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Killer Instinct: Charlie Fox book one (The Charlie Fox Thrillers 1) [Kindle Edition]

Zoe Sharp , Lee Child
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)

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Book Description

KILLER INSTINCT is the first in Zoë Sharp’s highly acclaimed Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Fox crime thriller series, now available in e-format for the first time, complete with Foreword by Lee Child, two previously deleted scenes, Meet Charlie Fox and Meet Zoë Sharp extras, an excerpt from the next Charlie Fox novel – RIOT ACT – and a bonus excerpt from Brett Battles’ Jonathan Quinn novella, BECOMING QUINN.

‘Susie Hollins may have been no great shakes as a karaoke singer, but I didn’t think that was enough reason for anyone to want to kill her.’

Charlie Fox makes a living teaching self-defence to women in a quiet northern English city. It makes best use of the deadly skills she picked up after being kicked out of army Special Forces training for reasons she prefers not to go into. So, when Susie Hollins is found dead hours after she foolishly takes on Charlie at the New Adelphi Club, Charlie knows it’s only a matter of time before the police come calling. What they don’t tell her is that Hollins is the latest victim of a homicidal rapist stalking the local area.

Charlie finds herself drawn closer to the crime when the New Adelphi’s enigmatic owner, Marc Quinn, offers her a job working security at the club. Viewed as an outsider by the existing all-male team, her suspicion that there’s a link between the club and a serial killer doesn’t exactly endear her to anyone. Charlie has always taught her students that it’s better to run than to stand and fight, But, when the killer starts taking a very personal interest, it’s clear he isn’t going to give her that option . . .

Praise for KILLER INSTINCT and Charlie Fox

‘Charlie looks like a made-for-TV model, with her red hair and motorcycle leathers, but Sharp means business. The bloody bar fights are bloody brilliant, and Charlie’s skills are both formidable and for real.’ Marilyn Stasio, New York Times

‘Sharp deserves a genre all her own − if you are just discovering Zoë Sharp then you are in for a real treat.’ Jon Jordan, Crimespree Magazine

‘Charlotte (Charlie) Fox is one of the most vivid and engaging heroines ever to swagger onto the pages of a book. Where Charlie goes, thrills follow.’ Tess Gerritsen

‘Ill-tempered, aggressive and borderline psychotic, Fox is also compassionate, introspective and highly principled: arguably one of the most enigmatic − and coolest − heroines in contemporary genre fiction.’ Paul Goat Allen, Chicago Tribune

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Psychically damaged by a horrendous episode when she was in the British army, an incident that led to estrangement from her parents, Charlie Fox is a biker chick whose conscience restrains her from using her potentially deadly hand-to-hand combat skills. Three Charlie Fox books have been published in the U.S., out of series order; now, at last, comes Sharp's first, the introduction to this unique female protagonist, who's tough without losing her femininity. After some backstory, we meet self-defense teacher Charlie, who is hired as the only woman on the security force at the rehabbed New Adelphi nightclub in Lancaster. She is soon involved with club owner Marc Quinn and mixed up in porn videos, illegal drugs, and multiple rapes and murders. As Charlie herself is threatened by the murderer, action and peril intensify to a harrowing climax. Sharp manages to combine blood-and-guts action with a strongly feminist slant, as Charlie, who knows what it's like to be a victim, seeks to empower women with her training. With a laudatory introduction by Lee Childs, this is a must for crime-fiction fans who like it rough. --Michele Leber


"Charlie Fox came on strong in Zoë Sharp's early novels but, like a lot of tough girls, softened up with time. Now, thanks to an enterprising small press, we can catch Charlie in the rough. Originally published in 2001, Killer Instinct finds this army-trained martial-arts expert on her first job, working security for a club in an English seaside town. Charlie looks like a made-for-TV model, with her red hair and motorcycle leathers, but Sharp means business. The bloody bar fights are bloody brilliant, and Charlie's skills are both formidable and for real." -- Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review, July 4, 2010

