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Killer Instinct (Charlie Fox Thriller, #1)
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Killer Instinct (Charlie Fox #1)

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  1,124 Ratings  ·  168 Reviews
KILLER INSTINCT is the first in Zoë Sharp’s highly acclaimed Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Fox crime thriller series, now available in e-format for the first time, complete with Foreword by Lee Child, two previously deleted scenes, Meet Charlie Fox and Meet Zoë Sharp extras, an excerpt from the next Charlie Fox novel – RIOT ACT – and a bonus excerpt from Brett Battles’ Jonathan Quin ...more
Hardcover, UK, 352 pages
Published August 2001 by Piatkus Books
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Community Reviews

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Seeley James
Jul 31, 2012 Seeley James rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Seeley by: the author
I accidentally followed some author I’d never heard of simply because her tweets tended toward humor. After reading a few of her clever observations, I picked up Killer Instinct, her first book. Wow. What a great book. And don’t I feel dim for not having heard of her before? Yes. (But I’m used to that feeling.)

The best part about discovering an established author is: No wait for the next book!

What makes an author like Ms. Sharp stand out from others is her skill. The writing is exceptional. Not
Pam (E.P. Scott)
3.5 Stars
This series should be read in order. I read one of the stories (Absence of Light) and got hooked but I regret reading it first as it has somewhat spoiled some of the parts as I have been reading this series. I thought it important to make my feelings known for those who read this first review of the first book.

I have heard many wonderful things about this writer, hell Lee Child sings her praises, so I thought I would give her stories a read.

First, the story was a good st
Dec 10, 2012 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If it hadn’t been for Lee Child’s glowing recommendation, I might not have picked up Zoe Sharp’s debut novel at all. While the action doesn’t paint the page the way a Jack Reacher novel does, it still managed to hold my attention, although it did take me more than a quarter of the novel to become fully invested in the story. But once I did, I was more than curious to see where Charlie Fox took me next.

Charlotte “Charlie” Fox rivals most men in her strength of character, love of motorcycles, and
Giovanni Gelati
Aug 09, 2010 Giovanni Gelati rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Puzzled? Yes I was puzzled when I saw that this novel was available. There are eight, count them eight, novels thus far in the Charlotte “Charlie” Fox series, Killer Instinct being the first. What took them so long to cross the ocean is anyone’s guess, but I am glad someone had the sense to bring it over here. Busted Flush Press has been nice enough to get them into our hands and I for one am very happy.
I read all the praise from Zoe Sharp’s fellow authors and many comparisons of everyone’s char
Kathy Davie
Nov 18, 2013 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller
First in the Charlie Fox thriller series based in Lancaster, England, and revolving around Charlie, a self-defense instructor.

My Take
I can see why Lee Child is impressed with Zoë Sharp. She’s good. It’s even more amazing that this is her first book. The only quibbles I could come up with was why didn’t she figure out the bit about seven a whole lot earlier? And WHY would she stay in her flat?? Why doesn’t she pick up on what Gary’s up to? Why would she go back to work at the Adelphi after the la
Jan 22, 2012 Daniel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Count me in for this series. I like Zoe Sharp's heroine, Charlie Fox: she's skilled in the martial arts; she takes care of her friends; and she refuses to back down from an opponent. At the same time, she thinks about the consequences of beating someone down, and--at least in this, the opening installment of the series--she hesitates before using lethal force. This compassion is refreshing, as most protagonists who know a thing or two about bare-handed fighting go through a moral crisis along th ...more
Jul 24, 2015 Lisa added it
This book to me was a let down for me it took way to long to get into the story & at times brought in romance between Charlie & Mark which bores me i'm afraid i like fast paced novels something that grabs your attention straight away am probably picky but its just my thoughts
Best Crime Books & More
Jul 11, 2012 Best Crime Books & More rated it really liked it
Being somebody that buys more than I read, I have that nagging feeling that I am missing out when people get excited over authors I have never read. Yes I know, I have issues; don’t get me started! When I saw on my lovely Facebook page that people were excitedly chattering about Zoe Sharp I immediately Googled her and realised that she has been writing for the best part of ten years. How dare I not know about this crime author, especially being a British female author? I immediately ordered her ...more
Sharon Michael
Mar 03, 2012 Sharon Michael rated it liked it
Entertaining read, interesting main character, reasonably believable 'tough girl' type. The plot is fairly predictable, with the nightclub being the focal point for various illegalities, wrapped up with a serial killer, but moves along well.

