Saturday, July 16, 2016

Absence of Light by Zoe Sharp

When I look back at my blog, it appears that it's been eight years since I read one of Zoe Sharp's Charlie Fox books. That can't be right because it lists Third Strike. And, I know I read Fifth Victim. 

Once you've met Charlie Fox in a book, you'll never forget her. Now, Sharp brings Charlie back in Absence of Light. It reminded me of all the drama, and the determined woman with grit. But, Absence of Light isn't quite as violent as previous books in the series.

Charlie Fox works for Parker Armstrong's close protection agency, and her job is usually to protect high-paying or high-profile clients. This time, though, she's asked to act as security for a team from Rescue & Recovery International who are helping out following an earthquake. That's just a cover. The previous security advisor is dead. And, Mrs. Hamilton, one of the donors behind Rescue & Recovery, worries that her suspicions about the team caused his death. There were rumors of organized theft from the dead, and she asked Kyle Stephens to look into that. Now, he's dead, and Charlie is taking his place, looking into both the theft and Stephens' death.

Charlie's arrival isn't exactly greeted with cheers by the team. In fact, if she was the suspicious sort, she'd guess that they're testing her, and wouldn't be too upset if she ended up dead. But, no one on the team could have caused the aftershock that leaves Charlie trapped in darkness. It's the perfect analogy for the state of Charlie's life right now, but she doesn't need to actually experience it to know how bad it is.

Absence of Light is as fast-paced and action-packed as any of the Charlie Fox thrillers. It's a suspenseful story, and, typical of Sharp, she leaves the reader hanging with one storyline. This story, called "A Charlie Fox Novella" is a little less violent, but just as intriguing as all of the books in this series. I'm a fan of the gutsy bodyguard, a woman who handles her work life brilliantly and brutally, but whose personal life is often a mess. Welcome back, Charlie.

Zoe Sharp's website is

Absence of Light by Zoe Sharp. Felony & Mayhem. (2013, 2016). ISBN 9781631940811 (paperback), 222p.

FTC Full Disclosure - I bought my copy of the book.


Kevin R. Tipple said...

Yet another series I have not read and know nothing about. That's it! Packing the duffle bag, gassing the car, and headed up to live in your closet.

Lesa said...

Zoe Sharp was the first author to appear at Velma Teague for the Authors @ The Teague programs, Kevin. She's fascinating, as is her character. And, I can't send you this book. You need to read a lot of books earlier in the series to get it, I'm afraid. But, you're welcome!

Kevin R. Tipple said...

No, no, no.....I was not for a second suggesting to send me the book. Back when I worked in the bookstores I had some clue what was going on. I manged to stay informed back when I was working for the school district after my bookstore days because I used to haunt the bookstores as well as the library.

These days, with all the health stuff going on, my world is very narrow and I don't get out much for me. I may spend five minutes at the library picking up a hold and that is about it. I have not been in a bookstore in over a year. So, there is stuff like this happening and I have no clue.

It is like when the award lists come out. It used to be I had read somewhere between five and ten of the nominees. Now, it is rare when I have read one.

I miss the old days in so many ways.

Lesa said...

Oh, I know you weren't hinting. I just wanted to say you need to start at the beginning of that series.

I'm sure there are lots of ways you miss the old days, Kevin. Lots of ways. Zoe was International Guest of Honor at last year's Bouchercon in Raleigh. But, as I said, I've known her for a long time.

Don't feel bad, though. I sometimes haven't read any of the award nominees either, or, sometimes, haven't even heard of them. That's especially true with the Edgars.

Grace Koshida said...

Thanks for letting us know about the new Zoe Sharp novella. I have enjoyed reading the Charlie Fox thrillers for years. I have been fortunate enough to meet Zoe at several mystery conventions over the years. I think Zoe is still an underappreciated mystery writer in North America, and that's odd since her latter books were set in the USA instead of England.