"A solid, very well-written debut... The urban English setting is nicely realised, and grimy enough to make the reader’s skin crawl on occasion, particularly Charlie’s work at the Adelphi Nightclub. And even so early in the series, the action is so well choreographed that you believe every bone crunching impact on the page. Killer Instinct is a sharp, punchy read; a brutally confident start to a series that would continue to evolve in the best possible ways. Busted Flush Press are going to be reprinting the early Fox novels over the next year or so, and you’d be well advised to check them out and get acquainted with one of the most well-defined and convincing series protagonists I’ve encountered in a long time." -- Russel McLean, Crime Scene Scotland

"One of the best crime debuts for years." -- Yorkshire Post
"An exciting... entertaining first novel." -- Sunday Telegraph
"A lively first book from Sharp, written with assurance and panache... a pacy read with a fresh and defiant heroine." -- Manchester Evening News

Product Details

  • File Size: 511 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Murderati Ink [ZACE Ltd]; 2nd edition (August 23, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005IX42X0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,952 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If I could give this book a perfect 10, I would March 7, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I haven't read a traditional thriller novel in years, preferring my newer interest of strong heroines portrayed in urban fantasy novels. I like darker books, not books seeped in romance. Finding a good book is sometimes hard in a genre that mixes the two so much. After a while, those heroines with their supernatural powers and impossible skill sets often become cookie-cutter and formulaic, leaving a reader longing for something more believable, more *real*.

Look no further than the heroine created by Ms. Sharp. You will quickly slip into the character's skin and see parts of yourself within her inner complexity. I felt like I walked the streets of Lancaster with her and felt the pain of her past that shaped her into who she is today.

Charlie Fox is strong and a survivor through and through. She reminds me of Charlaine Harris' Lily Bard, in the author's popular woman sleuth Shakespeare series (one of two excellent mystery series she wrote before the one based on HBO's True Blood). While Fox's adventures are more bloody, more violent, and more heart stopping than Bard's, my comparison is more due to the smooth story telling, excellent pacing, and credible characters, which makes the portrayal of these fictional women very real and very believable.

I raced through the pages eager to see where the writer would take us and how Fox would pull through. Very rarely do I give up an entire day of my life to a book. This one was the exception. I loved it so much I immediately bought a copy for my father and plan to buy the others in the series as well. Ms. Sharp has a fan in me for life and I can hardly wait to read what other adventures she dreams up for Charlie Fox. Simply outstanding!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent new British tough heroine November 3, 2003
By A Customer
If you like US female PIs (VI Warshawski, Kinsey Millhone) then you'll like Charlie Fox.
Charlie is tough. She teaches women's self-defence (which she took up after being raped in the army), rides a motorbike and is very independent.
The book starts with Charlie's friend Clare being attacked during karaoke night at a local nightclub by reigning champion Susie Hollins. Charlie deals with the attack and is offered a job as a bouncer by the clubs owner. Hours later Susie Hollins is found dead - the latest victim of a homicidal rapist that has been terrorising the local community. Charlie suspects a link between the nightclub and the homicidal rapist and she begins to investigate.
The book moves along at a cracking pace and Charlie is a believable tough heroine. The identity of the killer may be obvious in a plot that has been used many times before, but Charlie is interesting enough to carry you through.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very worthwhile read - especially the foreword! September 24, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am glad I purchased this e-book. I wanted to read those extra scenes, and it has been lovely to visit Charlie's story again from the beginning, particularly after reading the 'Fox Five' e-thology.

Zoë recently wrote about her fondness for Dick Francis books growing up, and I can see similar elements in `Killer Instinct'. Clever use of words, twists and turns in the story, and a central core of justice. I like details and back story so it's really satisfying to read about Clare and Jacob, as well as background about where Charlie came from as a person. Overall it reads like an easy conversation, with intriguing and sometimes uncomfortable elements.

My fondness for 'Killer Instinct' is also sparked by Lee Child's foreword; it is my favorite relateable anecdote for books - Lee,your story made me laugh out loud - thanks for the enjoyment! As for the book I devoured it in an afternoon, I couldn't put it down. For a first novel, it's impressive.

