Absence of Light by Zoe Sharp (Charlie Fox Novella 11)


Synopsis: The way things are coming apart at home with Sean Meyer, she welcomes the chance to get away.

Tasked as security advisor to the specialist team at the centre of relief efforts, Charlie knows it won’t be easy. The team members are willing to put themselves in constant danger as a matter of course. But what kind of other risks are they prepared to take?

As Charlie soon discovers, it’s not just the ground beneath her feet that cannot be relied on. Her predecessor died conveniently while investigating rumours that the team were on the take, Charlie’s been instructed to quietly uncover whether his death was as accidental as the official verdict suggests. If it was an accident, why are they so obviously lying to her?

Charlie must move with care through a shifting landscape to find the answers before there are more than just earthquake victims buried in the rubble. And when disaster strikes she will learn not only whom she can trust, but whether she can she survive the darkness that comes with a total absence of light.

Kat’s Rating: 4/5

Kat’s Review: I’m not actually that keen on short stories or novellas, however at 218 pages I didn’t feel short changed. Book 10 in the series Die Easy was published in 2012 and this novella in 2013. Hence the reason I waited so long to read them as book 12 has just been released 4 years later (cue ridiculous excitement levels). Charlie has been sent out as part of a specialist team that are part of the relief efforts following a devastating earthquake in South America. Only it’s not as straightforward as that as she delves within the team to find out what really happened to her predecessor on this job. Was his death an accident or more involved? That’s where Charlie comes in and as usual she does it in her usual tactless but fearsome way.

There are many questions remaining from Die Easy regarding Charlie and her partner Sean. Although what has happened in the interim is addressed it just leaves the readers (or maybe just me) literally salivating at what will happen in the next book. The other element of the story regarding the death of her predecessor and the team working on the ground was really gripping. For what seems like the first time, we see Charlie at the mercy of something she can’t control…Mother Nature.

This book albeit shorter than her normal ones was no less satisfying and it has just left me desperate to see what happens with Sean in book 12. Although this could be read as a standalone there is absolutely no way or reason why anybody wouldn’t want to start at the beginning. A fantastic series which I am thrilled to see the return of!

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