Sharp’s latest entry in her Charlie Fox series has her gritty heroine making a Die Hard-inspired stand in the Big Easy.
Charlie Fox, a woman in the male-dominated profession of personal protection, has more than the rich man she’s guarding to worry about on this assignment: Her former lover, Sean, is back on his feet following a near-fatal shooting and is working for the first time in months. But he’s not the same Sean she once knew. In fact, his memory of their former relationship has been wiped clean, and he’s keeping Charlie firmly at arm’s length. When Charlie and Sean sign on to guard Blake Dyer, a millionaire attending a special weekend of fundraising for Katrina victims, they end up with more than they bargained for, including Dyer’s refusal to pack it all in and go home following two violent assaults. Meanwhile, one of Charlie’s old foes turns up in the form of Vic Morton, a fellow bodyguard who trained with her when she was in school back in England. Morton is no friend to Charlie, though, since he was one of the four men whose rape of her led to her dismissal from training. When Morton shows up to guard Blake’s godson and the offspring of another millionaire, Charlie discovers he’s filling Sean’s head full of lies and now must combat not only her former lover’s suspicions that she’s his enemy, but also prove in the process that’s she’s competent to partner with him on assignment. That Charlie is tough is never open to question; sometimes Sharp plays her a little too macho to be engaging. But in the end, the movie parallel will strike the right note with fans of nonstop action/adventure, despite the author’s tendency to overexplain the mechanics of the protagonists’ professional choices to readers in it more for the thrill than the education.
Sharp delivers another solid entry in a series that consistently delivers a world-weary heroine who can outdo any man who crosses her path.