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Publisher's Summary

This is a fictional story about life aboard a navy combat cargo ship, where the murder of a navy skipper occurs. The main character is Lieutenant Bob Cantley, who is a maverick supply corps officer. The story takes place in the early 1980s and takes the listener from Bob's entry into the navy through his first ship and onward to his final ship, where he meets up with a ruthless navy skipper, Captain Manzack, known as the Spine Ripper. The Spine Ripper is an abusive skipper, much like Captain Qweeg in Herman Wouk's The Caine Mutiny.

Because action takes places in the '70-'80s, there is a lot of profanity and navy lingo. It is the way the navy was then and still is to some degree. Action takes place on board the USS San Clemente during its voyage to the Indian Ocean, where the skipper ends up missing. This novel tries to shed light on the way sailors behave on deployment. Shipboard life is not easy, and thus, rough language is used throughout. The story line tries to reflect on the many moral dilemmas that face sailors in the navy. When Lieutenant Bob Cantley meets Captain Manzack for the first time, he realizes his career is doomed.

The novel contains intrigue, sex, mayhem, and lots and lots of mischief. Bob and his navy buddies get into trouble for games they play. A court martial ensues at the end, and you will never be able to guess the outcome. Initial responses about Murder on Steel Beach by a retired rear admiral is it is interesting and has a great ending; another naval officer said it is a laugh a minute. You decide.

©2016, 2018 Robert K. Knauer (P)2018 Robert K. Knauer

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Realistic and compelling

Paints a true to life picture of life in the Navy along with telling a great and suspenseful story. Highly recommended for those interested in military stories.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Must read for all who served on ships!

This piece of fiction is an absolute fun read. As one, who spent decades at Sea, I found 'Murder on Steel Beach' spell binding from start to finish. This "Sea Story" is full of intregue, twists and turns, that captures the reader's attention. The author portrayed shipboard life, deployments,port visits and liberty call (with a few embellishments), with a semblance of realism.
To sum up in nautical venacular:, 'Murder on Steel Beach' is "Sierra Hotel and Well-Done"!

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Good Read!

A unique & interesting plot that has a little bit of everything that keeps the story moving. A wonderful job of weaving characters & personalities together to give a civilian a realistic view of life on a Navy Cargo Ship!

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  • ARX9968
  • THE VILLAGES, FL, US
  • 03-05-18

Hey great murder mystery set in the 1980s a board in the U.S. Navy ship

This is a unique novel that is spot on with NAVY language, activities, use of acronyms, and the way things were in the United States Navy during the 1980s. Robert Knauer blends his experiences and unique writing style and weaves a story of Love, sex, Comedy and military antics into a story of murder which leads to a court-martial

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Just ok, not great.

very long, several inaccuracies about the Navy, and I disagree with the ending. Felt like the author wrote this to complain about his own career as a Supply Officer. Narrator mispronounced several words or phrases and was not familiar with Navy lingo.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful