Cold Fear

Mysterious Book Report No. 493

by John Dwaine McKenna

Cold Fear, (Bantam, $28.00, 432 pages, ISBN 978-0-593-35631-9), by Brandon Webb and John David Mann, is the second installment, (after 2021’s Steel Fear, about the hunt for a serial killer aboard a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier: MBR 457), and it’s the perfect book to kick-off your summer reading season.

The novel begins with an incognito and AWOL Navy SEAL team Chief Petty Officer named Finn, casing out the city of Reykjavik, Iceland, at Christmas time—where he’s on his own—trying to track down three rogue SEALs.  They’re former teammates . . . who are themselves on an assassination mission . . . in order to find out just why they killed an innocent family of unarmed villagers in Yemen,  and if he had a hand in it, because Finn has had PTSD blackouts ever since the mission and can’t remember anything but flashes of lightning, followed by utter darkness.  But as he’s reconnoitering, in the first of two back stories, a barefoot woman runs down the other side of the street and disappears.  Unbeknownst to Finn, she disrobes, writes something on her torso with lipstick, then drowns herself in the pond at the center of the city, where a section is heated and kept open all winter for the resident ducks to swim in.  Then, in the second back story, a fifth renegade SEAL, a sadistic, stone cold killer and sociopath, comes to town with orders from someone “way higher up the food chain,” to kill Finn.  Thereafter, the action, the brutal murders, the twists, the ninety degree turns, and the clues keep coming non-stop, as Finn fights to outwit the highly skilled assassin on his tail, and stay alive long enough to figure out what happened at the mysterious Yemen massacre. And, oh yeah, at the same time,  he drops clues to help a Reykjavik police detective named Krista Kristjánsdóttir solve the mystery of the ‘Little Mermaid,’ as the dead woman in the pond is called by the news media.  This novel is a complex, electrifying, suspenseful, and dynamic thriller that has more bad-assery than Jack Reacher and Jason Bourne put together.  It’ll keep you enthralled, guessing and entertained, right down to the last harrowing and nail-biting page!!!


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