I’m delighted to have this review in from Ted Hertel Jr which will be appearing in Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine soon. Ted has reviewed books in my Charlie Fox series previously, and I’m thrilled that he enjoyed this standalone as well!

DANCING ON THE GRAVE by Zoë Sharp (Zace Ltd., $11.99 paperback/$5.34 digital, June 2018)  Rating:  A- 

While a sniper lies in wait for a different target, he sees seventeen-year-old Edith Airey shoot a dog that was attacking sheep at her neighbor’s farm.  Detective Constable Nick Weston, newly transferred into England’s Lake District, arrives on the scene expecting something much more serious than a dead dog.  But crime scene investigator Grace McColl insists that Weston treat the shooting as important.  Later, the sniper kills a politically connected woman who had been at the scene of the dog’s shooting and mortally wounds a police officer. The police make a connection between the two events.  Can Weston and McColl, two damaged people carrying a lot of baggage from their pasts, act in time to stop more killings and bring a murderer to justice? 

Zoë Sharp, author of the outstanding Charlie Fox series, is one of the best, and most underrated, thriller writers around.  This book proves that she should be better known.  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 book, in part, is an examination of the quest for fame – or more rightly infamy – as well as the effects of the search on the seeker, and its tragic consequences, including one not revealed until the final page of this harrowing novel.  But it is also an in-depth look at the roots of revenge and how long it can simmer before bursting into the open, destroying people’s lives.  Though the story is told with little sentimentality, you will still come to care about the characters and their fates. 

This is a straightforward, no holds barred, thriller.  No one writes this kind of book better than Zoë Sharp.  If you haven’t read one of her books before, the only question is “why not?”


Ted Hertel Jr is an award-winning short story writer and reviewer. I can neither confirm nor deny rumours that we first met when I was asked to fulfill a contract on him…