Steel Fear – Brandon Webb & John David Mann

At first glance, I probably would have bypassed this book – I love crime fiction and police procedurals, but a serial killer on an aircraft carrier??  Then I saw the strong endorsement from one of my most favorite authors (Lee Child), so I decided to give it a try – thank goodness I did – this was an intense read!! 

Finn X is a Navy SEAL, who is catching a ride stateside from the Persian Gulf, via the USS Abraham Lincoln, after a field op gone terribly wrong.  Always a SEAL, and haunted by a mission he can’t quite recall, Finn stays vigilant, making observations about his new surroundings and the people that inhabit the ship. Quiet & ever watchful, he roams the decks, never settling in one place for too long, except when he can find small spaces to sit and draw as he watches the waves go by. 

Monica is a naval aviator, very close to obtaining her helo flight certification, a ticket to bigger and better commissions. Her one obstacle – her commanding officer, who seems to hate her. Monica is also mourning the recent loss of her roommate and friend, who was lost in a helicopter crash – an aircraft that she had declared flight ready that fateful day. 

The initial death is believed to be a suicide – an individual driven to despair who jumped overboard. After a cursory search, the carrier continues its return trip home.  Shortly thereafter, another disappearance, one that has Monica bedside herself with guilt, and Finn suspicious, as the carriers’ crew again assembles for the cursory search of a man overboard. Then yet another, with Finn quickly coming under scrutiny by the command staff of the vessel, when a human finger is found on the flight deck. 

As Finn tries to find a killer, he’s also looking inside himself for answers his recent mission, and to long ago events – events that remains elusive in his memory even today. As he struggles to remember his past, he also wonders – could he, in fact, actually be the killer he’s searching for? 

This was a neat look into life at sea of both enlisted personnel and officer, with a great who-dun-it tossed into the mix. A lot of descriptive detail was included to help the non-military reader to understand the setting, and Finn’s character was fascinating – a flawed hero with a complex past that he is still trying to uncover. I very much enjoyed this book and was super excited to learn that Finn’s story continues in the next book, of which an excerpt is included. I will absolutely be following Finn’s story as it continues! 

I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from #Netgalley & Random House Publishing Group in exchange for an objective review.  Do you love to read?? Visit and start reviewing books today!!

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Hi there! I am Mel and I love to read!! My favorite genres are typically mystery/thriller, adventure/suspense and occasionally chick lit/romance stories (when the mystery/thrillers get to be too much, which isn't too often!) I have just started to write reviews for Amazon, Goodreads and this blog, although I am a novice to blogging, so THIS is a work in progress - as you can see the reviews are numerous and the true blogs are few - I'll hopefully be improving on that as time goes on!! I'm looking to network, give some newer authors some exposure and to perhaps explore myself a bit in this whole process!! I am a critical care turned CDI nurse, recently transplanted to coastal Florida, from New England. (Would love to assist with medical/hospital verbiage/scenes for authors!) I love a great cup (or pot) of coffee, day trips, visiting state parks and other nature made places, and exploring/photographing wildlife. And birds...I am a HUGE bird/nature nerd!! Thanks for stopping by! :)

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