I’ve previously written about the Charlie Fox series of novels by Zoe Sharp. Three were read and reviewed in fairly quick succession, and then you’ve heard nothing from me about them. But that’s not because I’ve not read any. I’ve actually read the next three – I just haven’t been writing reviews, and that’s no reflection of the books. It’s time to put that right.

In my review for Hard Knocks, I said things had cranked up a bit since the first two books in the series. That continues with First Drop and Charlie working on her first close protection assignment. Within the space of a few books, she’s gone from working in the north-west of England to Germany and now to Florida. This time she’s looking after a teenage boy – and, like all teenagers, he’s a pain in the behind.

Inevitably, what started out as a relatively easy job spirals out of control. Frankly, that had to happen, otherwise there’d be no point to the book. But that’s the fun, isn’t it?

As ever, no spoilers, but there’s plenty of action and tension and a real sense of danger. I enjoyed the ride so much I went swiftly on to the next in the series.

Because it’s been a while since I last wrote about a Charlie Fox book, I will repeat what I said last time. I can strongly recommend this series if you like the following:

  • a protagonist who’s very much human – the emotions and her capabilities feel very realistic
  • a plot to keep you guessing – I’d be lying if I said there are plenty of ‘I never saw that coming’ moments, but it certainly isn’t laid out for you on a plate
  • action grounded in reality.

Zoe Sharp clearly does her research – or she’s had a lot of training in self-defence and weapons. Everything about the combat scenes gives the reader a sense this could really happen.

It isn’t essential to read the earlier books first. Indeed, the author does suggest that, if you only want to read about Charlie Fox’s work in close protection, you should start here. For me, though, it’s been good to read them from the beginning.

If you’ve missed this treat of a book and want a copy yourself, click on the image above. If you want to know more about the author, you can check out her website here.