Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet or computer – no Kindle device required. Learn more
Read instantly on your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.
Using your mobile phone camera, scan the code below and download the Kindle app.
Enter your mobile phone or email address
By pressing ‘Send link’, you agree to Amazon's Conditions of Use.
You consent to receive an automated text message from or on behalf of Amazon about the Kindle App at your mobile number above. Consent is not a condition of any purchase. Message and data rates may apply.
Follow the Author
KILLER INSTINCT: #1: Charlie Fox crime thriller mystery series (The Charlie Fox Thrillers) Kindle Edition
Kindle Monthly Deals
New deals each month starting at $1.49. Learn more
About the Author
★★★★★ PRAISE FOR ZOE SHARP AND CHARLIE FOX
*"The bloody bar fights are bloody brilliant and Charlie's skills are formidable and for real." Marilyn Stasio, New York Times
*"As action-packed and streamlined as the Suzuki the main character, a self-defense expert, rides. Zoe Sharp has an apt last name." David Morrell, author of FIRST BLOOD
*"Male and female crime fiction readers alike will find Sharp's writing style addictively readable-one of the very best crime fiction sagas out there." Paul Goat Allen, Chicago Tribune
*"I highly recommend this series!" Ian Rankin
*"Sharp's heroine Charlie Fox has to be one of the best characters in the crime thriller genre." Graham Smith, crimesquad
*"Zoe Sharp is one of the sharpest, coolest, and most intriguing writers I know. She delivers dramatic, action-packed novels with characters we really care about." Harlan Coben
*"You have to kiss an awful lot of frogs before you meet your prince-and the same goes for crime debuts. But sometimes there's a gold nugget in all those hills of wannabe Ruth Rendells, and this is it... One of the best crime debuts for years." Janice Young, Yorkshire Post
★★★★★ READER REVIEWS
*"(Charlie) is cut from the same cloth as V. I. Warshawski and Kinsey Millhone, yet her history is more vivid and involving."
*"A central character who is alive and believable, wrapped up in a plot that I found totally absorbing. I'll look for more from this author."
*"When I finished it, I needed a lie down-I felt like I'd been there with Charlie every step of the way!"
*"Now I know why people were talking about Zoe Sharp and I will be among them next time..." I am dead chuffed that I can now add another female British crime writer to my list of must reads. Fantastic start to a series."
*"I have read a few of Lee Child's Jack Reacher books and enjoyed them all so I was interested to see what this was going to be like. Dare I say that I liked it more?"
*"The action kept me on the edge of my seat. I was lucky that I started reading in the morning of a day off-and finished it at tea time! I'm not sure what I would have done if I'd had to put it down to go to work!"
*"This was my first read from Zoe, and definitely not going to be my last!"
*"Loved this book. Charlie is awesome and I can see myself in her!! Attn Zoe: I must have the next one!!!"
*"Original, incisively written, with outstanding descriptions that remain relatively terse, the book builds in suspense as it builds the complexity of Charlie Fox's character... She writes her own laws and lives with the consequences of her actions, as well as the consequences of crimes against her. This is a great read and I immediately bought the next five books in the series."--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B005IX42X0
- Publisher : ZACE Ltd; 4th edition (23 August 2011)
- Language : English
- File size : 1810 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 386 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 100,675 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Review this product
Top reviews from Australia
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Top reviews from other countries
Apparently, Lee Child has said that if Jack Reacher was a man, he’d be Charlie Fox. Having now read Killer Instinct, I can see why he might say that, although Charlie Fox does retain a degree of vulnerability, which isn’t generally present in Reacher.
Whenever I review, I don’t dwell on the plot, because I always think it’s better to let the reader discover it for themselves. Instead, I’ll focus on a couple of other aspects.
The first is the world Charlie inhabits. Morecombe and Lancaster aren’t obvious settings for this kind of book but, as I’m not familiar with either I’m probably not the best person to judge. What Sharp does, though, is create a sense of the underbelly of these towns, or parts of them. There’s certainly a sense that Charlie moves in circles I wouldn’t want to on a regular basis.
