I’d recently prepared a review of the second book in Zoe Sharp’s Charlie Fox series, and was all set to cross-reference it to my review of Killer Instinct. And then I realised that, for reasons that completely elude me now, I didn’t share one after reading it. Clearly, I needed to correct this oversight. I had put a review on Amazon and Goodreads, so at least I didn’t ignore it completely at the time. For simplicity, below is a cut and paste from Amazon – it does at least have the virtue of having been written when the book was fresh in my mind. An explanation of the ‘chance meeting’ I mention is given next time.
I hadn’t come across this series until recently. A chance meeting led to it being mentioned and, curiosity aroused, I decided to start at the beginning. Apparently, Lee Child has said that if Jack Reacher was a man, he’d be Charlie Fox. Having now read Killer Instinct, I can see why he might say that, although Charlie Fox does retain a degree of vulnerability, which isn’t generally present in Reacher.
Whenever I review, I don’t dwell on the plot, because I always think it’s better to let the reader discover it for themselves. Instead, I’ll focus on a couple of other aspects.
The first is the world Charlie inhabits. Morecambe and Lancaster aren’t obvious settings for this kind of book but, as I’m not familiar with either I’m probably not the best person to judge. What Sharp does, though, is create a sense of the underbelly of these towns, or parts of them. There’s certainly a sense that Charlie moves in circles I wouldn’t want to on a regular basis.
As for Charlie herself, on some levels she reflects certain archetypes of the loner, the avenger, the person who knows how to handle themselves in a fight. But there’s more to her than that, and those layers, hidden at first, begin to reveal themselves as the book progresses. That said, I suspect there’s more to come out into the open, and I’m looking forward to finding out what there is to learn about her.
Book one may be too early to judge for sure, but I get a sense this is a series I’m going to keep coming back to. Fast-paced, bloody, unpredictable at times, it lulls you into thinking this is entertainment you don’t need to think about too hard. And you don’t have to – but you just might.
If you’ve missed this treat of a book and want a copy yourself, I’d strongly recommend getting down to your local independent bookshop. These are becoming fewer all the time, so they need our support. If there isn’t one handy or, like me, you are a complete Kindle convert, click on either of the following links:
If you’re curious as to why I’m suggesting Hive for the paperback, you can read my post on the subject here.