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The Black Fox

(Gavin Shawlen #3)

4.86  ·  Rating details ·  43 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Zoe Tampsin is resourceful, smart and Special Forces-trained, but she has been given an impossible mission.

She has to protect scientist, Gavin Shawlens, from assassination by the CIA, and discover the secret trapped in Gavin's mind that the CIA want destroyed.

As the pressure to find Shawlens escalates – the CIA send Zoe's former mentor to track her down and her fate seems
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published February 10th 2015 by Gordon Bickerstaff
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Average rating 4.86  · 
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Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Check out all of my reviews at:

THE BLACK FOX (Lambeth Group Thriller Series #3) by Gordon Bickerstaff is a nonstop thriller that has hairpin plot twists, action-packed scenes that keep you turning the pages and characters that are complex, intense and memorable beyond the pages.

Zoe Tampsin has been ordered to take Dr. Gavin Shawlens into hiding.

The United States has deemed Gavin a national security threat of the highest order and are willing to send the CIA and
Connie Lacy
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’ve read and enjoyed several Lambeth Group Thrillers. This is now my favorite. Wow! Non-stop action and intrigue. A fascinating premise. I couldn’t wait to find out what earthshaking secret Gavin Shawlins knew, but didn’t know he knew. And boy, is it a doozy! It’s cool that the author makes a female Special Forces-trained agent the lead in these stories. Zoe Tampsin is smart, resourceful and daring. And she doesn’t give up. Taking on the CIA and the British intelligence agencies makes for a hea ...more
Darryl Greer
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"The Black Fox" is third in author, Gordon Bickerstaff’s Lambeth Group Thriller series. Lead character is Zoe Tampsin, a feisty, exceptionally resourceful, former British Special Services officer seconded to MI5 (also known as the Security Service), who is asked by her boss, Sir Milton Johnson, to babysit Dr. Gavin Shawlens. The scientist has been targeted by the CIA for assassination. The Company knows he has a secret hidden in the depths of his subconscious which, if it ever surfaced, would ca ...more
Dec 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
It’s getting harder and harder to find genuine gems in this genre but The Black Fox is certainly one of them. Weaving an exhilarating plot and narrative the author Gordon Bickerstaff really knows how to spin an intriguing tale. There’s a nice balance between suspense, heightened tension and the relationship between the main characters which adds genuine depth to the story. As part of a series I will definitely being reading the other books.
Brian O'Hare
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Black Fox by Gordon Bickerstaff is an exciting concept – a large canvas, monumental stakes, forceful characters, and loads of suspense. Set mostly in the highest echelons of government, particularly involving the machinations of the CIA in the USA, and MI5 in Britain, Bickerstaff writes with conviction and knowledge, giving the story depth and credibility.
The Black Fox revolves around Dr. Gavin Shawlens who finds himself in the middle of a world conspiracy, with two governments trying find
William Stuart
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A while back, I read the first of Gordon Bickerstaff’s Lambeth Group Thrillers, and gave Deadly Secrets 4 Stars. When The Black Fox: Run for Your Life appeared in my recommendations, I added it to my TBR. Here is my review.

Synopsis (from the author):
Zoe Tampsin is resourceful, smart and Special Forces-trained, but she has been given an impossible mission.

She has to protect scientist, Gavin Shawlens, from assassination by the CIA, and discover the secret trapped in Gavin's mind that the CIA want
Lex Allen
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"The Black Fox: Run For Your Life" by Gordon Bickerstaff  is the third of a currently six book Lambeth Group Series featuring the tough, special forces trained agent, Zoe Tampsin. In this novel, Zoe has received the impossible mission of protecting Gavin Shawlens, a scientist who unwittingly holds a sixty-year-old secret that if revealed would unleash a maelstrom of global anger and hostility. The CIA wants him silenced. Zoe must not only protect Shawlens, she also has to go "dark" and thereby b ...more
Michael Wilton
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller
The ‘Black Fox’, is the first thriller I have read by Gordon Bickerstaff and it won’t be the last. I found it entirely convincing, embracing intrigues and conspiracies at the highest possible government level, involving both MI5 and the CIA with unforeseen consequences.
After completing her latest assignment, Zoe Tampsin, a highly resourceful British agent is ordered to go into hiding to protect her colleague Dr. Gavin Shawlens from being handed over to the US to extract vital information that is
John Podlaski
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow. What a rollercoaster ride this author takes readers on. Zoe Tampsin is a British agent who is told by her boss to go dark with her team member, Galvin, who supposedly has a secret that will devastate the United States. He has no idea of what it may be, but reoccurring dreams are beginning to shed some light. While Zoe pulls in some friends that she trusts, they all continue to run for their lives. So many times, I've thought that it was all over for them when it seems by some miracle they m ...more
Donna Maguire

This was the second book that I have read by this author and I have to say they have both been excellent! I do love a good thriller and this is definitely up there with some of the best I have read this year, whilst it features the characters from the other books in the Lambeth Group series I feel that it is fine to be read as a stand alone.

