Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book
Rate this book
"Take it from me, getting yourself shot hurts like hell."

When the latest assignment of ex-Special Forces soldier turned bodyguard, Charlie Fox, ends in a bloody shoot-out in a frozen forest in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, she's left fighting for her life, with her client dead.

Simone had just become a lottery millionairess but she never lived long enough to enjoy her newfound riches. Charlie was supposed to be keeping Simone's troublesome ex-boyfriend at bay and accompanying her on a trip to New England to track down the father Simone had never really known.

A relatively low-risk job.

But Simone's former SAS father has secrets in his past that are about to come back and haunt him, and the arrival of his long-lost daughter may be the catalyst that blows his whole world apart. Was the prospect of getting hold of Simone's money tempting enough to make him engineer her death? And what happens now to Simone's baby daughter, Ella?

With Simone gone, Ella's safety becomes Charlie's main concern. She's determined, despite her injuries, not to let anything happen to the child. But the closer Charlie gets to the truth, the bigger threat she becomes. Only, this time she's in no fit state to protect anyone, least of all herself.

358 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 1, 2007

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Zoë Sharp

75 books458 followers
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.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
321 (36%)
4 stars
378 (43%)
3 stars
140 (16%)
2 stars
30 (3%)
1 star
5 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 74 reviews
Profile Image for RachelW (BamaGal).
746 reviews68 followers
February 18, 2018
3.5 Stars. Satisfying enough read, but my least favorite of the series so far. The ending was all over the place and overly melodramatic.

The Frances Neagley crossover was kind of cool...
Profile Image for Woman Reading .
434 reviews286 followers
February 8, 2020
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 adventure with extreme danger and emotional intensity

Second Shot described Charlie’s second American gig as a bodyguard in which things go terribly wrong. Indeed, Charlie committed the cardinal sin of bodyguards - she outlived her principal… just barely.

Though it’s book six, Second Shot can be read as a standalone story. By the end of chapter one, it looked as though it could have literally been a standalone - for Charlie was dying. This was a stupendous opening chapter. Chapter two picked up the storyline from the beginning of Charlie’s assignment to protect both lottery-winner Simone and Ella, her 4-year old daughter, and then the story continues with the events that preceded chapter 1. Once caught up to chapter 1 and for the remainder of the story, we see Charlie be very vulnerable both physically and emotionally, as she heaped reproaches upon herself. This is one protagonist who is incredibly hard on herself. All of this just makes her put in a Herculean effort to protect the 4-year old daughter who sneaks into Charlie's heart and is the sole heiress to her mother's millions.

Charlie’s boss and lover, Sean Meyer, was a key figure in the story as well. Not only because of these roles, but Zoe Sharp used him to contrast these two former soldiers’ outlook on their lethal abilities and their emotional comfort with that ability. As Charlie has observed, Sean has no problem with killing in less than dire circumstances. He’s at ease with his killer instinct whereas Charlie is not. As Sean said to Charlie’s father:
"Charlie was a damned good soldier. Her ability to kill - which scares the shit out of you so much - was always there… Charlie is not a normal person."

Driven by fear, Charlie’s eminent surgeon consultant father has been too quick to label his only daughter a “psychopath.” Although Charlie is lethal, yes, she finds no joy in killing. She is instead plagued by guilt. She is one terrifically complex, intriguing heroine. I strongly recommend reading her earlier books to see how Charlie has evolved.

0) Trial Under Fire 🌟🌟🌟🌟½
1) Killer Instinct 🌟🌟🌟½
2) Riot Act 🌟🌟🌟🌟
3) Hard Knocks 🌟🌟🌟🌟½
4) First Drop 🌟🌟🌟🌟
5) Road Kill 🌟🌟🌟🌟½
Profile Image for Sue Millard.
Author 13 books3 followers
July 31, 2012
I find all Zoe's work hard to put down and this didn't break the mould. Second Shot is the first of the Charlie Fox series to introduce a child character into the mix. It shows us a softer side of Charlie's make-up. She obviously can't be a parent as well as doing the work she is naturally fitted for, but guarding a mother with a four-year-old brings her maternal instincts to the fore. That they're distinctly tigerish should be no surprise to readers of this series.

The "second shot" of the title hits Charlie when she hesitates to shoot for fear of hitting, or traumatizing, the child who is being abducted. This is also a narrative in which Charlie's brain has to be more important than her physical skill and military training, since the second half of the book has her opting to continue her work while recuperating from two major gunshot wounds - and no, she doesn't grapple with nightclub bouncers or sprint after wrongdoers in impossibly high heels. That's what I like about Ms Fox - she achieves her results in a realistic manner and with believable emotions, convictions and doubts beneath what she does so well.

Bravo Zoe... now I must go and read the next one.