My personal issue with this book was the main character. Presented as a 'tough girl', well trained through the military and currently running her own business as a self-defense instructor, she made too many 'dumb' mistakes, things she would not have done if t
Jacob Proffitt
Dec 26, 2013 Jacob Proffitt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, suspense
I've actually read maybe half this series, but I'm only really going to review this one (and it's going to be short because I finished it a month or more ago). The series actually does a good job both keeping the flow going forward (so you know more or less what you're in for with the next based on what you know from the previous) and building a history and reasonable consequences creating a broader narrative for the course of Charlie's life and career. This is a fantastic element of the series ...more
Loved the mystery from a different angle. Fell in love with the characters and I can't wait to read the rest of this series. Zoe Rocks! I didn't expect to be so emotionally involved with her characters. Shocking, tough subject matters and a realism that we don't know... what really goes on behind doors of even our own friends. I'm so glad I didn't start with the American's first book of the series. Meeting Zoe was amazing at the Mayhem mystery event in Omaha and seeing her in action before I rea ...more
Bert Edens
I actually completely stumbled onto this book online by accident, with Charlie being a self-defense instructor catching my eye. So I reserved it at my library.

I really enjoyed this, and can't wait to read others in the series! It's nice to see a strong female character who knows how to take care of herself, but at the same time isn't some super-psycho machine with no faults or failures.

As a martial artist, I found almost all (but not all) of the techniques and the situations believable, includi
Michael Sherer
Feb 12, 2012 Michael Sherer rated it it was ok
With not only a nice blurb, but a forward written by Lee Child, I was expecting a lot from Ms. Sharp. Unfortunately, I was less than impressed. I found her writing clumsy and amateurish at times, and the pace often way too slow as the heroine got bogged down internalizing or going off on unnecessary tangents. I'm going to chalk this up to freshman inexperience and give another of her novels a chance. But based on this book, Zoe Sharp is no Lee Child.
Sep 25, 2016 Julia rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
So *exactly* what I wanted to read at the moment. Shades of Lily Bard and Anita Blake, but indisputably unique. I'm looking forward to more from this series!
Barbara ★
Despite Lee Child's glowing intro, I didn't think Charlie Fox was anything like Jack Reacher. Other than the obvious ex-military connection, there really isn't anything similar in the two characters. I liked Charlie but I she over-estimated her ability to defend herself against musclebound creeps. Oh yeah, she won in the end but that was to be expected as she is the heroine of the series. IMHO the plot was an over-used one and very predictable. (view spoiler) ...more
Patrick Fox
May 28, 2012 Patrick Fox rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller, crime
I really enjoyed this book. Zoë Sharp has created a believable hero in Charlie Fox. Although she's tough and resourceful, she has flaws and self doubt, which stop her from being an invincible super-woman.

I discovered this book by accident, and only downloaded it out of curiosity because of Charlie's surname, but I am so glad I did. Reading this book gave me the same feeling I got when I read my first Jack Reacher novel, and that was delight at discovering a serial character I liked to read abou
P.D. Martin
Jul 18, 2012 P.D. Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zoe Sharp's Killer Instinct introduces an engaging new leading lady, Charlie Fox, and I'm looking forward to reading more Charlie.

This was the first book I read on my Kindle, and I was completely hooked by the time I was about 15% in. From there, Zoe Sharp kept stepping things up and by around the 60% mark, I couldn't bear to put it down.

I'm off to download the second book :)
Nov 23, 2014 Harley rated it it was amazing
An excellent mystery novel. The first in the Charlie Fox series. Strong female character. Set in northern England. Highly recommended for readers of murder mysteries with strong female characters.
Mish Middelmann
Jan 18, 2015 Mish Middelmann rated it liked it
Gritty, violent, well written. If Charlie Fox had been a man I probably wouldn't have got past page 50. As a woman she brings something fresh.
Kathy Davie
Nov 18, 2013 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
First in the Charlie Fox thriller series based in Lancaster, England, and revolving around Charlie, a self-defense instructor.

