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The Black Bullet

By: Tom Lowe
Narrated by: Michael David Axtell
Length: 9 hrs and 57 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (113 ratings)
Regular price: $19.95
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Publisher's Summary

Glenda Lawson believes her husband was the only US serviceman shot and killed on American soil during World War II. But in 1945, investigators ruled that Billy Lawson died in a “mugging turned ugly.”

Sean O’Brien is learning the ropes of commercial fishing when he gets his anchor caught on something underwater. He discovers a German U-boat partially buried in sand, and inside is a frightening cargo. The media pick up the story, and a 35-year-old woman who has a haunting tale visits O’Brien. Her grandfather, Billy Lawson, was fishing one night on a Florida beach when he saw something very disturbing.

The Black Bullet is a thriller that combines an unsolved murder from 1945 and a modern-day discovery connected to America’s entry into nuclear weapons, the Manhattan Project. The last thing Sean O’Brien wants is to investigate a 67-year-old murder. But Billy Lawson’s granddaughter and his cancer-stricken widow are desperate for closure. For O’Brien to bring it to them he has to pry the lid off a secret buried with the Manhattan Project. It’s information that got Billy Lawson killed, and O’Brien soon learns the old murder and his new discovery at the bottom of the sea are inextricably knotted. O’Brien is thrust into a world where nothing is as it appears, and everything is riding on a secret Billy Lawson took to his grave.

©2012 Tom Lowe (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

Great narrator

We listened to this book while on a road trip… The story was engaging, and the narrator was excellent at telling the story and performing the many roles. Well done!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 05-22-17

The Black Bullet reads like it was cowritten by...

...Steve Berry and Lee Child with commercial fisherman Sean O'Brien being a combination of Cotton Malone and Jack Reacher! It is, of course, the 4th of 8 novels in the Sean O'Brien series by Tom Lowe. With modern events woven with historical ones it is a darned good suspense mystery/thriller. Just suspend disbelief and enjoy the ride as Sean O'Brien again and again overcomes great odds. Narration is terrific!

9 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Debbie
  • Toney, Alabama
  • 01-16-19

Suspend Reality . . . and Enjoy!

A teenager joins Sean O’Brien and his sidekick, Nick as they go out on a coastal fishing trip off the Florida shore. Hired on for the summer to help onboard the boat, Jason is the son of a long-ago friend from Sean’s past, who has become a handful for his mother, since the death of his father on the USS Cole. The nineteen-year-old is indeed a loose cannon, but takes to Sean’s guidance . . . albeit a little too late. When the three hook anchor upon a sunken German submarine carrying enriched uranium, Jason’s loose lips literally almost does SINK SHIPS. One must be prepared to suspend their hold on reality to fully enjoy Tom Lowe’s stories, knowing that they are going to meet up with the near impossible, practically undoable, and not so humble imaginings of Sean O’Brien. I was glad that Sean managed to stay out of bed with the ladies in this installment, although it was hinted at. The story of the 67-year-old murder intertwined with the finding of the much-desired uranium, made for an interesting tale. And as usual, it was a race to the finish line, to learn who would live . . . or die.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Action and more

Spies, detectives and fishermen make for an exciting story. The author did a great job, as well as the masculine voice of the narrator keeping me so involved with the story as the mysteries unfolded.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great book!

I really enjoyed this book! The author told a great story and closed it up nicely (i.e., you do NOT have to buy another book to find out what happens)? I recommend this book!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing narration

I would listen to Michael David Axtell's gorgeous, expressive voice read the phone book. He is amazing!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, page turner

Engrossing story, only criticism is the improbability that a private citizen could be allowed to dig up the uranium. Otherwise a great listen with interesting voice changes for characters

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting premise, under researched

The basic premise, highly enriched u235 aboard a U Boat listed as scuttled today, had great possibilities, but for me was spoiled by a lack of basic knowledge of how the government reacts in these circumstances. The author either did not know about, or ignored, things like NEST, Nuclear Respnse Teams, destroyers, Naval air assets in nearby Jacksonville, Jacksonville Swat, Daytona, Swat, Coast Guard ships and air, and many other resources that would have been used at the first credible evidence of fissionables. Even before Islamic extremists
loose nuclear material was a big deal.

The possibility of the buried cache gave plenty of plot room without the need for storage lockers, while permitting a more realistic government response.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Really did not work for me.

I barely made it through this book. The logic failures and writers conveniences for advancing the story were rough. The train wreck in progress aspect of the book is what made it painful enough for me to consider not finishing the book. I can see why Audible reviews for further books in the series drop way off.

To sum up the story without spoilers. Scooby-Doo and his Mystery Machine friends stumble on an odd situation which triggers a chain of events that gets a lot of decent people killed, but we can expect our bungling heroes to prevail in the end. Eliminate the humorous aspect of the cartoon and you get pretty close to the slow motion train wreck of this book.

Tom Lowe might do better as a fantasy author (Though he keeps selling books in this series, so what do I know?). Real world events are not his forte in my opinion.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great Story, Beware A Bit Graphic

Would you consider the audio edition of The Black Bullet to be better than the print version?

Yes as reader brings all the characters to life. This is my 2nd book in this series, got Butterfly Forest on a daily deal, and loved the reader and went looking for more. That book had the opening teaser of this book. This is a very creative author and reader brings out all that the author wanted.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Ms Max was my fave. Loved the way author brings her in at just the right time. Our hero, of course and David's role was significant.
This READER is EXCELLENT

Which scene was your favorite?

All the times Ms Max is talked about. This character soften some of the hard core facts of real life and some of the graphic scenes in this story.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This author had my heart racing when the 2 college kids had dialogue and both took action in their own selfish way. This author has a way with a story to evoke great emotions and feelings. I am not sure I want to feel all that this author wants to expose. I will have to consider if I want more reads from this author as it was as stimulating as one could ask for in a good mystery.

Any additional comments?

If you love a good long tale and mystery, this author is for you.
Note: I am a core Romance listener and not yet fully ready for real graphic scenes.