Tuesday 17 October 2017

Fox Hunter by Zoe Sharp #BlogTour @authorzoesharp @wwnortonUK #MyLifeInBooks

 Now she doesn't have a choice Her boss Sean Meyer is missing in Iraq, where one of those men was working as a private security contractor.

When the man's butchered body is discovered, Charlie fears that Sean may be pursuing a twisted vendetta on her behalf Charlie's "close protection" agency in New York needs this dealt with--fast and quiet--before everything they've worked for goes to ruins.

They send Charlie to the Middle East with very specific instructions: Find Sean Meyer and stop him--by whatever means necessary At one time Charlie thought she knew Sean better than she knew herself, but it seems he's turned into a violent stranger. Always ruthless, is he really capable of such savage acts of slaughter

As the trail grows ever more bloody, Charlie realizes that she is not the only one after Sean and, unless she can get to him first, the hunter may soon become the hunted.

Fox Hunter by Zoe Sharp was published on 11 October 2017 by WW Norton & Co. I am really pleased to welcome the author here to Random Things today, as part of the Blog Tour for Fox Hunter. She's talking about the books that have inspired her in My Life In Books.

My Life In Books ~ Zoe Sharp

The first books I can remember clearly were the small, beautifully illustrated hardbacks of Beatrix Potter stories, which my grandmother used to read to me when I was very small. She read them so often I knew them by heart, and could even turn the pages in the correct places. It was thanks to The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies that I first came across the word soporific. I have been a logophile ever since.

Once I was reading on my own account, the book that stands out for me is Black Beauty by Anna Sewell, the eponymous story of a horse from foal to being put out to grass at the end of his working life. Written in 1899, and published only a few months before the author’s death, the book had a profound effect on the attitude towards working horses in England, even bringing about a change in the laws concerned with their welfare.

The next author who really sticks in my mind is Laurie Lee and Cider With Rosie, but also his book of short stories, I Can’t Stay Long. Both contain some of the most descriptive and lyrical writing I’ve ever encountered.
It wasn’t long before the crime genre grabbed me, in the form of  The Misfortunes of Mr Teal by Leslie Charteris. In 1979, my grandmother passed onto me the faded pink hardcover copy which she herself had been given in 1941. It remains one of my most treasured possessions. I loved the debonair attitude of the lead character, Simon Templar, the Saint, who flouted the law with gay abandon (in the 1920s sense of the phrase) and the fact that his girlfriend, Patricia Holm, played a full role in proceedings.

Of the classic Golden Age crime novels, I devoured all the Sherlock Holmes tales by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, for the pure intricate puzzles contained in the stories. And I particularly liked the partnership of Dorothy L Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey with his faithful manservant, Bunter. Have His Carcase remains one of my favourites, as does Murder Must Advertise.
I read most of the PD James novels featuring both the private detective, Cordelia Gray, and police commander and poet, Adam Dalgliesh, but as is so often the case, it’s the ones I read first that I remember best—An Unsuitable JobFor A Woman and Cover Her Face. Her writing always came across as very literate and unsentimental, and the depth of her characterisation still lingers.

I first met Val McDermid at one of her early writing events in Lancaster, when she was reading from her Kate Brannigan private detective novel Crack Down. I still like the robust character of Brannigan, and followed Val quite happily into the darker territory of the clinical psychologist, Tony Hill novels such as The Mermaids Singing.

Then of course, there is the inimitable Lee Child and the Jack Reacher novels. I think Tripwire and Persuader are among my favourites, but every book has something to recommend it. His style is brief but filled with those compulsive facts that you squirrel away for some future use. Addictive reading.

I think I own just about every Spenser novel by Robert B Parker and have read most of them more than once. His narrative is a masterclass in spare, descriptive prose, and his dialogue speaks for itself.

When it comes to intricate characterisation and a depth of historical knowledge effortlessly expressed, I reach for the novels of John Lawton. He writes two series, one featuring Inspector Frederick Troy, and the other, spy Joe Wilderness—a working-class ex-thief plucked from National Service because of a facility with languages and a willingness to do Her Majesty’s dirty work. Each series has endless appeal, and a joyous clutch of side characters making memorable cameo appearances.

Of the books and authors I’ve read recently, I’ve been very impressed by Harry Bingham’s Talking To The Dead, featuring Cardiff Detective Constable Fiona Griffiths, who takes the flawed protagonist to a whole new level. And I loved the premise and the style of Susan Wolfe’s Escape Velocity, which has the daughter of a convicted conman, Georgia Griffin, utilising the skills she learned from her father to resolve the problems she encounters trying to go straight in corrupt corporate America.

Zoë Sharp has been a voracious reader since she could hold a book. 
She wrote her first (unpublished) full-length novel at fifteen. 
Her award-winning writing has inspired death-threats, been used in Danish school textbooks, and been the subject of an original song and music video. 

Find out more at www.ZoeSharp.com
Follow her on Twitter @authorzoesharp

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