My Take
I can see why Lee Child is impressed with Zoë Sharp. She’s good. It’s even more amazing that this is her first book. The only quibbles I could come up with was why didn’t she figure out the bit about seven a whole lot earlier? And WHY would she stay in her flat?? Why doesn’t she pick up on what Gary’s up to? Why would she go back to work at the Adelphi after the la
Melyssa Fratkin
I don't usually do audio books... I think I would have finished this one more quickly if I'd had it in writing - it was gripping enough that it would've been hard to put down, so by the end I had to keep listening and risk being late for work! Charlie is a strong character, especially given what she's been through, and I didn't see the ending coming at all. I'd definitely read more Charlie Fox books.
Kelly Roll
Dec 31, 2016 Kelly Roll rated it really liked it
Excellent - Charlie Fox is Def. somebody I'd want watching my back. She was once victimized but refuses to be a victim. She teaches self-defense to women but decides to take a side gig as security at a local club. She soon becomes mixed up in trying to solve the rape/murders of some local women and also ends up mixed up in a possible drug case. She's smart tough but not unbelievable. I'd highly advise getting to know her. Killer instinct is the first in the series.
Natalie Henriques
Nov 08, 2016 Natalie Henriques rated it liked it
Shelves: bookclub, audio-book
A good thriller, had some plot points i didn't like, but overall an interesting, fast paced read.
Nov 22, 2016 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this first book in a series that was first published in the UK. Charlie Fox is a woman who is on a mission--she teaches self-defense classes for women all over the small towns in northern England, so that no other woman has to go through what she did. While serving in the British forces, she became a victim, even though her own parents never believed her story. Now that she's changed her name and determined to be strong, she gets roped into serving as a bouncer at a local ni ...more
Larry Pearson
Oct 05, 2016 Larry Pearson rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. If you enjoy thrillers with kick-ass-female heroines, you'll probably love this book as much as I did. I've also read several other of Ms. Sharp's books since then and one or two are even better.
Aug 19, 2012 James rated it liked it
[NOTE: My computer has, well, died. As a result, I am many, many books into the 'future' and my reviews for the books are going to be unfortunately sparse or very general. Don't expect detailed analysis, I will be giving you more lasting impressions than piece by piece dissection]

This was a good, but not great book. It was original in many aspects, generic in others. Charlie is a unique female character, and the plot line is also unique enough to set it apart - but in the end it still feels like
K, Nz
I started the Charlie Fox series with Riot Act/Hard Knocks a few years ago now, and was unsuccessful finding ‘Killer Instinct’ through the library, as it was out of print at the time. With the reissue a while back I was finally able to read it (completely absorbed for an afternoon), and fill in some of the gaps alluded to in the later books.

I like details and back story so it’s really satisfying to read about Clare and Jacob, as well as background about where Charlie came from as a person. I do
Mar 28, 2014 Ed rated it really liked it
#1 in the Charlotte “Charlie” Fox series. Charlie teaches defensive tactics to groups of women in Lancaster, England. She was kicked out of Army Special Forces and estranged from her parents for reasons that gradually emerge. Now she subsists in a flat that is not far from demolition. She is a curious mixture of compassion, impatience and anger. Offered a job interview at a new club, she thinks "I didn't kid myself that the money wouldn't come in useful". Scraping by with no discernible future p ...more
Sheri Hart
Mar 09, 2012 Sheri Hart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was fortunate to win a free download of Zoe Sharp's FOX FIVE short story collection on the Murderati blog a few months ago. I really enjoyed all of the stories and added KILLER INSTINCT to my To Be Read list then because I wanted to learn more about Charlie Fox. I admit however to not really loving short stories that much because they are well...short. They don't always give the chance to connect emotionally with a character. So I was lured away from KI by other shiny stories calling to be rea ...more
Aug 12, 2011 C rated it liked it
Shelves: favorites
A patron came in looking for Charlie Fox books, a 1974 Daniel Boone type hero. While someone was helping him, I found these ones on amazon and, intrigued, thought I'd give them a try.

Motorcycle gals - you might really dig these. The heroine is a rider, and not an unrealistic, difficult-to-relate-to super-heroine Lara Croft type on a Supersport motorcyle. She rides an RGV 250 (comparable to the Ninjette) & is wise to her limitations. She's realistically flawed and vulnerable - her hi
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Zoë Sharp spent most of her formative years living aboard a catamaran on the northwest coast of England. She opted out of mainstream education at the age of twelve and wrote her first novel at fifteen. She became a freelance photojournalist in 1988 and started writing her Charlie Fox crime thriller series after receiving death-threats in the course of her work.
More about Zoë Sharp...

Other Books in the Series

Charlie Fox (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Riot Act (Charlie Fox Thriller, #2)
  • Hard Knocks (Charlie Fox Thriller #3)
  • First Drop (Charlie Fox Thriller, #4)
  • Road Kill (Charlie Fox Thriller #5)
  • Second Shot (Charlie Fox Thriller, #6)
  • Third Strike (Charlie Fox Thriller #7)
  • Fourth Day (Charlie Fox Thriller, #8)
  • Fifth Victim (Charlie Fox Thriller, #9)
  • Die Easy (Charlie Fox Thriller, #10)
  • Fox Hunter (Charlie Fox Thriller, #11)

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