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KILLER INSTINCT: book one (The Charlie Fox Thrillers 1) by [Sharp, Zoe]
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KILLER INSTINCT: book one (The Charlie Fox Thrillers 1) Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 160 customer reviews

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Length: 352 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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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

Review

"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: 838 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Murderati Ink [ZACE Ltd]; 3rd edition (August 23, 2011)
  • Publication Date: August 23, 2011
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005IX42X0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #339,997 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Paperback
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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I accidentally followed some author I'd never heard of simply because her tweets tended toward humor. After reading a few of her clever observations, I picked up Killer Instinct, her first book. Wow. What a great book. And don't I feel dim for not having heard of her before? Yes. (But I'm used to that feeling.)

The best part about discovering an established author is: No wait for the next book!

What makes an author like Ms. Sharp stand out from others is her skill. The writing is exceptional. Not just the metaphors and similes, but even the conjunctions. The little bits that hold a story together. Frank Lloyd Wright once said, "Take care of the unions and the rest will take care of itself." He referred to union of beam and joist. Architecture and writing are parallel arts. Like architecture, writing requires detailed unions, a firm foundation, a plot with a view, and above all, it must be livable. Frank Lloyd Wright's attention to all those elements, right down to the unions, made his the most sought after architecture in history. Likewise, Zöe Sharp's attention to design elements both strategic and tactical make hers not just exciting thrillers, but beautiful as well.

The unions in writing are the transitions from suspense to explosive excitement. Often characters stumble from point A to point B with tiresome clichés. Ms. Sharp addresses these droll details with passages like this:

Into the quiet that followed came the raucous squeal of children at war. Somewhere upstairs, a baby cried relentlessly.

An important plot point followed that transition. A plot point involving children in a book about nightclubs and rapists. And it's not what you're thinking.
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