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by Zoe Sharp

Pub Date: Jan. 15th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-60598-276-2
Publisher: Pegasus Crime

The fifth entry in the Charlie Fox thriller series, Sharp delivers solid action and a nicely conflicted main character set against the backdrop of the extravagant world of the obscenely wealthy.

Charlie Fox spent time in the British Army and underwent Special Forces training, but ended up in the Manhattan offices of a private security firm specializing in close personal protection. Her boyfriend, Sean, sustained grave injuries, chronicled in Sharp’s previous novel, Fourth Day (2011), and remains in a coma. Charlie visits him every day, hoping to spark him into waking from his three-month sleep, but doctors aren’t optimistic. In the meantime, there’s a building attraction to another man that’s worrisome. Meanwhile, Charlie has been assigned to guard a rich young woman named Dina. Dina lives in the Hamptons with her wealthy mother and spends her days riding her champion horses and attending social functions where people like the billionaire Eisenberg family throw down. Charlie’s only one of many bodyguards who shadow the spoiled and shallow progeny of the very rich; a recent spate of kidnappings has made everyone jumpy and even more security conscious than ever. The kidnappers started with one young girl and worked their ways through the younger set, finally cutting off half the finger of one young heir. Now it looks like Dina may be next and her mother is determined that she remain safe, but Charlie’s finding this one difficult. Between Dina’s stubborn refusal to remain on her guard and the bad behavior of the crowd she wants to hang around with, Charlie must try and figure out who wants to snatch her young charge and when they will try. Sharp’s fifth entry is as gritty and unapologetically dark and violent as her others, although the author tends to spout statistics that sound derived straight from a reference book. But Charlie is a likable-enough character, and while readers won’t be surprised by the turn of events, they should be interested enough to want to stay until the end.

A taut, dark thriller with plenty of action.