Her entry begins:
I’m reading a real mix of things at the moment. The first is an e-thology of short stories by Graham Smith, Harry Charters Chronicles, which all feature a noir alcoholic gumshoe in the mould of Marlowe and Spade. Laconic and wisecracking – as well as hard drinking – Harry Charters dispenses rough justice rather than the legal kind. He shouldn’t be a sympathetic character, but he is not without his own brand of charm. Graham Smith is a comparatively new writer, and although this sometimes shows in the prose, his enthusiasm and characterisation shine through. It kept me turning the pages to the end.About Fifth Victim, from the publisher:
The next on the reading pile is...[read on]
'How could you let them take you? Why didn't you run? Why didn't you fight? Don't you think I have enough damn blood on my hands?'Learn more about the author and her work at Zoë Sharp's website.
With the life of her lover, Sean, still hanging in the balance, former Special Forces soldier turned bodyguard, Charlie Fox, throws herself into her only means of escape − her work.
On Long Island, the playground of New York’s wealthy and privileged, she is tasked with protecting the wayward daughter of rich businesswoman, Caroline Willner. It seems that an alarming number of the girl’s circle of friends have been through kidnap ordeals, and Charlie quickly discovers that the girl, Dina, is fascinated by the clique formed by the earlier victims. Is that why she seems to be going out of her way to invite capture?
Sticking close to her client at parties aboard luxury yachts, glittering events at the local country club, and out horse-riding along the exclusive sands is all part of the job for Charlie, but she comes to worry that Dina’s thrill-seeking tendencies will put both of them in real danger.
And just as her worst fears are realised, Charlie receives devastating personal news. The man who put Sean in his coma is on the loose.
She is faced with the choice between her loyalties to her client and avenging Sean, but the two goals are soon inextricably linked. The decisions Charlie makes now, and the path she chooses to follow, will have far-reaching consequences.
Zoë Sharp is the author of the Charlie Fox series of crime thrillers which have been twice nominated for the Barry Award for Best British Crime Novel.
The Page 69 Test: Third Strike.
The Page 69 Test: Fifth Victim.
Writers Read: Zoë Sharp.