At the Sharp End . . .

The World of ZoŽ Sharp − Author of the Charlie Fox Thriller Series

Read Lee Child's Foreword to KILLER INSTINCT

KILLER INSTINCT: Charlie Fox book one

'Susie Hollins may have been no great shakes as a karaoke singer, but I didn't think that was enough reason for anyone to want to kill her.'


This opening book in the series introduces Charlie Fox, a tough new heroine who can very definitely take care of herself. Charlie makes a living of sorts teaching self-defence to women. It's a skill she picked up out of necessity having been kicked out of the army for reasons she prefers not to go into.

The bloody bar fights are bloody brilliant 
Marilyn Stasio
New York Times

So, when Susie Hollins is found dead after she mistakenly tussles with Charlie at the New Adelphi Club, Charlie knows it's only a matter of time before the police come calling. What they don't tell her is that the unlucky Hollins is the latest victim of a homicidal rapist stalking the local area.

Charlie finds herself inadvertently drawn into the investigation when the New Adelphi's enigmatic owner, Marc Quinn, offers her a job. Viewed as an outsider by the existing all-male security team, her suspicion that there's a link between the club and the serial killer doesn't exactly endear her to anyone. Charlie has always taught her students that it's better to run away than to stand and fight. But, when the killer starts taking a very personal interest, it becomes clear that he isn't going to give her that option.

From the author's notebook

While I was in the midst of writing KILLER INSTINCT, one of the local nightclubs in Lancaster, where the book is set, was raided and shut down for drug-related reasons that seemed eerily to mirror events in the book!

Anyone who followed the scandal over abuse of army trainees at the Deep Cut military base in the UK, which occurred while I was writing this book, would find Charlie's traumatic army experiences readily understandable.

For anyone who's interested, the self-defence technique Charlie uses trying to break up the fight at the New Adelphi in chapter nine is a genuine one, taught to me by Ian ['this won't hurt'] Cottam. I know, I have the bruises to prove it.