Everybody's asking for DANCING ON THE GRAVE to have a sequel
Readers of my Charlie Fox crime thriller series always express appreciation of an occasional standalone, and the reaction to my latest, DANCING ON THE GRAVE, has been great. You've certainly been intrigued by newly qualified CSI Grace McColl and DC Nick Weston, who are thrown together when a killer on the loose in the Lake District shatters the calm of an English summer.
The book has received some wonderful and perceptive reviews such as this from top reviewer, Ted Hertel in Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine:
"Creating suspense from the opening line right through to the novel's bloody denouement, Sharp knows how to keep readers turning the pages. She understands people and what drives them to act, weapons and how they work, action and how to write it… This is a straightforward, no holds barred thriller. No one writes this kind of book better than Zoë Sharp."
What also thrills me is the feedback I've had from readers… Who could resist this spontaneous Amazon review from UK reader, Peterborean?
"One of those books which you read with that increasing disbelief, thinking to yourself, I REALLY WISH I HAD WRITTEN THAT! Set in Cumbria in the middle of the countryside, it asks the questions rarely asked, about what happens to a youth trained to be a soldier when the war is over? And what happens to kids who want to be stars but don't make it? And those aren't spoilers. A brilliant yarn."
First full-length outing for CSI Grace McColl
The only thing that seemed to disappoint people was the word 'standalone' in the book description. Yes, I've written about CSI Grace McColl before. She featured in a short story I wrote a while back called Tell Me. But this was the first full-length outing for Grace and an introduction to the newly-transferred Nick Weston.
"Tension-filled, addictive and compelling—it is no wonder that I found myself a new series to follow! (I know the blurb on Amazon describes it as a standalone…but OMFG…this NEEDS to be a series!) #makethisaseries" Noelle Holton, CrimeBookJunkie
"I know this is billed as a standalone crime thriller but I for one hope that this is a bare faced lie. I loved the pairing of Nick Weston and Grace McColl. I think it's a team that has legs Maybe let us see how far it can walk…?" Jen Lucas, Jen Med's Book Reviews
"Zoë Sharp is now firmly on my list of must-read authors. I'd love it if this standalone becomes a series but I'll be devouring whatever she writes next." Karen Cole, Hair Past A Freckle
"I strongly recommend this book and hope that Zoë will listen to all the pleas for this to be only the first in a new series." Judith Baxter, Books And More Books
I try to listen to my readers. So, rest assured that this book will not be the last you see of Grace McColl and Nick Weston. I even have the perfect setting for their next outing…
Audiobook soon for DANCING ON THE GRAVE
Meanwhile, I have signed a deal with Oakhill Publishing for an audiobook edition of DANCING ON THE GRAVE, which will be out early next year. I'm keeping my fingers, toes and eyes crossed that Lewis Hancock—narrator of THE BLOOD WHISPERER—will be reading this one, too!
Coming soon! The untold story of Charlie Fox: the early years
Fans of Charlie Fox often ask me about her formative years and the events that led to her being thrown out of the British Army. I’ve always said I would never write that particular story, and I still stick by my word. For one thing, anyone who’s read any of the series knows how that part of her life ended. Badly. I deliberately chose to set the first book, Killer Instinct, at a turning point for her—the moment when she stops thinking of herself as a victim and starts to fight back.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a story to be told of Charlie’s time in the army and one that has a far more positive spin. At the time she fell into disgrace, Charlie had passed her Selection course and was undergoing training for Special Forces. (In reality, women in the UK are still not eligible for such training, but hey, this is my world, right?)
So, what did she do to earn her chance to go forward for Selection in the first place?
That question did nag away at me. After all, it must have been something out of the ordinary. Something above and beyond even the normal levels of courage and skill expected of any soldier in the military. It must have highlighted an aptitude Charlie already possessed, even if her much-vaunted killer instinct was nowhere near as well developed as in later books.
Well, soon you’ll have your chance to find out.
Trial Under Fire is a 33,000-word novella detailing a never-before-told period in Charlie’s regular army career. Back when she was just a signaller on a routine night patrol in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
What happened next would send her on a wild ride and change the course of her life forever.
The prequel novella will be out shortly in digital format. For the time being, I intend to make it exclusive to those loyal readers who’ve signed up for my e-newsletter, as a way of saying thank you for being fans of Charlie Fox.
Watch this space…
Reviews that encourage a writer to keep on writing…
Writers love compliments from their readers and are rather susceptible to praise from perceptive reviewers…
'Gritty, hard-hitting, all-around outstanding crime fiction.'—Michele Leber, Booklist starred review
'Nonstop action and an intricate plot weave together to create another thrill ride for fans of Sharp's heroine.'—Kirkus Reviews
'Fox Hunter has been a long time coming and Sharp has made damned sure her fans aren't disappointed. If you like a kick-ass heroine with more demons than Lucifer himself, this is the book for you.'—5-star review by Graham Smith at crimesquad.com
'A real corker of a tale for long-term fans and new readers alike… action-packed, adrenalin-filled but with plenty of depth and thoughtulness… A very good read.'—New Zealand blogger Craig Sisterson in Crime Watch
'Zoë Sharp writes some of the best—if not the best—thrillers currently produced. This book is truly a remarkable accomplishment… Do not miss this outstanding series.'—Ted Hertel (Rating 'A')
'The relationships between characters are as intriguing as the action scenes are realistic… Fox Hunter is a consummate thriller, with believable action and finely-honed dialogue.'—Linda Wilson for crimereview.co.uk