Profile Image for Catsalive.
1,964 reviews12 followers
January 16, 2022
Not as good a story as the earlier books. It was a bit long-winded & didn't hold my interest as well as the others. Marked down because I'm tired of the soul-searching: the antagonists would have killed Charlie without a quiver of conscience, so she can be good or she can be dead. I wish Sharp would just let her get on with it. Let the father do his bit, but stop Charlie helping him undermine her. I'm going to have a break from these for a while because one more time - did I have a choice? or did I choose to kill? am I the psychopath my father thinks me? - & I may give up on them altogether. This would be a shame as they're pretty well-written, entertaining thrillers, on the whole.
Profile Image for Janine.
2,290 reviews57 followers
April 30, 2016
This is the first Zoe Sharp book I have read and it didn't matter that it was book 6 in the series as it was a great story.
Profile Image for Carolien.
811 reviews143 followers
March 2, 2020
Charlie Fox is requested to protect a newly-rich lottery winner who is searching for her estranged father. Things fall apart pretty quickly leaving Charlie with 2 bullet wounds and the lottery winner dead. Lots of action and an interesting plot.
Profile Image for Vleigh.
415 reviews39 followers
February 1, 2022
I liked that the author changed the formula on this one. It was fun puzzling through "How did it ever come to this?" and then "How will this ever get resolved?" Every book gets better but my feelings about Sean don't.
Profile Image for Best Crime Books & More.
1,092 reviews174 followers
February 7, 2014
It’s been a while since I read a book in the Charlie Fox series and then once I get back into them I seem to want to stay there. I started with book 5, and then went straight onto this one. I must say this book for me stood out from the first few pages. Charlie and Sean meet up with their new client Simone and her daughter Ella. It seems that the attention her ex-boyfriend is paying her is verging on dangerous. From the first few chapters we get to see a new side to Charlie. In previous books she hasn’t really had much interaction with children, yet in this one we get to see a different side to her.

As the story progresses we get to around that halfway point and re-join the book from the opening few pages (if you see what I mean). Charlie wakes in a hospital bed recovering from some serious injuries following a shoot out. This was also an element of the story I liked, seeing Charlie not at her best and in particular very vulnerable. As usual Sean Meyer her boss is around to watch her back, and their ongoing relationship is one that keeps my interest too. There are plenty of ‘heart stopping’ moments in this book and I loved the extra layers of mystery surrounding the main crux of the story. This particular book in the Fox series kept me so captivated I finished it in a day.

The ending seemed like a new beginning too for Charlie and as I finished the Epilogue, I found myself checking what book I needed next!!! I think with Charlie and Sean relocated and now living over the water, there are endless possibilities as to where things could go. This is by far my favourite Zoe Sharp book of the series to date and it had everything you want to see in a series that is in my opinion, getting stronger with each book that’s written. I think Zoe Sharp fans will love this addition, I know I did.
Profile Image for LJ.
3,159 reviews311 followers
September 3, 2008
SECOND SHOT (Lic. Invest-Charlie Fox-London, Boston, New Hampshire-Cont) - Poor
Sharp, Zoë – 6th in series
Thomas Dunne Books, 2007, US Hardcover – ISBN: 0312358954

First Sentence: Take it from me, getting yourself shot hurts like hell.

Simone Kerde won multi-millions in the lottery and her greatest wish is to get to know the father that left them when she was very young. She is being hounded by the press and feels threatened by her ex-boyfriend, the father of her 4-year-old daughter.

Private bodyguard, Charlie Fox, is hired to take Simone and her daughter to Boston, where a private investigator, where they meet Simone’s father. What should have been a joyous reunion turns deadly with Charlie a target.

Sharp always knows just how to grasp the reader’s attention with the opening line. However, exciting though it may be, opening the story with a climatic scene and then telling the main story in flashback is not a technique of which I am particularly fond.

Sharp also used foreshadowing, which I find unnecessary and annoying. I prefer to have the story build as it otherwise seems a bit of a cheat. But that’s just me.

There were many more things which bothered me about this book than that. Sean, for being Charlie’s lover, seemed very cavalier about Charlie’s concerns. Many of Charlie’s actions and decisions seemed incredibly stupid for someone who is a professional bodyguard.

For me, the best thing was the sense of place when the book was in Boston and North Conway, New Hampshire. These are locations I know well and it was fun to visit them with Charlie.

