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Sharp, Zoë 1966–

Sharp, Zoë 1966–

PERSONAL:

Born July 4, 1966, in Nottinghamshire, England; married; husband's name Andy (a writer). Hobbies and other interests: "Sailing, fast cars (and faster motorbikes), target shooting, travel, films, music, and reading just about anything she can get her hands on."

ADDRESSES:

Home—Cumbria, England. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer and photojournalist. Has worked as a yacht delivery crewman, van driver, horse riding instructor, pensions and mortgage advisor, and advertising salesperson for a newspaper. Freelance photojournalist, 1988—.

WRITINGS:

"CHARLIE FOX" SERIES

Killer Instinct, Piatkus Books (London, England), 2001.

Riot Act, Piatkus Books (London, England), 2002.

Hard Knocks, Piatkus Books (London, England), 2003.

First Drop, Piatkus Books (London, England), 2004, Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2005.

Road Kill, Piatkus Books (London, England), 2005.

Second Shot, Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Minotaur (New York, NY), 2007.

Third Strike, St. Martin's Minotaur (New York, NY), 2008.

SIDELIGHTS:

Zoë Sharp has been a freelance photo-journalist since the late 1980s and has written for numerous British periodicals. "The desire to write fiction had always been lurking around in the background and the spur I needed came from a regular column I was asked to write in one of the mags," the author noted on her home page. "Whenever my picture appeared with the column, somebody sent me death threats. Serious ones with the words made up out of cut-out-of-newspaper letters. They told me I was filth, that they knew where I lived and that my days were numbered." Sharp went on to comment: "Dealing with that brought me full circle to wanting to write fiction again. And, in particular, wanting to write crime thrillers."

The author has gone on to write several thrillers featuring female crime-solver Charlie Fox. In First Drop, Fox is introduced to an American audience. A former Special Forces trainee who was raped by her fellow soldiers and discharged, Charlie is now working as a female private security guard in a protection business run by her sometimes boyfriend, Sean Meyers. A new assignment takes her to Fort Lauderdale to protect Trey Pelzner, the teenage son of a computer specialist who has been getting death threats. Charlie and her charge survive an attempted assassination, leave town, and return to find both Sean and Trey's father missing. The geeky fifteen-year-old Trey knows something but refuses to talk. Meanwhile, Charlie fights off assassins and tries to solve the mysterious disappearances. "Sharp's aim is dead on in her stunning U.S. debut," wrote a Publishers Weekly contributor. Judith Cutler, writing on Shots Ezine, remarked that "Charlie Fox is an attractive and sparky protagonist, whose back story Sharp skillfully conveys without slowing the zest of her current narrative." A Kirkus Reviews contributor called the novel "slick, hard-boiled fare."

Sharp's second "Charlie Fox" novel to be set in as well as published in the United States, Second Shot, appeared in 2007. In it, Charlie's assignment takes her to New England to protect lottery millionaire Simone Kerse and the woman's four-year-old daughter, Ella. Kerse, a British engineer, proves a difficult client, for not only does she have an unruly ex-boyfriend stalking her in England, but she also has dreams of tracking down her father, and the last lead she has for him is in New England. Once in the United States, Kerse is unwilling to comply with Charlie's security measures. The woman's search leads to Charlie taking two bullets, but she is soon back on the job, attempting to piece together the reasons Kerse would shoot her own bodyguard. Booklist contributor Allison Block felt that Sharp's thriller "crackles with suspense, showcasing crisp prose, plenty of plot twists, and a heroine who adds new meaning to the term femme fatale." A Kirkus Reviews critic was less enthusiastic about Second Shot, terming the book "sturdy distaff pulp," and further commenting that "Charlie won't abate your dreams of James Bond, or even Modesty Blaise." Higher praise, however, came from a Publishers Weekly contributor who concluded that "Sharp expertly builds the suspense in a nonstop thrill ride that should win her many new American fans."

Describing the inner workings of her character for Shots Ezine, Sharp noted: "[Charlie] has an ability to kill under the right circumstances that could make her into a cold-blooded caricature, but I've tried very hard not to let that happen." Sharp further observed: "Women in fiction with that ability are so often portrayed as psychopaths or assassins, and rarely do we see inside their heads. Charlie Fox speaks in the first person in the books, so you're inside her head all the time. I wanted to try and ensure it was a place the reader wanted to be."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, June 1, 2007, Allison Block, review of Second Shot, p. 47.

Houston Chronicle, September 27, 2007, P.G. Koch, review of Second Shot.

Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2005, review of First Drop, p. 820; July 15, 2007, review of Second Shot.

Publishers Weekly, August 1, 2005, review of First Drop, p. 47; July 16, 2007, review of Second Shot, p. 145.

ONLINE

Best Reviews,http://thebestreviews.com/ (September 14, 2005), Harriet Klausner, review of First Drop.

Lady Killers,http://www.ladykillers.info/ (September 14, 2005), brief profile of author.

Shots Ezine,http://www.shotsmag.co.uk/ (September 14, 2005), Judith Cutler, review of First Drop; (June 18, 2008), interview with Zoë Sharp.

Zoë Sharp Home Page,http://www.zoesharp.com (June 18, 2008).

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