Tag Archives: Charlie Fox

Well Read on Wednesday

New Orleans was on my Must Visit list from the time I started making such a list, way back when I was a teenager.  I got to check this off in 1990 when my DYS (Dashing Young Scotsman) and I took an extended trip to the southern states of the US.  I was not disappointed.  I/we loved everything about it.  We loved the Hotel St Marie in the Old French Quarter  just a short walk from Bourbon Street; we loved the food, the beignets at the Cafe Du Monde, the music, the atmosphere and most of all we loved the friendly people we met.

Some may say that I wasted Wednesday afternoon but I disagree;  I spent it reading.  What was I reading all afternoon and well past dinner time?  The latest in the Charlie Fox thrillers – Die Easy, set in New Orleans.  Double pleasure.

If you were reading my blog posts in the middle of last year, you would know that I am a fan of Zoe Sharp and her feisty, female protagonist Charlie Fox.   I read the first book in the series after reading somewhere that Lee Childs thought Zoe Sharp one of the best thriller writers to emerge in recent times.  And I have followed/stalked Zoe and Charlie ever since.

I have awaited with impatience the publication of each book, and have read devoured each of them with undisguised pleasure, always in one sitting.  This tenth book in the series has not disappointed me and has kept me reading all afternoon.

Die Easy

This time we find Charlie and her partner/lover in New Orleans to act as body guards to a wealthy investor from Florida.   Many people feel that New Orleans the city and the people, have been ignored for too long and a celebrity  fund raiser is planned.  This is the reason Blake Dyer, the client, is going to be in New Orleans at this time.

As may be expected, this job does not go smoothly and is complicated by the fact that Sean Meyer, Charlie’s partner, has not totally recovered from the devastating accident that put him into a coma for several months.  He has woken from the coma  apparently recovered physically but there are large parts of his past that he doesn’t remember, including Charlie.

Even some of the skills at which Sean excelled before the accident seem to have deserted him/been forgotten and Charlie is not completely happy to rely on somebody who is not really at the top of his game to be part of her team.  However, she has no choice but to obey her boss when he says Sean is to be part of the close protection team.

Without giving too much away, Charlie has to face an opponent from her past, deal with a threat not only to herself but also to Sean and more importantly the client while all the time not being sure whether she can rely on Sean to watch her back.  A robbery turned hostage situation develops around the fund raiser and while there are many close protection operatives on board the boat, Charlie is thrust into the lead role as the one to ameliorate the situation and get the passengers off the boat unharmed.  As usual Charlie shows herself both physically and mentally able to cope with all that is put in her path, but with some disastrous consequences.

So I urge you to  get your hands on a copy of this book by fair means or foul – buy, borrow but perhaps I shouldn’t encourage you to steal – and set  aside a Wednesday (or any other) afternoon to read this book.

Once again I commend Zoe Sharp on writing this book, her imagination and her characters.  I like to think of her as a friend.

And I think this quote is particularly appropriate for this book.

A good book should leave you… slightly exhausted at the end.  You live several lives while reading it. “~William Styron,  American novelist and essayist
1925 – 2006

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Wet Wild Windy Wellington Weekend

Well it’s the second weekend of Spring but somebody forgot to tell the powers that be.  We should be out and about smelling the spring flowers, enjoying the balmy weather and wearing our lighter spring attire.

Alas, both yesterday and today the fickle Wellington weather has proven to us once again that it cannot be relied upon.  Yesterday we had wild winds and today we have had torrential rain and gale force winds.  We have hunkered down only venturing out when absolutely necessary.  Fortunately for me (and Lotte) my friend is quite happy to take her out for her walk while I sit reading my Charlie Fox novel.

I have written before about Zoe Sharp’s protagonist Charlie Fox  and today I read Fifth Victim.  At the end of the earlier novel – Fourth Day – Charlie’s lover Sean Mayer was critically injured and now lies in a coma.  Charlie is attempting to come to terms with this as she sits at his side each day hoping for some sign of life and/or recognition from him.  But he lies unmoving and unresponsive and she wonder what will become of her without him.

