Reviews of ABSENCE OF LIGHT: a Charlie Fox novella
'As fast-paced and action-packed as any of the Charlie Fox thrillers . . . I'm a fan of the gutsy bodyguard who handles her work life brilliantly and brutally but whose personal life is often a mess.'
Lesa Holstine, Lesa's Book Critiques,
reviewed her own paperback of Absence of Light, bought from Felony & Mayhem
'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 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 created 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.'
'In Sharp's crackling 11th thriller . . . the razor-edged action builds to a clever, poignant closing twist.
'In Sharp's crackling 11th thriller featuring bodyguard and security expert Charlie Fox (after 2013's Die Easy), Charlie is dropped into the middle of an earthquake zone (in an unspecified locale) to help with a search and rescue mission. She's going in place of security agent Kyle Stephens, who met a supposedly accidental death in Colombia while helping at a mud-slide disaster scene a few weeks earlier. In addition to looking into what happened to Kyle, the formidable, no-nonsense Charlie must investigate a number of reported thefts, from the earthquake victims no less, and she doesn't quite know whom to trust.
'It soon becomes evident that finding out the truth might not be partnered with getting home alive. Meanwhile. Charlie is still reeling after her lover, Sean Meyer, a colleague in the close-protection industry, came out of a coma with no memory of their romance and is now missing.
'The razor-edged action builds to a clever, poignant closing twist.'
CrimeSquad Rating:'Stunning novella with an incredible sense of place . . . it carries a powerhouse punch.'
Graham Smith's 5-star review at crimesquad.com
'Sharp has injected this stunning novella with an incredible sense of place. Her depiction of an earthquakeís aftermath is exemplary such are the obviously researched details, vivid descriptive passages and the strength of her characterís narrative.
'Charlie Fox is her usual tenacious self as she battles to uncover hidden truths while keeping herself and her principals safe. The supporting cast are all credible with the standouts being Hope and Lemon. Charlieís home life is well reflected in the novel which essentially picks up where ĎDie Easyí left off and as ever, Sharp expends a lot of time and energy making her protagonistís life hell.
'The pace of the story never lets up for a second and while Sharpís prose is easy on the eye, it carries a powerhouse punch. A particular favourite line was Sharpís wonderful description of Lemon, Ďa leggy blonde bitchí. While the quote may not seem terribly poignant as part of the review, trust me, when you read the novella, itíll prove to be deadly accurate.
'The only fault I could find with ĎAbsence of Lightí was the fact it was a novella and not an opus as I wanted to stay in that world a lot longer.'
'Another excellent story . . . clever dialogue and enough threat for the thrill-seekers. Recommended'
Penelope Booth Portia's review at Amazon.co.uk
'Another excellent story—what can you say? The trouble is, the standard with ZoŽ Sharp is very high, so she's set herself up for continuing hard work over every story she ever writes now. No bad thing for the reader and the very many, many loyal fans she has of course (and with good reason) but more work for her!
'I liked this one because . . . it was 'real' and realistic, it brought along a continuing storyline and filled in some gaps from that story whilst standing alone with clever dialogue and enough 'threat' for the thrill-seekers. A moral balance was explored with appropriate concern and the recognition of the human in us all whilst allowing our heroine to shine again—just a bit, you understand—and provide the escapism we read to get from the work.
'Recommended for that, and numerous other elements of simply being a very good story! You won't be sorry you spent some money and time on it.'
'. . . once started you cannot put it down until the end. I really hope the next book comes out soon!'
suzatm's review at Amazon.com
'Since the end of the last book, Die Easy, I have been on pins and needles wondering what will happen with Sean and Charlie. I was so excited to see this novella and devoured it in a short time—only to be even more on pins and needles.
'ZoŽ Sharp is a fantastic author who always delivers non-stop, nail biting action. She has created a world where the main characters are so real to you that you hate giving them up until the next book. When you pick up one of her books make sure you set aside a good chunk of free time to read it because you will find once started you cannot put it down until the end. I really hope the next book comes out soon!'
'. . . I've had my fix of Charlie Fox and she was awesome. I hope the next instalment will be here soon!'
Jws's review at Amazon.com
'Zoe Sharp doesn't disappoint, I've had my fix of Charlie Fox and she was awesome. It says a lot about an author when you start their book and desperately need to read it to know what happens, the only problem is that by the end of the story, you're dying to know what happens next.
'If you've read the other books in the series you will know that her relationship with Sean is far from steady, so it was great to see Zoe tackle this head on, while entwining it with Charlie's latest adventure—a rescue and search mission as a security advisor in a disaster zone after an earthquake. She's investigating why her predecessor died in not so clear circumstances.
'However, now that I've finished I need to know what direction Zoe will take Charlie next and specifically what happened to Sean? I hope the next instalment will be here soon!'
'Another great Charlie Fox novel'
'ZoŽ Sharp did it again—this series is one of the best that I have read. I just can't wait for the next book to come out so that I can see what happened to Sean.'
Carol Kaminer's review at Amazon.com
'The Charlie Fox taster I needed to tide me over until the next instalment'
'Charie Fox is the best written female character I've ever read. ZoŽ Sharp keeps you gripping your seat from start to the end and wanting more.'
Sherilee Nickels's review at Amazon.com
'Right there, living it with Charlie'
'I love Charlie's vulnerability and ability to go beyond it to do what has to be done. ZoŽ Sharp captures her so well.'
Bronwyn Thompson's review at Amazon.com
'Earthquakes and intrigue'
'A long term fan of Ms Sharp's work, I bought this book to fill the time waiting for her next full length Charlie Fox book. This isn't a short story but a gripping full blown novella. Charlie v a team of interesting characters and an earthquake. Human nature and a natural disaster mixed up in a glorious romp. Enjoy!'
Outlaw-in-Exile's review at Amazon.co.uk
'Yet another fantastic story in the Charlie Fox series'
'Once again, a Charlie Fox book had me not wanting to put my Kindle down. While a shorter "in between" story, this had the same gripping characters that ZoŽ Sharp continues to feed to the reader. Some in between "recurring" storylines in regards Charlie's relationships with Sean/Parker. The main story is also gripping and enjoyable—with regular twists and turns and new characters that I now would love to return in future books—especially that leggy blonde bitch :)'
Barry J Evans's review at Amazon.co.uk
'Another great book hopefully a taster for a longer story. Once again the story draws you in and has a twist in the end. ZoŽ has the ability to produce a book that you just have to keep reading, great descriptions and details that really draw you in so you feel you actually know the characters.'
Chris Davey's review at Amazon.co.uk