Monday, December 5, 2011
These are the first two books in the "Charlie Fox" thriller series, written by Zoe Sharp. In the first book, Charlie is making a living teaching self defense to women, after being kicked out of the Army Special Forces (for reasons that become clear in the course of the book). There are a series of murder/rapes going on, and the newest one is a woman that Charlie had a run in with at the New Adelphi club. Charlie is offered a job working security at the club by it's owner, Marc Quinn, and begins to suspect there's a link between the club and the serial killer.
Charlie is a great character. Dangerous, well trained but with baggage, she is in the category of "kick butt females" (she even rides a motorcycle) but Sharp handles this territory well, with Charlie being capable but not a super woman.
The second book has Charlie house sitting for a friend in Lavender Gardens estates while working at a gym. There are teenage gangs running around and the neighbors have decided to employ a security firm since they feel the police can't maintain order. It's a powder keg waiting to go off, and when a young Asian boy is killed in what looks like a racially motivated killing, the situation turns ugly quickly. Things become more difficult for Charlie when someone from her Army past shows up.
We see incremental growth in Charlie in the second book, with a bit of thawing out between she and her parents, and understand a bit more of her Army background. I sped through this second book, and then went and grabbed books 3, 4 and 5 from the Kindle store. I'm interested in seeing how Sharp develops Charlie further.
I can remember reading the novelization of these when I was a kid, but don't know that I actually watched the movies (originally released in 1974) beyond bits and pieces on a network movie showing. Several years ago I finally read Dumas' novel (in a newly released translation at the time) and enjoyed it a lot. I then watched the Gene Kelly movie version, and liked it also (though I think Kelly was a bit old to be D'Artagnan). Now, with Lester's adaption (with script by George MacDondal Fraser) I've seen what many consider to be the definitive movie version.
It's certainly a lot of fun, with some great casting (Oliver Reed is perfect, and Charlton Heston is very good as Richelieu). The fights are great, with the Musketeers using whatever is handy as weapons. I would like to see the 1921 Douglas Fairbanks version, which many say is a template for Lester's films.