Charlotte "Charlie" Fox (Absence of Light, 2016, etc.), a tough-as-beef-jerky former British soldier who works private security, travels to Iraq to find her former lover in Sharp’s latest meticulously detailed adventure.
Charlie left the military in disgrace following her rape at the hands of four of her former squad-mates, but she wasn’t the only one affected by the incident. Another Special Forces solider, Sean Meyer, also lost his career due to the blowback and eventually became Charlie’s lover. Sean formed Armstrong-Meyer, a successful security partnership with Parker Armstrong, and Charlie also went to work there. Following a shooting, Sean and Charlie split, and as this book opens, Parker has dispatched her to Iraq, where Sean's gone missing, to try to track him down and determine whether or not he killed Michael Clay, one of the men who raped Charlie. While looking into Clay’s death, Charlie meets another former soldier named Luisa Dawson, who sets off with Charlie to piece together what happened to Clay and why. Dawson, another woman in a heavily male profession, and Charlie are soon abducted and warned off the investigation by a group of brutal and heavily armed Russians who won’t tell the women why they’re interested in Clay’s death or why they want them gone. Soon, Charlie and Dawson are on a convoluted trail involving a ghost from Charlie’s past and some missing artifacts. Charlie is no girly-girl; she’s tough, driven, and very, very deadly. Sharp’s series featuring the troubled and violent Charlie stands out for its knowledgeable and convincing situations and well-crafted action sequences. When Charlie talks tactics, weapons, or reconnaissance, it rings true. Sharp writes her as emotionally disillusioned and vulnerable but never helpless. Charlie’s more likely to do the rescuing than be bailed out herself.
Nonstop action and an intricate plot weave together to create another thrill ride for fans of Sharp's heroine—though the book is heavily dependent on back story that readers of her previous adventures will find easier to follow.