Book Review: Tenacity by J.S Law

TenacityWhat’s it about?

Suicide must be investigated.

Especially when a Royal Navy sailor kills himself on a nuclear submarine, only days after his wife’s brutal murder.

Now Lieutenant Danielle Lewis, the Navy’s finest Special Branch investigator, must interrogate the tight-knit, male crew of HMS Tenacity to determine if there’s a link.

Isolated, and standing alone in the face of extreme hostility, Dan soon realises that she may have to choose between the truth and her own survival.

Justice must be served, but with a possible killer on board the pressure is rising and her time is running out…

My thoughts

I particularly enjoy books that are set in places I’ve visited or lived in so this book appealed as I’m familiar with many of the locations in this book being a Forces child and from a Naval family that lived not too far from Plymouth. I liked that this book is different being set away from the bright lights of the bigger cities and also its unusual setting.

They‘ say you should always write about what you know and it’s clear that the author writes with passion and an obvious vast knowledge which offers the reader an insight into the difficulties of a Submariner lifestyle but also the comradery. On the flip side, our protagonist Dan, is subject to a series of sexism and an assault; totally, totally unacceptable but raises the question of how and will women ever be accepted working in the tight confined spaces of a submarine. On a human rights level, you’re aware it’s not fair but do the practicalities outweigh a person’s right to their choice of career? Interesting….what’s the author’s standpoint here I wonder? Mmm moving on…

The one thing that got slightly under my skin was the lead character’s name. Of course, in real life we’re all used to having our names shortened but this felt contrived. Dan, Danny – felt like as a female in a conceived man’s world it was trying to disguise it somehow, although the author addresses this it often it irritated me that she wasn’t just addressed as Danielle…just saying 🙂

Dan’s only investigating the suicide but there’s this implication that the civvy police are less than effective so she may looking into more. Not really sure on the benefits of the Detective Branok’s character other than to remind me of Hamish Macbeth Columbo 🙂 Maybe we’ll see more of him in future books.

I did feel that the Dan made some questionable decisions and that on a professional and personal safety level had she learned anything from the Hamilton experience in the prologue; going in with this gun-ho attitude which again put herself and her investigation in danger. I just found myself tutting, shaking my head and having that ‘yell at the tv “don’t go in there” when a character in a horror/thriller movie opens the door/goes in the room where the baddie is’ moment.

I didn’t feel real tension until a certain event happened aboard Tenacity and then I raced through the last few chapters. I have to make a point and say that I really liked the ending. It wasn’t at all as expected and just emphasises the fact that justice often falls to what you can prove, not what you know!

Overall, I think Tenacity is a pretty decent crime drama/whodunit novel and I’d probably read the next one to see where Lieutenant Lewis progresses and develops and if she learns anything from her previous investigations. Lastly, this would make a good TV series; a UK NCIS, just like ITV did with Law & Order UK – I’d watch that!

Here’s an interesting article I found on the BBC website on Submariners: What can a submariner teach you about living in cramped spaces?

Many thanks to Headline for the proof copy via Bookbridgr.

Links: Goodreads | Amazon

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