That, however, was not enough to make up for, what was otherwise, an over-the-top plot that left me almost as cold as a New England winter.
Profile Image for The Cats’ Mother.
2,130 reviews139 followers
January 6, 2013
I was given this by a friend with the advice "she's the female Jack Reacher", but because I like to read series in order I tracked down the 5 previous instalments as ebooks and read them all first. I think each book could be read as a standalone but you get much more from them by knowing the backstory. In this one Charlie takes a job guarding a young woman who has recently won millions on the lottery and needs protection for herself and her 4 yr old daughter while she tracks down her estranged father in America. The action is fast-paced and Charlie is bolshy as always. As ever she is horrible to her father who never fails to come running when she needs him, but lets Sean, who is never around when she needs him, behave like a jerk. I do like that she always fights her own battles rather than having to be rescued all the time. Really great series.
Profile Image for Sarah.
2,996 reviews45 followers
February 5, 2017
Poor Charlie just keeps getting shot! She still hadn't fully recovered from her last trip to America (in the previous book) and now she's back to working as security for a mother and child. Supposed to be an easy protection gig--how hard is it to keep away the press and an ex-boyfriend? But Charlie ends up shot and severely wounded, and her security team is threatened. The mystery is big--people aren't telling the truth, and, of course, Charlie ends up saving the day. While being a complete badass.
49 reviews
August 21, 2019
I think this is my favorite Charlie Fox book yet. While hoping to not give anything away, throughout the book, we see a real, and believable, transition in Charlie. I felt genuinely bad for her by the end of the book but also happy she seems to have broken through to who I have wanted her to become. Furthermore, I never figured out any of the usual twists along the way. I thought I had, and every time I was completely wrong. Fantastic book... moving on to Third Strike.
Profile Image for Julia.
2,515 reviews67 followers
October 7, 2016
Probably my least favorite of the series to date. Charlie is guilt ridden and Simone is a train wreck. Much of Charlie's actions are supposed tombs explained and/ or redeemed by her feelings for Ella, but I never "believed" that attachment. Of course, I also didn't honk she needed redemption, either...
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jess.
34 reviews
April 18, 2023
Picked up at an airbnb on holidays. Extreme trash.
267 reviews
August 21, 2018
This is the second Charlie Fox novel I have read and it's quickly shot it's way near to the top of my favorite series. This one takes place shortly after the first book I dive into, First Drop.

Charlie's boss (and on again off again lover) Sean's protection firm is engaged by the solicitors (to use the British term) of a lottery winner, Simone. Charlie's task is to be bodyguard for Simone and Ella, her four year old daughter. The main threat seems to come from Simone's estranged husband, Matt, who is trying to get back into the lives of the suddenly rich women by any means necessary.

Simone is also engaged in an active search for her long lost father, a quest that sends Charlie with the women to Boston and eventually northern New Hampshire where the threats to Simone and Ella double and triple. It's no spoiler to reveal that Charlie takes a bullet (in fact a pair) as it happens in the very first chapter and the next third of the book details Charlie's journey until that point.

The book moves along quickly, even though Charlie is hobbled by the shooting and comes to a climatic showdown. I like the character of Charlie, who has doubts about herself but can still dig deep for that inner reserve of steel when the chips are down. Highly recommended for both fans of mysteries and action novels. I can't wait to dig into the next book!

One note: having grown up in New Hampshire, I am familiar with the setting of the second half of the book and the author does a great job of describing the North Conway area and using its setting perfectly.
Profile Image for Mad Leon.
189 reviews
September 1, 2017
Charlie Fox has got to be the dumbest and most lax body guard out there. Anyone this careless in reality wouldn't last a month. Evidently her 'principals' don't make it very long on her watch either. Plus evidently when she is involved in a crime or death there is no inquest and the police are bumblers also. Just too ridiculous for me.
Profile Image for A.J..
411 reviews5 followers
December 31, 2022
Outstanding! Highly recommended.

Non-stop action with memorable characters. This series keeps getting better and better. Thriller lovers will want to read the whole series, preferably in sequence. Enjoy!
Profile Image for Charles Levenstein.
75 reviews1 follower
August 22, 2017
Charlie Fox Rides again!

Another shoot-em-up page turner. A good read although Charlie's whining gets to be a little much at times. Worth the price.
November 15, 2018
Better and Better

Zoe Sharpe continues to develop her Charlie Fox character and create complex, thrilling stories. The relationships take on a deeper meaning also. Great fun!
113 reviews
February 16, 2019
First time I've read a Zoe Sharp novel, I enjoyed the read so hopefully I'll read another.
Profile Image for Steph.
7 reviews
February 18, 2020
Not my usual kind of read, but I was thoroughly gripped by the story right from the first chapter. An excellent read.
18 reviews
February 6, 2021
Kept me on the edge of my seat. The first I read in the series, excited to read the others
Profile Image for Bubba.
229 reviews1 follower
June 15, 2023
don't usually enjoy stories that start at the end but this was okay. characters okay, plot okay, might try another charlie fox story, not sure. (so articulate)
Profile Image for Cathie.
335 reviews1 follower
September 6, 2023
Enjoyed the writing, and plot, but the attachment to the kid just felt forced. Also Shane’s coldness.
Profile Image for Any Length.
1,601 reviews
October 28, 2018
brilliant. I couldn't stop reading. From the first sentence - which should be a classic gripping opening sentence- I was hooked and couldn't put the book down. Didn't even see coming what happened at the end.
Profile Image for Maddy.
1,691 reviews75 followers
May 21, 2010
PROTAGONIST: Charlie Fox, bodyguard
SERIES: #2 of 6

