CHARLIE FOX: THE EARLY YEARS

"I highly recommend this series!” ~Ian Rankin

The Early Years of soldier-turned-bodyguard Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Fox, back when she was still a self-defence instructor with a motorbike and an attitude. Find out where it all began…

Read Lee Child's Foreword to KILLER INSTINCT

If you like strong yet believable female protagonists, who will take down the bad guys without hesitation but who are still human enough to care, then Charlie Fox is definitely for you. Readers have found books in this series an action-packed thrill ride that kept them glued to the end, well-written, gritty, and hard to put down. Real page-turners.

These are the first three books in the long-running Charlie Fox series. If you want to find out her backstory—how she got back on her feet after being kicked out of the Army, and how she began working again with Sean Meyer—this is where to look. If you’re more interested in Charlie’s career as a close-protection operative, then I’d recommend you begin with Book #4, FIRST DROP, when she and her teenage charge find themselves on the run during her first bodyguard job in Florida.

KILLER INSTINCT: #01
He thought she was an easy target. He was wrong.
Charlie was no good at being the nice girl her parents wanted, so she joined the British Army and acquired a whole new set of skills. And just when she thought she’d found her calling, she was dishonoured, disgraced, discharged.

Now she puts those painful, hard-won lessons to good use, teaching self-defence to battered women. When her work brings her to the attention of a vicious rapist, will those skills be enough to save her—and those she cares about most?

RIOT ACT: #02
Fear kept people down. Until she helped them make a stand.
Charlie is supposed to be dog-sitting for a friend, not leading the resistance, but what’s a girl to do when the woman’s housing estate turns into an urban battlefield?

With her motorbike on hand and a big dog by her side, Charlie is more than able to take care of herself, until a ghost from her Army past comes calling. Someone she was trying very hard to forget…

HARD KNOCKS: #03
The British Army let her go. Big mistake.
Charlie didn’t really care who shot dead her ex-army comrade during a bodyguard training course in Germany. But when old flame Sean Meyer asks her to go undercover at the elite school and find out what happened, she just can’t refuse.

Keeping her nerve isn’t easy as events bring back fears and memories she’s doing her damndest to overcome. And trying to blend in by playing down her abilities proves a real challenge.

She expected training to be tough, but will she graduate from this school of hard knocks alive?

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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. The repercussions from that are still ongoing, even today.

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 had the bruises to prove it.

For 2019, I revised the ZACE edition of KILLER INSTINCT (with the new blue cover). The story remains the same but I wanted to remove mentions of technology that—although current at the time I originally wrote the story—was distractingly outdated to the modern reader. So, out went floppy disks and video cassettes and even mention of public phone boxes. The latter are becoming a rarity. My local one now houses the area defibrillator instead of a phone!

When I started writing RIOT ACT, I was hoping people would believe the plot because at that time there hadn't been any race riots in northern cities for around five years. I was amazed when Bradford, Burnley and Oldham erupted into violence during the following summer.

Friday, the Rhodesian Ridgeback Charlie is looking after in RIOT ACT, was originally going to be a very peripheral character, but he rewrote his part when I wasn't looking and grew into a major player. The first draft didn't tell you what happened to the dog at the end, but complaints from my test readers ensured I added a note into the epilogue about the dog's fate.

This was another of those creepy coincidences. HARD KNOCKS involves eastern European gangsters kidnapping the children of the rich. A month after I'd finished it, a group of Albanians were exposed plotting to kidnap David and Victoria Beckham's two young children. This is starting to get spooky.

The handguns used at the bodyguard training school in the book are Sig Sauer P226s, so I made sure that I had the chance to fire one on a recent trip to the States. I discovered at this point that it's a really bad idea to wear an open-neck shirt while you're standing on a shooting range to the right of someone firing a semiautomatic handgun with a right-hand eject mechanism. The first time he fired, his gun spat a hot shell casing straight down the front of my shirt. That spoils your aim, I can tell you!

Try before you buy
Before you decide to buy CHARLIE FOX: THE EARLY YEARS, you may care to sample the three books in the box set. Simply click on a book title below for instant, free, no-obligation access to a substantial portion of each story in Kindle format.

Killer Instinct

Riot Act

Hard Knocks

“Think of these as the early years of Charlie Fox… your chance to discover Charlie as she discovers herself, her strengths and her weaknesses, and sustains the scars to her body and soul that make her such a unique and compelling character.” ~Lee Goldberg, bestselling US author and TV producer