Zoe is a great character and I love her strength and attitude. The plot was really well thought through and very det
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Protagonist Zoe has been assigned a mission impossible: to go into hiding with Dr. Gavin Shawlens who is considered a national security threat by the U.S. Not only is the CIA after him but the British government wants him handed over. But first the British want to discover what Shawlens knows about a billion dollar event. From all this it’s clear that there is no lack of conflict (storyline tension) to move the plot along, which it certainly does move at a rapid action-packed pace. The character
Sarah Stuart
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When friends fall out anything can happen – misunderstandings – anger – fear – a desire for revenge or self-protection. The “special relationship” between America and Britain is in danger of collapse with catastrophic results, and one man holds the key. Zoe Tampsin, The Black Fox, has him in her care, but what is the secret he’s forgotten, and can she keep him alive until his memory returns? Swinging from one end of the UK to another, and with USA settings at presidential level, this a political ...more
Randall Krzak
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Gordon Bickerstaff's Black Knight will keep you on the edge as you turn the pages to find out what happens next. Follow special forces-trained Zoe Tampsin and bumbling scientist Gavin Shawlens as they are plunged into the abyss. Why does the CIA want Gavin killed? You'll burn the midnight oil as this engaging story will keep you wanting to know more.

As with all of Gordon's works, he's created another excellent plot with a superb twist. I won't share the ending--you'll have to grab a copy of Blac
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommend to fans of spy thrillers.
I thought this story took a while to get going and I couldn't fathom why America would be prepared to go to such lengths to kill Dr. Shawlens. But once the story gets going and it is revealed how much is at risk and why it turns into a cracking good read.
I love how the author puts his characters in seemingly impossible situations and makes the adversaries dangerous and capable of outwitting the good guys. I also read these books wondering if it all migh
Aug 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed Zoe's character- her strength, intelligence, and loyalty. The race to figure out what lurked in Gavin's subconscious thrilled. The many twists and the difference between what he thought was happening and what was genuinely happening surprised me. His character seemed a little weak and, at times, annoying, but his wits prevailed in the end, and he was redeemed. The action and battle of strategic forces entertained.
Cherime MacFarlane
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh, my! Make sure to have plenty of time to finish this one if you need to sleep. Had an appointment and read until the last second when I had to leave. Rushed back to finish it. It is a wild ride for sure. And my favorite sea monster is involved. This ties up all the lose ends and finished the series with a bang. Wow. Great job.
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Zoe is one awesome woman! She is really a one-woman force of nature. I love her. I also really enjoyed Gavin, who played very well with her. Gavin and Zoe are such fascinating characters, complex, yet relatable. While they are the main focus there are loads of well fleshed characters in this story. Since I started with this book, reading out of order, I really appreciated the way the author explained who was who as we met them in the story.

The plot was intricately woven, with several unexpected
E.J. Kellett
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book kept me hooked from the very beginning. That is high praise considering I haven't read the previous 2 books in the Gavin Shawlens series. It is a real art to continue a series whilst also ensuring the story works as a stand alone. Gordon Bickerstaff nails this aspect of series writing.

The relationships, plot and speed of the story work really well together to make an interesting whole. The conspiracy and mystery also keeps the pages turning.

I'm not going to say more about the plot, bec
C.A. King
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love espionage, CIA stories and action packed plots, but usually in movie form. That means
I don't read enough of them. Gordon Bickerstaff's books could easily one day show up on the big screen. Zoe might be one of my favourite leads of the year!

I'm not giving away any spoilers - you'll want to find them all out for yourself. I will say this is a 5 star read.
Brigitta Moon
Oct 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm continuing my indulgence of reading novels by self published authors, looking for the good ones. This is another new genre for me. I don't usually read espionage and national security or CIA books, but I love this cover. That's why I bought the book. The Black Fox opens with thrilling action and mystery just the way I like my novels. The action continues throughout the book. Could you hold a gun to a Conrad's head and pull the trigger to save your child? I was on the edge of my seat with thi ...more
K.J. Simmill
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Gavin Shawlins is on the run, only he doesn't know it. Following their last mission for the Lambeth Group someone realised he knew something important, something that could put the US itself at risk. Zoe Tampsin, on the order of her superior, takes him and goes dark. In exchange for Gavin the US have offered The UK billions in upgrades, a manhunt of epic proportions is about to begin, no quarter will be shown, no stone unturned. Zoe swears to protect him at all costs, attempting to tease a secre ...more
Mark Piper
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A Compelling Conspiracy Thriller