Charlie Fox is a former British Army soldier who's taking advantage of the skills that she developed during that career to become a close protection agent (bodyguard). Involved in a personal and professional relationship with her boss, Sean Meyer, she agrees to protect a recent lottery winner, Simone Kerse, and her 4-year old daughter, Emma, from her obsessed ex-boyfriend. Simone decides to use some of her newfound wealth to mount a search for her father, with whom she lost contact during her childhood. The trail leads to Boston, and Simone, Ella and Charlie travel to the United States so that Simone can realize her goal. Charlie is naturally skeptical of the man who claims to be Simone's father; however, Simone is determined that Greg Lucas is indeed her father and will not allow herself to be persuaded otherwise. Greg and his current wife, relate fairly well to Emma. But Lucas definitely doesn't show any of the military skills that he should have after a career in the SAS.

Simone stubbornly refuses to acknowledge that she and Ella may be in danger, even after a kidnapping attempt that goes awry. Charlie is put in the position of either agreeing to Simone's terms or walking away. Since Ella has won her heart, she doesn't find the latter to be a viable option. Her worst fears come true; and ultimately, Charlie is shot twice and left for dead in a snow-covered ditch. Even as she struggles to recover, she is on the trail of those who have been targeting the group.

Charlie is tough on the outside and a bit soft on the inside, which may make her career choice problematic. There are times when Sean questions her choices and motives. If she's going to be a bodyguard, she has to follow a rather rigid line and not allow her emotions to come into play—that vulnerability could get her or her principals killed. The two men in Charlie's life, Sean and her father, are both demanding and hard to get along with. There's not enough development of either one of them to get a real handle on the dynamics of the relationships. Sean does care about Charlie. Her father probably does as well, but he masks it in sarcasm and arrogance.

Paradoxically, some of the things that I liked best about the book also were the elements that didn't work quite as well as they should have. Sharp has arguably written the best description of what it feels like to be shot that I have ever read. However, that scene was part of the prologue and involved the death of one of the book's main characters. Knowing of that death decreased the dramatic tension of the narrative, in that I knew that this character was going to be killed and never expected otherwise. If the book had been written in a linear time progression, that event would have been a real shock. Along the same lines, Sharp also portrays the effect of Charlie's grievous injuries in a very realistic way. However, the fact that she is not operating in top form leads to several situations where she is not able to resolve them as satisfactorily as she would have had she been healthy. It's not exactly easy to be a kick-ass heroine when you're using a crutch!

Although there are several books in this series available in the UK, it is only now being released in the US. With excellent plotting and some skillfully executed red herrings, a tough female protagonist and a knack for suspense, the Charlie Fox series should be a big hit with thriller fans.

Profile Image for Michael Sova.
Author 5 books
June 3, 2014
Helpless, vulnerable, insecure, fragile--these are not words we'd generally use to describe a literary hero. Too often, our heroes are larger than life. They never fail. They never falter. They never take a punch. We love them for their strength, and willingly overlook their total lack of any weakness. Such heroes are inspiring if not always entirely convincing.
In the opening pages of Second Shot by Zoe Sharp, it's almost painfully clear that British body guard Charlie Fox is no such hero. She has weaknesses and she does make mistakes. The woman she's hired to protect is already dead, and Charlie herself has been shot twice. She clings to life, and doesn't know if she has the will or the courage to press on.
Second Shot is the sixth book in the Charlie Fox series. Like in First Drop, Charlie has been sent to the States to look after a child. And once again, the situation gets more complicated than expected. She is still battling with previous failures, and wonders if self doubt is preventing her from doing her job properly. Meanwhile, enemies with no such qualms are quickly closing in. While struggling with her own demons, dealing with weaknesses both physical and mental, a child's welfare is still at stake and Charlie realizes she's still the only one who can truly make things right.
The world of fiction has produced a lot of Charlie Fox type heroes. Most of them are men. Oh sure; we've seen plenty of female detectives, from Kinsey Milhone to V. I. Warshawski to Precious Ramotswe. Charlie does her share of detecting as well, but she's primarily a bodyguard, a stereotypically male occupation, not just in literature but in life. She's also British but working in America. That too gives her, and by extension the reader, a slightly different perspective on things. I applaud Zoe Sharp for giving all of us something new, different and a little daring. She also crafts some great stories. If you're not familiar with Sharp yet, I suggest you give her and Charlie Fox a try.

Displaying 1 - 30 of 74 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.