Tuesday, August 22, 2017

"Fox Hunter"

Zoë Sharp is the author of fourteen novels so far, either in the Charlie Fox crime thriller series, standalones or collaborations, as well as moonlighting as an international pet-sitter and yacht crew. When she’s not doing that, she dabbles in self-defence and house renovation. (If she visits don’t tell her to make herself at home or she’s liable to start knocking walls out.)

Sharp applied the Page 69 Test to her latest novel, Fox Hunter, and reported the following:
From page 69:

The blow stunned me only for a moment. Just long enough for the senior officer to drag me bodily out of the back seat of the cruiser. The thump as I hit the concrete floor brought me out of it.


He had me by the back of my collar and was dragging me towards the men with the Cadillac. I grabbed his hand, dug thumb and forefinger viciously deep into pressure points I could find in my sleep.

He yowled, whirled with his nightstick raised. I swivelled on my backside as if break-dancing, hooked one leg behind his and scissored the heel of my boot into his kneecap as hard as I could manage.

He’d clearly received some kind of unarmed combat instruction as part of his training, but either that was a long time ago or he’d been a very poor student.
Page 69 of Fox Hunter is the start of chapter thirteen, so in reality it’s only half a page. Because I have a tendency to write in short chapters, and break in the middle of a scene, it hits the ground (quite literally in this case) with its legs still pumping from the end of chapter twelve. Yes, it’s fairly representative of the book, in that my narrator—bodyguard Charlie Fox—is a capable fighter, so when she has no other choice she fights without any quarter expected or given.

But in other ways this section doesn’t clue the reader in to the quieter, more reflective moments. The sorrow of an Iraqi woman attacked and left for dead, who tells her story to Charlie, via an interpreter, earlier in the story. Nor the later agony of a father forced to make an impossible choice concerning his son. So, I hope readers might take page 69 as an indication of a fast-paced story with a protagonist who can more than hold her own, and then be pleasantly surprised by other hidden depths in characters and situations described elsewhere.
Learn more about the author and her work at Zoë Sharp’s website, blog, and find her on Facebook or Twitter.

My Book, The Movie: Fox Hunter.

--Marshal Zeringue