The series and the writing has grown from strength to strength, I suppose I enjoyed the later books more because I came across them first - though this filled in story links alluded to in the later books. I find myself liking gory detail much less these days, so for me it's a well-balanced blend of a rollicking good read, without the stuff that keeps me awake nights. Charlie herself is someone I can relate to, in how she attempts to address the effects of pivotal events in her life - seeing how she handles her dilemmas has kept me engrossed. Character development is something that really keeps my interest, as well as the unexpected, and I've certainly been surprised.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Killer Instinct September 5, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I have been reading this series as it came out so it was a real pleasure to go back to the beginning and see Charlie as we first meet her. What a difference! Re-reading Killer Instinct made me appreciate Charlie's growth so much more. She is a fascinating character from the beginning and grows in each book. I am convinced that this is a series that needs to be read in order so one sees how Charlie's character is developed. Going back to the beginning with Charlie only reinforces that opinion.

This is one of my all time favorite series. If you are just starting the books, lucky you. If, like me, you are starting it again, it is time well spent. But then I think any time spent with Charlie is time well spent.
Killer Instinct: Charlie Fox book one
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing heroine that keeps you reading! March 18, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love books with heroines that are strong, but vulnerable, capable, but not indestructible, intelligent, but not infallible. Charlie Fox hits the mark every time. Zoe Sharp gives us a taste of Charlie's past, building it slowly, filling in the blanks, making us wonder and guess so that Charlie's past becomes part of the mystery of the book. And the rest of the story is an excellent mystery as well with interwoven plots and great 3-dimensional characters. The next book in the series is definitely on my To Read list. Happy to see there are 4 more novels for me to devour. All we need now is a movie deal!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
This was a great read with a believable and strong female lead. It is tough to find a balance of toughness with femininity in a leading character, by Charlie Fox is it!!
Published 22 days ago by lizarvin
5.0 out of 5 stars had me on the edge of my seat
Fast, exciting thriller...had me guessing the whole time. I am looking forward to the second book in the series. Wonderful characters.
Published 1 month ago by jane sander
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I love Charlie Fox, she is great.
Published 4 months ago by Mary Joyce West
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Zoe is great...interesting
Published 5 months ago by Stephen M.
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Advertised as being by Lee Child.
Published 5 months ago by Patrick
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thriller of a Read!
This is quite an exciting and fast-paced thriller that keeps the reader on the edge of his/her seat. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Jjspina
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
A good read took a little while to get into butnot bad in the end
Published 8 months ago by Kerry Mccormick
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull and boring.
Long slow read.
Published 8 months ago by Glicky
4.0 out of 5 stars Self defence can only take you so far...
Charlie has a back story that makes her current state of being very credible. She starts this novel -- the first in a long series -- teaching self-defence, but she is surely... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Raewyn Whyte
5.0 out of 5 stars fun, scary and fast-paced
This is a well-constructed and fast-paced thriller. We are brought in to the heroine's world, feel her fear and her strength and want her to triumph. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Carole
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More About the Author

Zoë Sharp opted out of mainstream education at the age of twelve and wrote her first novel when she was fifteen. She created the no-nonsense heroine of her highly acclaimed Charlotte 'Charlie' Fox crime thriller series after receiving death-threat letters as a photojournalist.

If you haven't met Charlie Fox, the Chicago Tribune described her as: "Ill-tempered, aggressive and borderline psychotic, Fox is also compassionate, introspective and highly principled: arguably one of the most enigmatic -- and coolest -- heroines in contemporary genre fiction."

In his introduction to the VENGEANCE anthology, Lee Child said: "If I were a woman, I'd be Zoë. If Jack Reacher were a woman, he'd be Zoë's main character, Charlie Fox."

Zoë's work has been used in school textbooks in Denmark, made into a short film, optioned Twentieth Century Fox TV, inspired an original song and been nominated for numerous awards including the Edgar, Anthony, Barry (twice), Benjamin Franklin and Macavity Awards in the United States, as well as twice for a CWA Dagger Award in the UK.

So far there are ten books in the Charlie Fox series, plus a short story anthology, two e-boxed sets, and numerous short stories, with more coming soon!

For more info please visit Zoë's website:
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