Her boss, Parker Armstrong head of the Close Protection Company, Armstrong-Meyer determines that Charlie needs to do something and so he assigns her to guard a rich young woman.  The young woman, Dina lives in the Hamptons with her  mother and fills her days riding her champion horses, shopping  and attending social  functions and parties.   Because of a spate of kidnappings among the children of the fabulously wealthy set in which her daughter moves, her mother is fearful that she might be the next  victim

While Charlie strikes up a friendly relationship with her charge she is hard put to keep her out of harm’s way and when another of the set is kidnapped and brutally murdered Charlie must unravel the mystery of who, what and why.

This is another well written, fast paced novel that is hard to put down.  The very thing to fill in a wet, wild, windy, Wellington day.

Obviously, I am completely taken with Zoe Sharp’s character and can’t wait for the next book.  I hope you are sitting at the computer writing away now Zoe.

Related Posts

 

The End of a Long Day

Granny on computer

Hours
and hours
sitting at
the computer
writing report for
friend’s return on Monday.
Now too tired to blog tonight
so will continue Antibes story
tomorrow after a good night’s sleep
having read more of Charlie Fox’s adventures.

This is another attempt at writing an etheree.  Exactly one year ago today I made my first attempt but got it wrongThe basic etheree form has ten lines, the first consisting of exactly one syllable, the second line of two syllables, and so on until the last line has  ten syllables.  An etheree can also be reversed, starting with ten syllables and ending with one.  But I wrote one word on the first line, two on the second and so on.  It wasn’t until after I wrote my poem on Snow in Brooklyn that I found my mistake.

Snowing in Brooklyn, Wellington

But the date on the camera is wrong – it was 15/8/2011.

So This is Retirement

retirement

retirement (Photo credit: 401(K) 2012)

What do you think of when you think of retiring?  Even if you are not old enough yet to consider it, I am sure you have some idea of the perfect retirement.

Is it living on some idyllic beach watching the sunset with your Best Beloved beside you, or perhaps travelling the world with your BB, long lazy days in the garden or just sitting contemplating life?  Well yes.  I had all those thoughts too.

Willow Bay

Willow Bay

In fact at the ripe old age of 48 I “retired” with my Dashing (Not So) Young Scotsman to a secluded bay in the Marlborough Sounds in the South Island of New Zealand.  That retirement lasted all of 9 months until we decided that we were really city people and came back to civilisation.  If you are interested, I wrote a post Paradise, Phones & Phrustration about that retirement.

As soon as we returned I quickly became involved again in the business world which I loved.  Then my DYS died suddenly and I was cast adrift.  I gave my daughter my business and spent time travelling and catching up on old friends.

Fast forward some 13 years.  I now assist a friend in her Real Estate business;  this suits me very well; I know I am not a retiree and this keeps my mind active and my body physically fit.  My friend has gone off to Peru for three weeks and I am looking after the business for her.  As I am not a licensed salesperson I can’t handle any sales but I can discuss properties with clients, can do all the paperwork and generally work behind the scenes.  Well since she left I have been working about 7 or more hours a day, and I have just realised how old I am.  I have always rejoiced in working under pressure and long hours but I had forgotten…..

Today, apart from liaising with the other sales agent who is handling the selling side, chasing up a lease contract, setting up an apartment for rental (including making beds etc), answering queries in her mailbox, providing information to prospective purchasers, dealing with contractors and tenants, it was quite an easy day.  Lunch was taken on the run (but that is often the case) and fortunately my (male) friend helped me in the apartment even taking on the role of laundry maid at one point.  Then to top off the day he made dinner. How lucky am I?

So “retirement” is not all bad. But between all this running around, the sport at the Olympics on the television, and writing my blogs, when will I have time to read the next Charlie Fox novel?

“She generally gave herself very good advice, (though she very seldom followed it).”
Lewis Carroll,
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

..

Stalking Charlie Fox

“If you stay involved with Sean Meyer you will end up killing again,” my father said. “and next time, Charlotte, you might not get away with it.”
Charlie Fox’s father in Road Kill.

