forward to discovering what she would be up to this time around.
At the start of the book she has reached a crossroads in her career having quit her job in close protection with Armstrong-Meyer. Unfortunately the position also came with an apartment - and her former boss, Parker Armstrong had rubber-stamped her Green Card and firearms licence. Having been essentially blacklisted from the world of close protection, she is house  - and cat - sitting in rural New Jersey. However, trouble has a habit of finding Charlie and when she becomes involved in the attempted kidnapping of Helena Kincaid, the wife of billionaire arms dealer, Eric, she quickly realises she has little choice but to accept the position she is offered working with the Kincaids as Helena's protection.
It soon transpires that although the world of arms dealers is a shady one, the major players had at least reached an agreement to not involve their loved ones in their dealings. Therefore, the foiled ambush on Helena could trigger a war between some very dangerous people. Helena's response to her new bodyguard is intriguing and not what I expected at all. After a terrifying encounter which resulted in bloodshed on both sides, it would have been understandable for her to be grateful for the reassurance of a highly trained companion but the situation with Mrs Kincaid isn't that straightforward. At first she isn't a particularly likeable character but revelations about her upbringing and her past experiences help to explain her attitude and I thought the relationship between the two women was absolutely fascinating.
Charlie Fox is an outstanding lead character and the first person narrative allows readers to get really close to the action and to her response to the violent world she inhabits. She is highly skilled and experienced which means her no-nonsense description of fights can seem almost clinical as she brutally deals with would-be attackers. However, there is clearly another side to her as she struggles to come to terms with her memories of her lover, Sean Meyer and her sense of betrayal regarding her previous position. She has an inbuilt intuition for danger and can usually handle herself in risky situations but she also fears just what she is potentially capable of. Later in the novel there is a moment where this becomes more apparent and I suspect it may continue to haunt her in subsequent books in the series.
The corrupt world of international arms dealers means the fast-paced action sees Charlie barely able to pause for breath before she finds herself under attack once again. Dirty double-dealings and bitter recriminations results in a gripping action thriller where I was never sure who could be trusted  - or who would survive. The exciting plot sees her accompany Helena to Italy and then France but although the surroundings are opulent, there is something murky about the lives of the people Charlie has become involved with; although they underestimate her abilities, she perhaps takes more risks than she should in her determination to prevent harm coming to Helena.
Towards the end of the novel there is a scene which I suspect Zoë Sharp had an absolute blast writing. I don't want to give too much away about it, suffice to say that it's a classic cinematic moment which may have been used many times before but is still written in such a way to be almost unbearably tense. Bad Turn is a cracking action thriller with a complex, shocking plot and in Charlie Fox, one of the best protagonists in the genre. Hugely enjoyable and highly recommended.

Bad Turn can be purchased from Amazon UK or Amazon US.

Don't miss the rest of the blog tour, details 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 and on the group site MurderIsEverywhere, as well as wittering on Twitter and fooling about on Facebook.
Website  Facebook  Twitter


  1. Wow, that's amazing. Thank you so much, Karen. And thank you for having me stop by on the BAD TURN blog tour. I'm so pleased you enjoyed the book!


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