The Black Fox: Run for Your Life is the third book in the series, but it's the first one I've read. The tension ramps up almost immediately and doesn't let up until the end. Zoe Tampsin is a heroine in every sense. She is always the most skilled and the smartest person in the room, which is what you want in a heroic protagonist. The mystery of Gavin Shawlens' lost memory remains a mystery until very late in the book, and when it's all revealed it's definitely some
Ellie Midwood
Sep 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller
I’m definitely a big fan of Gavin Shawlens thriller series! Everything, from a completely unpredictable plot with multiple twists and turns, to vivid, multi-dimensional characters and action-packed scenes, makes it a gripping story that is impossible to put down.
This time Gavin finds himself in the middle of a world conspiracy, with two governments trying to get their hands on this ‘asset’ because of what’s buried in the depths of his mind, a knowledge that is worth billions in their eyes. Only
Delinda McCann
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Black Fox: Run for Your Life By Gordon Bickerstaff
A spy action adventure with strong female leads.

I picked this up because I like stories set in England. I didn’t realize it was part of a series. It would be fun to go back and pick up the other books, however as an introduction to the series this worked.

Zoe Tampsin, a military special forces officer had been sheltering another member of her team Dr. Gavin Shawlins a researcher when she gets a call from her commanding officer telling her to
Mary Yarde
Aug 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A non-stop, action packed, thriller of a book!

The British have agreed to hand over the scientist, Gavin Shawlens to the CIA, but then something makes them change their mind. Gavin is placed in the protection of Special Forces agent, Zoe Tampsin. Zoe is at the top of her game. She is the best of the best, and she takes her job very seriously, even if that means pretending to go rogue to protect her charge.

The Black Fox: Run For Your life, is a fascinating and fast-paced read. The characters are w
P.S. Winn
Jun 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is the third book in the series and will take readers on a thrill ride of lies, secrets and conspiracies. Zoe Tampsin has been given the job of protecting Gavin Shawlens..The scientist has some memories that are hidden from him. As he tries to recover the secrets, readers are taken into the suspense thrills of the government hiding secrets they don't want revealed. For me, this is a great story and the author did an amazing job keeping the cast of characters in order, The story is believabl ...more
Mar 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is the third story featuring Gavin Shawlens, a biochemist who gets caught up in bad guys plans for world domination in the previous two books.
This installment has him on the run with special forces trained Zoe as he has knowledge that must not get out. Problem is, Gavin has no idea what this knowledge is so they go on the run whilst trying to find out what this knowledge might be with very few friends.

This is a fast paced thriller with a few deus ex machina twists. I found it easy reading a
Dec 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A riveting thriller from start to finish which is further augmented by a clever plot with refreshingly leaves no lose ends! There’s plenty of action and a little bit of levity which brings a bit of timely relief as the tension mounts. There’s lots of detail and backstory which I personally like in a book because I think it helps bring the characters to life. This is what I think of as a real page turner. You pick it up, it grabs your attention and you don’t put it down until you have finished re ...more
Joey Paul
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Having read the others in this series before, I was happy to pick up this one. As usual the action started on page one, pulling you into the world of Zoe and her latest duty. The threads of the plot twisted and turned as we were carried through the story. I loved the storytelling and the way it seemed at many points that the jig was up, only for Zoe to remain victorious. An excellent thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Amazing.
Kate Everward
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It’s the first book I’ve read by this author but not the last. Strong story straight from the beginning with continuing peaks until the end. With a strong, smart, fascinating woman as a lead character, the protector, the author did a great job making me hold my breath waiting for the other shoe to drop over and over. Some of the occurrences make you wonder what would you do and could you do it. It’s an excellent story, filled with suspense and conspiracies and I highly recommend it.
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I was born and raised in Glasgow but spent my student years in Edinburgh. I spent over 30 years as a university lecturer and 25 years as an Open University tutor before I retired to write fiction. I live with my wife in Scotland where corrupt academics, psychopaths, serial killers, mystery, murder, and intrigue exists mostly in my mind.

I write the Lambeth Group series of standalone crime/conspira

Other books in the series

Gavin Shawlen (3 books)
  • Deadly Secrets (A Lambeth Group Thriller)
  • Everything to Lose (A Lambeth Group Thriller)

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