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Publisher's Summary

An aircraft carrier adrift with a crew the size of a small town. A killer in their midst. And the disgraced Navy SEAL who must track him down.... The high-octane debut thriller from New York Times best-selling writing team Webb and Mann - combat-decorated Navy SEAL Brandon Webb and award-winning author John David Mann.

“Sensationally good - an instant classic, maybe an instant legend.” (Lee Child)

The moment Navy SEAL sniper Finn sets foot on the USS Abraham Lincoln to hitch a ride home from the Persian Gulf, it’s clear something is deeply wrong. Leadership is weak. Morale is low. And when crew members start disappearing one by one, what at first seems like a random string of suicides soon reveals something far more sinister: There’s a serial killer on board. Suspicion falls on Finn, the newcomer to the ship. After all, he’s being sent home in disgrace, recalled from the field under the dark cloud of a mission gone horribly wrong. He’s also a lone wolf, haunted by gaps in his memory and the elusive sense that something he missed may have contributed to civilian deaths on his last assignment. Finding the killer offers a chance at redemption...if he can stay alive long enough to prove it isn’t him. 

©2021 Brandon Webb and John David Mann (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“An absolutely amazing thriller! Steel Fear comes in hot and never slows down. Exciting, action-packed, and twisty from stem to stern. This will be one of the hottest books of the summer!”(Number-one New York Times best-selling author Brad Thor) 

Steel Fear is deadly good, a five-star scorcher from first page to last. The enigmatic and mysterious Finn is the next big thriller superstar." (Number-one New York Times best-selling author Robert Crais)

“Former SEAL Webb and coauthor Mann...hit all the right notes in their fiction debut, which blends the high-tech trappings of a military thriller with the crushing claustrophobia of a locked-room mystery (if that locked room was home to more than 5,000 people, along with 90 aircraft and a handful of nuclear reactors). Like Lee Child in his Jack Reacher novels, the authors can do more than power a pulse-racing narrative.... For readers who can't resist a bureaucracy-battling action hero, there’s a new kid on the block (or boat).” (Booklist, starred review) 

What listeners say about Steel Fear

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  • Overall
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Unique New Protagonist in a Military Mystery

Chief Finn, a Navy Seal with a troubled past, is sent home on a nuclear carrier under unknown circumstances. Shipboard, he finds himself in the middle of poor leadership, bad morale, and mysterious accidents, possibly even murders.

Just another troubled Navy Seal book? No, not at all! Webb and Mann have developed a unique character with interesting talents and character. When I say unique, I mean different from the normal military heroes - he's a believable character rather than one who performs superhuman feats while being constantly wounded throughout a story. Moreover, Finn is an individualist more like a Jack Reacher but yet much different.

Rather than fighting the typical terrorists or bad state actors, Finn evolves into an investigator of the shipboard deaths. The authors also manage to enrich the story with a variety of interesting characters, both good and bad.

I listened to the audiobook version performed by Jonathan McClain. His interpretation of Finn and the various characters really adds to the story. I hope McClain continues as the performer if the authors spin a series around Chief Finn X.

Speaking of a series, I hope Webb and Mann do just that. While the book ended with a satisfying conclusion to the primary story, a great backstory is yet to be pursued. Moreover, Finn is simply a fascinating character. Read or listen to this book. You won't be disappointed.

3 people found this helpful

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More please

This was one of the best books i have listened to. The writing is outstanding. Absolutely loved it and can't wait for the next one.

3 people found this helpful

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Kept me on the edge of my seat

It’s been a long time since I’ve listen to book that kept me on the edge! Great book couldn’t stop listening.

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Kept me involved and guessing

Looking forward to a series based on the lead. Well worth the time and credit.

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Solid.

Perfect escape that grabbed me and kept me. Infliction from narrator was fantastic and appreciated.

2 people found this helpful

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  • ER
  • 07-23-21

More! More! More!

What a great book. one of those books you take a chance on and fall in love with. The narrator was superb, the story was captivating and will hold your attention from the very beginning to the very end. The character descriptions, the descriptions of the ship... the authors put you right there in the middle of everything.

I hope to see more of their work in the future. they delivered in this book what Tom Clancy did in his first book... I expect lots of great things to come.

1 person found this helpful

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Spectacularly original thriller doesn't disappoint

I looooooved this book. Looooved it. The protagonist is original and mysterious, the premise of a serial killer stalking an aircraft carrier is highly original, and the execution of the ideas is top notch. Reminiscent of Lee Child.

Can't recommend enough.

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Painful

I don’t generally review often, but I feel obligated to do so here, in order to save a few souls from it. This book was simply a painful read. To get through it should result in some kind of reward. 150 chapters should be enough to scare you away. I didn’t know that before my purchase, nor would I have recognized previously that should be an indicator of poor writing. So I did get something beneficial from it. I will look at that in the future.

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Very dark and disturbing. Great 'read.'

These guys know how to write a story...to the point that I wouldn't want to be left alone with them LOL. Very well written, made me feel like I was watching a movie! Really good plot and execution of a very dark, sinister and disturbing story. I would NOT recommend this to anyone who is or will be serving on an aircraft carrier...but anyone looking for a high-drama thriller, look no further, and for anyone who always wanted to know what life aboard a carrier was like, that's an added bonus, you WILL feel like you are actually there.

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WOW

loved it. Dewey. James, Jack watch out!
Steel Fear is a read like no other. I don't normally like one person mind presentations. This read had me listening 12 hours 1 day.