Yes, I am still reading and following the adventures of my favourite heroine Charlie Fox.  I have somehow got them out of order, but as I have already said, each novel stands alone and one doesn’t have to have read any of the others in the series.

In Road Kill we find Charlie involved with a group of bikers who are really so innocent that they get themselves involved with an unscrupulous gang of thieves.

Charlie is taking time out to sort out her life and her feelings for her boss, Sean Meyer..  She is refurbishing her parents’ cottage and instead of overseeing the refurbishment is doing much of the hard work herself.    Into this scene comes a friend to advise that a really close friend has been seriously injured in a motor cycle accident and a second person has died.

Leaving the demolition  work unfinished she rushes  to Clare her friend’s side and is relieved to find that the dead man is not Clare’s partner  but some other  man.  Jacob, Clare’s partner is away in Ireland on a buying tour for his business.  Stories about the accident flow around; there is bad feeling towards Charlie from the biking group and when Charlie is brutally attacked  by Jacob’s ex-wife and her strongman thug things begin to get out of hand.

Clare is very vague and secretive about what she was doing with this other man and how she came to be riding with him on his motorbike instead of riding her own beloved bike.   Gossip has Jacob’s son involved with Clare (surprising  to Charlie given how close Clare and Jacob are) and Charlie decides to investigate further.  She learns that there is to be a trip to Ireland for the motorcycle group and is determined to become part of the trip, partly because Clare and Jacob have asked her to look after Jacob’s son, but also because nobody will or can give them a straight answer as to why the trip has to go ahead even after the tragedy.   After proving herself capable of riding and keeping up with them, she is allowed to join them.  Sean is also allowed to go along after he proves to the group that he would be a good person to have along.

I won’t go into more detail as it would spoil the story for any one else but it is well written (of course) and has a good plot, with our heroine (is there a better word for this) coming up trumps once again.

Needless to say, this novel is full of motorcycles (both Zoe and Charlie’s favoured form of transport), guns, shooting, good guys and plenty of bad guys; innocents abroad who really should not be allowed out on their own, murder, mayhem and some good love scenes between Charlie and Sean.  I wonder where this relationship is going.

So as you can see a jolly good read and again, one that I recommend.

Road Kill

Click on the image to go to Zoe Sharp;s home page

And I still have the next two books in the series sitting patiently waiting for me to get to them.  So look out for more on this feisty woman, her lover and her exploits.

Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience:
this is the ideal life.
Mark Twain

Hard Knocks

I introduced you all to Zoe Sharp and her feisty protagonist Charlie Fox a few days ago.  My addiction to Charlie is growing and I found that I was still reading at 1.15am this morning.  Far too late when at this late stage in my life I need all the beauty sleep I can get!

Book cover - Hard Knocks

Anyway, I finished Hard Knocks on Sunday night but wanted to think on it before writing a review.  So here goes –

In this, the third in the series, Charlie is reluctantly spending Christmas with her disapproving parents as her apartment was trashed in a fire.  Into the strained atmosphere comes a call for help from her friend and lover Sean Meyer.  He sends his assistant to tell Charlie that an ex army “buddy” has been killed while on a mission for Sean.  Charlie doesn’t care about the dead “buddy” but for various reasons, not the least to get away from her parents, she agrees to go to Germany to discover how he died.

To do this she has to enrol in a course in close protection work in Germany; this is where Kirk (the dead ex soldier) was prior to his death.    The school is run by a Major Gilby and various (rather dodgy) instructors and it is soon clear to Charlie that they are hiding something.  She of course, sets out to discover what.  She eventually of course, discovers that they are involved in a series of kidnappings with somewhat disastrous results as stronger, more powerful forces are at work here also.

As the novel progresses we learn more about the various characters that people the story and some more about the mysterious Sean to whom Charlie is strongly attracted but whom she also knows is a danger to her.

So more rapid page turning to an unexpected ending.  If you want to know about motor bikes, close protection work, the workings of convoluted minds, then this is a book for you.  Enjoy!

I have started the next in the series – Road Kill and have two more patiently waiting for me to get to them.  So expect my addiction to keep turning up in these blogs.

