Zoë Sharp was born in Nottinghamshire but spent her formative years living on a catamaran on the northwest coast of England. After a promising start at a private girls' school, she opted out of mainstream education at the age of twelve in favour of correspondence courses at home. She wrote her first novel when she was fifteen, and created her no-nonsense ex-Special Forces turned bodyguard heroine Charlie Fox after receiving death-threat letters as a photojournalist.
Sharp’s short stories have been used in school text books and turned into short films, and the Charlie Fox series has been optioned for TV. Her work has been nominated for the Edgar, Anthony, Barry, Benjamin Franklin, and Macavity Awards in the United States, as well as the CWA Short Story Dagger in the UK.
John Lawton is a producer/director in television who has spent much of his time interpreting the USA to the English, and occasionally vice versa. He has worked with Gore Vidal, Neil Simon, Scott Turow, Noam Chomsky, Fay Weldon, Harold Pinter and Kathy Acker. He thinks he may well be the only TV director ever to be named in a Parliamentary Bill in the British House of Lords as an offender against taste and balance – he has also been denounced from the pulpit in Mississippi as a `Communist', but thinks that less remarkable. He spent most of the 90s in New York – among other things attending the writers' sessions at The Actors' Studio under Norman Mailer – and has visited or worked in more than half the 50 states – since 2000 he has lived in the high, wet hills of Derbyshire England, with frequent excursions into the high, dry hills of Arizona and Italy. He is the author of 1963, a social and political history of the Kennedy-Macmillan years, six thrillers in the Troy series and a stand-alone novel, Sweet Sunday. In 1995 the first Troy novel, Black Out, won the WH Smith Fresh Talent Award. In 2006 Columbia Pictures bought the fourth Troy novel Riptide. In 2007 A Little White Death was a New York Times noteable. In 2008 he was one of only half a dozen living English writers to be named in the London Daily Telegraph's `50 Crime Writers to Read before You Die.' He has also edited the poetry of DH Lawrence and the stories of Joseph Conrad. He is devoted to the work of Franz Schubert, Cormac McCarthy, Art Tatum, and Barbara Gowdy.
Nothing stings like betrayal. Kelly Jacks had a lover's bond with evidence. The driest, most anti-septic crime scene would spread open for her, yielding its secrets. No wonder the cops called her the Blood Whisperer. And then it all went bad. Framed for an ugly murder, Kelly knew the evidence would clear her and then it didn t. After years in prison, Kelly is finally free.
Having shot someone in what he believed was self-defense in the chaos of 1963 Berlin, Wilderness finds himself locked up with little chance of escape. But an official pardon through his father-in-law Burne-Jones, a senior agent at MI6, means he is free to go--although forever in Burne-Jones's service.
There you were, just minding your own business, and suddenly the earth split beneath your feet. Everything good, everything familiar tumbles around you in busted shards, or it's ash, or is on fire. That's the scene of the earthquake where Charlie's working, helping to dig out the living and ID the dead.
For Charlie Fox, New York was supposed to be a fresh start. An ocean away from the brutal memories of her days in Special Forces. A continent gone from the father who turned his back when she needed him most. She soon discovers, though, that the memories obey no geographic boundaries. And the father?
For Charlie Fox, motorcycles have been nothing but good. They ve been a means of escape, a source of power, even sometimes a way to feel tough when real toughness was in short supply. But now they ve turned on her. A bike accident has claimed one life, and left her best friend for dead. A local gang looks to have downshifted from racing for kicks to something a lot more dangerous.
America and Charlie Fox: It's not a good mix. Her first trip to the States began with a bratty kid, and went downhill very quickly. This time around the kid is adorable, but Mom is bratty enough for two. The assignment's no fun (even the weather's lousy), but Charlie can t walk away. Is she frightened for the kid? Yup; there are too damn many guns in the picture.
You know what the first drop is. It's that moment when your roller-coaster trolley teeters, tips, and starts racing for the bottom. A scream rips the air, and you re the one who's screaming. To paraphrase Charlie Fox: Welcome to my ride. It should have been an easy one.
Charlie Fox was no good at being the nice girl her parents wanted, so she joined Her Majesty's military and acquired a new set of skills. Now she puts them to use teaching self-defense to battered women in a refuge passing on the finer points of roundhouse kicks, running like hell, and breaking a cheekbone when necessary.
No good deed goes unpunished. That's what Charlie Fox discovers when she agrees to dog-sit for a friend, only to find that the friend's housing complex is being terrorized by violent gangs. Desperate and frightened, the residents have hired a freelance security firm, whose bully-boy tactics aren t a whole lot more appealing.
Who doesn t love a good British boarding-school story? Well, Charlie Fox for starters, especially now that she's been dropped in the middle of one. Einsbaden Manor, snuggled deep in the German countryside, isn t exactly Hogwarts: It specializes in training bodyguards, and it's in Germany because the British government takes a dim view of some of the techniques it teaches.
Joe Wilderness is a World War II orphan, a condition that he thinks excuses him from common morality. Cat burglar, card sharp, and Cockney wide boy, the last thing he wants is to get drafted. But in 1946 he finds himself in the Royal Air Force, facing a stretch in military prison . . . when along comes Lt Colonel Burne-Jones to tell him MI6 has better use for his talents.
It is 1941. Wolfgang Stahl, an American spy operating undercover as an SS officer, has just fled Germany with Hitler's henchmen on his trail. He is carrying valuable cargo--the blueprint of the F hrer's secret plan to invade Russia. Stahl's man in the American embassy, the shy and sheltered Calvin M.
In April 1956, at the height of the Cold War, Khrushchev and Bulganin, leaders of the Soviet Union, are in Britain on an official visit. Chief Inspector Troy of Scotland Yard is assigned to be Khrushchev's bodyguard and to spy on him. Soon after, a Royal Navy diver is found dead and mutilated beyond recognition in Portsmouth Harbor.
Spanning the tumultuous years 1934 to 1948, John Lawton's A Lily of the Field is a brilliant historical thriller from a master of the form. The book follows two characters--M ret Voytek, a talented young cellist living in Vienna at the novel's start, and Dr. Karel Szabo, a Hungarian physicist interned in a camp on the Isle of Man.
John Lawton's debut novel--first published by Viking in 1995, and now being reissued by Grove Press--is a stunning, war-time thriller that cements his place among the greatest crime writers of our era.
A standalone from one of England's best-loved literary thriller writers, regularly compared to John Le Carr and Philip Kerr, Sweet Sunday takes the reader back to the hot, sweaty summer of 1969, the American summer in the American year in the American century.