As for Charlie herself, on some levels she reflects certain archetypes of the loner, the avenger, the person who knows how to handle themselves in a fight. But there’s more to her than that, and those layers, hidden at first, begin to reveal themselves as the book progresses. That said, I suspect there’s more to come out into the open, and I’m looking forward to finding out what there is to learn about her.
Book one may be too early to judge for sure, but I get a sense this is a series I’m going to keep coming back to. Fast-paced, bloody, unpredictable at times, it lulls you into thinking this is entertainment you don’t need to think about too hard. And you don’t have to – but you just might.
I found the writing style to be fine but the story and the characters so uninteresting. I normally love this genre of writing but for me, a book like this has to have so element of invention and maybe even a few twists and turns.
I cannot for the life of me work out why most of the the reviews are so good and it may well be that the series gets better as it goes along and finds more fans. I don’t know. I guess that’s what it must be?
The plot proper begins when Charlie visits an old haunt, a nightclub that has been refurbished and renamed as the New Adelphi. Charlie used a room at the old club for one of her classes, but as her friend Gary, the barman, tells her, the new management does not like the image of female self-defence and so Charlie has to seek another venue. Slightly embarrassed, Gary gives Charlie some complimentary tickets to the new club: when Charlie's motorbiking friend Clare realises there is karaoke in the offing, she can't keep away. The two women head off for an evening out which turns out to be far more action-packed, and tragic, than they'd anticipated.
The novel cracks on at a fair old pace, as Charlie becomes embroiled in helping the new owner, Marc, with his flawed security arrangements. She also helps Terry, another friend who owns a mobile video van. Terry has accepted a laptop computer in part-exchange for some rental money he is owed, but it is password-protected. Charlie, who is very well-connected in the friends department, asks another devoted pal to help her crack the password, to puzzling effect. In another subplot, the owners of a women's refuge where Charlie teaches one of her classes seek her help to deal with a man who is hanging round the grounds after dark and scaring the residents.
While the multilayered plot unfolds, parts of Charlie's back story are revealed: she's been in the army but has been forced out for reasons that later become apparent. The skills which she's learnt are highly useful in this book, though, as she is threatened, discovers a murder, and is attacked. Are all these events connected, or are they due to different perpetrators? Charlie has her suspicions, which in the absence of any realistic support from the police, she follows through via more threats, another murder, and more attacks to a violent climax or two in the New Adelphi nightclub, where the layers of plot become unpeeled in various dangerous ways.
I enjoyed Killer Instinct mainly for the character of the independent Charlie, who is very well drawn with just the right balance of toughness yet vulnerability based on her past in the army and, further back, in her childhood with the parents from hell. She is cut from the same cloth as V. I. Warshawski and Kinsey Millhone, yet her history is more vivid and involving. The depiction of her daily life in Lancaster is also well told, with a great sense of atmosphere. The plot, which starts out well, becomes rather unbelievable in the end as virtually everyone in the book seems to be central to it in one way or another.
Charlie Fox is an ordinary sort of woman and within the first few chapters I decided that I liked her very much. Charlie teaches women self-defence, prefers to dress in jeans and had a passion for riding motorbikes. Charlie was kicked out of the army for reasons unknown to the reader early on and although she is certainly not without issues I loved her no-nonsense attitude. When Charlie is offered a job working for the security at the New Adelphi club she has no idea that a few hours after her tussle with Susie Hollins in the club, that she would be found dead a few hours later.
This is the catalyst for a string of events that put Charlie's life on the line. There are many authors and books out there in this genre and although this wasn't necessarily one that stood out by a mile, it certainly whets my appetite for Charlie and her life. The characters are easy to read and the plot twisted enough to hold your interest well into the early hours. I realised at around the halfway mark that were many more layers to the story than I originally thought.
I realised pretty early on that this would be a series I would stick with. After a slower paced beginning, the second half flew by and I found myself racing to find out who is involved and to what degree. By the end of the book I made sure I went online and got part 2. It may well take me a while to get to but I will certainly be looking forward to it. Now I know why people were talking about Zoe Sharp and I will be among them next time, although as ever I like to read a series in order and it may take me a while to catch up. Overall, I am dead chuffed that I can now add another female British crime writer to my list of must reads. Fantastic start to a series (and what planet have I been on having only just started reading ZS???!). Recommended!