A new friend

I love making friends, either in person or more often recently, in the blogosphere.  And this happened earlier this week.

In Six Word Saturday last week, I wrote about Charlie Fox,  Zoe Sharp’s leading lady/protagonist.  Charlie Fox is a British ex-soldier, has taught self-defence  and in this book,  is a Bodyguard.  I reviewed the book “First Drop” telling how riveting the story was and how I sat all day reading.

Imagine my surprise and delight when one of those commenting on my blog was Zoe Sharp herself!  How cool is that? And after I responded to thank her she then posted another comment.  I am blown away that an author of this calibre would read my blog and also take the trouble to comment.  Oh I know she probably has a reader and a search tool or person for anything that mentions Charlie Fox or Zoe Sharp but still… You can read the post and Zoe’s comments by clicking here.

And as further icing on the cake, Zoe mentions my blog on her website – http://www.zoesharp.com/homepage.htm.  Thank you, thank you. 

Also on Zoe’s homepage is a snippet – “Word of the Week.  This week’s is anchorite, or anchoret, which means a man or woman who has withdrawn from the world especially for religious reasons; a recluse, from which we get anchorage, a recluse’s cell or a place to withdraw from the world.”  I haven’t come across this word before so not only have I a new friend, but also have learned a new word.  Thank you again Zoe.

And I am currently reading “Hard Knocks” so expect a review of this book very soon.

Book cover - Hard Knocks

Temper is never the best thing to wear to a confrontation.  It has a nasty habit of disintegrating into tatters just when you need its protection most and the colour has never suited me.
Charlie Fox in Hard Knocks by Zoe Sharp

Saturday Again

Six word Saturday button

How quickly the weeks pass and it’s already Saturday again and time for Six Word Saturday.  If you would like to participate please either click on the picture above or click this link.

PLEASE DO NOT DISTURB – I’M READING.

I awoke to a grey Saturday morning and decided that the best thing to do was to take my tea and toast back to bed with a good book.  And this set the rest of the day in train.

I had planned to meet with my French speaking buddies for lunch but that plan was quickly discarded after I had a long telephone conversation with my friend who recently found the huge lump in her breast.  While she didn’t want me to visit, she did want to talk.  After hanging up I realised that it was too late for the proposed lunch and so I stayed home.

I had started a Zoe Sharp book this morning in bed and after making a quick sandwich for lunch settled down to read more.  Have you come across this English writer?  Her protagonist is a feisty woman  called Charlie Fox.  I read the first book in the series after reading somewhere that Lee Childs thought her one of the best thriller writers to emerge in recent times.  High praise indeed.

Are you, like me, a trifle bored with all the macho male heroes protagonists that litter the current crop of best sellers?  If so Charlie Fox is a breath of fresh air.  Feisty as I said and not always charming, she takes life full on and faithfully stands by her friends and in this case, her charge even when it looks as if she is facing death herself.

So I settled down to read this book – First Drop.  Charlie Fox is a British ex-soldier, has taught self-defence  and now is a Bodyguard.  In this novel she is tasked with minding the 15 year old Trey, son of a computer programmer.  What starts out as a disappointing assignment for her, rapidly turns into a fight for her life, the life of her charge and her lover.  Swift page turning and I couldn’t put it down.

I had almost finished the book when I realised it was getting dark (around 5pm) and Lotte hadn’t had a walk yet.  So reluctantly I left the book at page 343 of 373 pages and did what any self-respecting dog owner does, I took my dog out for her walk.  And her delight more than compensated for the fact that I hadn’t finished the book.  But of course, once I returned, I finished it. 

I understand that there are 8 9 Charlie Fox mysteries and while I can’t quite work out the order in which they were written, it is clear that each one stands alone and so one can start reading anywhere in the series.  However, I read Killer Instinct first and this is the book that gives Charlie’s background and in some way, helps to understand why she does what she does.  I certainly recommend this author to you if you are looking for something a little different.

“You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.”
Paul Sweeney

Footnote – Can you believe that I received a comment from Zoe Sharp (see below) and she has linked back to this post from her website.