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January 29, 2013 / John Sheridan

Die Easy by Zoe Sharp

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Amazon US, Kindle, Amazon UK

One of my reading goals for last year was to read more UK authors and belatedly I’ve picked up one from Zoe Sharp which qualifies and more importantly is actually absolutely excellent. Maybe my perspective on it owes more to its setting in post-Katrina New Orleans than its author’s nationality but when you find yourself gripping the book tighter as the tension ramps up you know the author has gotten you hooked (even if doing this on a Kindle doesn’t have quite the same effect as with a real paper book!).

At one point I took a breath and said to myself “this is like Die Hard on a freaking boat!” Remember the first Die Hard film, the best one – the first time you saw it on the big screen. And then while getting ready to write my review I jumped over to the author’s website here where she describes this as being her personal version of “Die Hard” – well, Ms. Sharp you nailed it!

Being the 10th book in a series there is the potential to have to know the characters’ backstory in order to fully appreciate the current work but, while the backstory is alluded to, it is always in just sufficient detail to give you what you need to know in order to move the current story along and never seems to become intrusive.

There’s a great opening, dropping the reader straight into a shootout where our heroine is unarmed and vulnerable but given a little misdirection all is not as it first appears. My one minor gripe would be the use of foreshadowing in the text which is a literary device I’m not terribly fond of but even that faded into the background as I became more immersed into the overall pull of the narrative. Aside from that the tension of the book is excellent and the action scenes jump off the page and Charlie Fox as a lead character is certainly appealing while the complications of her relationship with Sean both professional and personal are well laid out.

My rating is 10 out of 10. The only question is do I start at the beginning or do I work backwards? There are more advantages than usual to working forwards apart from the usual chronology in that there are two ebook collections available. A TRIPLE SHOT of Charlie Fox is a special e-boxed set of the first three novels in the Charlie Fox series ―KILLER INSTINCT, RIOT ACT, and HARD KNOCKS (Kindle, Kindle UK). While ANOTHER ROUND of Charlie Fox is a special e-boxed set of the second three novels in the Charlie Fox series ―FIRST DROP, ROAD KILL, and SECOND SHOT (Kindle).

Amazon Description for Die Easy:
In the sweltering heat of New Orleans, former Special Forces soldier-turned-bodyguard Charlie Fox faces her toughest challenge yet.

Professionally, she’s at the top of her game, but her personal life is in ruins. Her lover, bodyguard Sean Meyer, has woken from a gunshot-induced coma with his memory in tatters. It seems that piercing back together the relationship they shared is proving harder for him than relearning the intricacies of the bodyguard business. Working with Sean again was never going to be easy for Charlie, but a celebrity fundraising event in aid of still-ravaged areas of New Orleans should have been the ideal opportunity for them both to take things nice and slow. Until, that is, they find themselves thrust into the middle of a war zone.

When an ambitious robbery explodes into a deadly hostage situation, the motive may be far more complex than simple greed. Somebody has a major score to settle, and Sean is part of the reason. Only trouble is, he doesn’t remember why. And when Charlie finds herself facing a nightmare from her own past, she realizes she can’t rely on Sean to watch her back. This time, she’s got to fight it out on her own.One thing is for certain, though—no matter how overwhelming the odds stacked against her, or however hopeless the situation may appear—Charlie is never going to die easy.

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