Tenacity by J.S. Law
The Last Word Review
Over many years I have read countless crime books, now comes along one debut crime novel set 200 metres beneath the surface on board a Royal Navy Submarine. This is a first for me and Tenacity by JS Law delivers on all fronts and impressive debut that is totally addictive and authentic down to the last detail from a man who actually served in the Royal Navy and ended his career serving on submarines.
A sailor has been found hanged in the engine room on-board HMS Tenacity did Stewart ‘Whisky’ Walker take his own life just a few days after his wife was found brutally murdered or is there another story?
We are now introduced to Dan (Lieutenant Danielle Lewis) from the Royal Navy’s investigation team which has the title of ‘Crimes Involving Loss of Life Division.’ Dan is tasked with the job of confirming that it was suicide. The last thing a crew of a nuclear sub needs is a killer on the loose. As the tag line of the book says 200 metres beneath the surface there is nowhere to run.
Many questions face Dan as she goes about trying to understand why Stewart would take his life on-board Tenacity. The more she sees the more she believes there is something more sinister going on. This is a fast paced thriller that actually makes you feel rather Claustrophobic. No-one likes to be investigated but Dan has no choice but to look to the crew and she feels hostility growing and she is right eyed with nothing but suspicion even the Captain does not like her presence aboard Tenacity. Dan has a job to do and she will not be deterred by anyone and justice must be seen to be done and when Tenacity is given orders to set sail Dan decides she will continue with her investigations.
Tenacity is a stunning and exceptional debut crime novel that takes the reader to a place were no previous crime novel that I know of has been before down to deep dark depths below the surface. It is chilling and highly detailed with many twist and turns that will keep the reader guessing from one page to the next. I dare you to put this one down.
Dan is an extremely interesting character, and credit to the author for adding some mystery to the leading figure in the story, she faces not just sexism in her role but also real danger while aboard Tenacity and she arrived with a lot of personal baggage and these come back to her as she investigates the death of the sailor.
Now imagine being aboard the cramped confines of a nuclear submarine you are a stranger among a ‘tight’ crew the eyes of the crew on firmly fixed on you now try and investigate a crime, many of us would not last five minutes on a submarine a long way from home never knowing where you are at any-one time. There really is nowhere to hide let alone run.
The more you read the more you get to like Dan as she goes about her role and you want her to be successful and that is why you will struggle to leave this book alone.
As you go deeper into Tenacity the tension is palpable as we head towards a gripping ending. In Lieutenant Danielle Lewis we have a new heroine and I can only just hope this is the start of a series of novels featuring Dan. A full five star crime thriller that many will enjoy reading.
Thank you to Ella Bowman for a review copy of Tenacity.
Tenacity by J.S. Law is published by Headline and is now available in paperback through Waterstones and all good bookshops.