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[Review originally published in April 2010. Reissued due to internet page problems. Note: also now available on Kindle at Amazon.]
‘… [Charlie], you’re one of the most fearless. And the most courageous. You do what most of us dread, what most of us fear. I have never believed that violence was the answer to anything, but giving in to violence is not the answer either.”
Charlie Fox, ex Special Forces soldier and now a bodyguard, is back with a vengeance in this, her eighth outing, going undercover into Californian cult Fourth Day. She and her partner, Sean Meyer, have been given the task of removing Thomas Witney from within the cult, five years after he himself went in with the aim of discovering if the cult and its leader, the enigmatic Randall Bane, were responsible for the death of his son, Liam. Five years is a long time and, while Witney had left instructions to be removed if he had not come out voluntarily within a year, that deadline to try and extract him had come and gone… Why? Struggling with some personal demons of her own, the task is initially successful, but repercussions resound long after Witney is removed from Fourth Day. With more questions than answers for those on both the outside and inside of Fourth Day, Charlie faces a challenge which threatens her professionally and personally.
As past events unfold, Witney’s ex-wife, now based in Aberdeen, wants answers – she has now lost more than just her son, and she still believes that Fourth Day is responsible for Liam’s death.
As this action-packed thriller reaches the most agonising of climaxes, Charlie has one last mind-numbing situation to face, as she attempts to get the truth out of Randall Bane and Fourth Day. Nothing is as straightforward as it seems and yet again Charlie comes across as all-too-real as she faces the hardest of professional decisions.
Fourth Day gives us a fast-moving narrative, with red herrings to sweep us along in this absolute cracker of a story. The most compelling of conclusions leaves us wanting more, and Zoë Sharp’s next instalment in this series cannot come soon enough.
Footnote: after a gap of some years, it is good to report that the first two Charlie Fox novels, Killer Instinct and Riot Act will be shortly be seeing the light of day again, in brand new paperback editions from Busted Flush Press. Meanwhile, Second Shot and Third Strike are available from Allison and Busby.
[Review by ScotKris and with thanks to Allison and Busby for the review copy. The novel is published on 6 May 2010.]