Book Review: Fifth Victim by Zoe Sharp

Fifth Victim
Zoe Sharp
Allison & Busby, April 2011
ISBN 978-0-7490-0932-8
Hardcover

[This title is presently only available in/through the UK/Canada, not yet available in the US. It will be published in the US by Pegasus Books in January 2012.]

Charlie Fox [nee Charlotte Foxcroft] is a “take no prisoners” kinda gal.  Now nearing thirty, she takes on a new assignment for her company, Armstrong-Meyer, a “close-protection” [read “bodyguard”] organization: to protect a young woman from kidnapping.  The preemptive action by the girl’s mother is due to the fact that three of her friends have been kidnapped, a fourth is abducted in the early pages of the book, and the fear is that she will become the titular fifth victim.  The families of all those involved are for the most part obscenely wealthy, with the requisite enormous homes [or, more accurately, estates] outside Southampton, up towards the eastern end of Long Island, multiple sports cars, private jets, yachts, etc.; the payment of ransom has not always ensured the safe return of the victim.

Charlie needs the distraction of this assignment, inasmuch as her lover and ‘soulmate,’ Sean Meyer, lies in a coma, his prognosis uncertain, following the events that ended the last book in the series, Fourth Day, a near-fatal shooting three months prior

The author’s background – thoroughly familiar with rifles and for that matter every type of gun imaginable, equally at home flying a helicopter and light aircraft as on the back of a horse and piloting a yacht – uniquely qualifies her to create a protagonist capable of getting into, and out of, one very challenging situation after another, and providing the reader with an exciting, eminently readable thriller along the way.  The tension of the situation confronting Charlie in this entry, with Sean’s life, or death, an uncertain constant, only adds to the suspense inherent in this well-written novel.

Recommended.

Reviewed by Gloria Feit, April 2011.