Book Review: The Fear Within by J.S Law

What’s it about?

A teenage sailor disappears on HMS Defiance, an infamous closed case reopens, and Lt. Danielle Lewis fights for truth and survival in this high-octane military thriller

After events on board the submarine HMS Tenacity, Lieutenant “Dan” Lewis of the Royal Navy’s Kill Team was warned not to pursue those responsible. She should walk away, stop investigating, but her thirst for justice means she can’t let it go.

But even as Dan defies the order, continuing to track a sailor on the run, her investigative skills are needed on a new case. A young naval Wren has gone missing from the warship HMS Defiance. Last seen going on board, but never seen leaving, there is no trace of the girl and Dan must work her way through a web of witness accounts to uncover what might motivate her to run, or what might motivate a predator to take her.

Following in the wake of the missing girl, Dan soon closes in on her quarry, but is forced to question whether she is the one who was being hunted all along.

My thoughts

I’d read the first book in the Lieutenant Dani Lewis series, originally known as Tenacity, now known as The Dark Beneath, why the change of name I don’t know but there’s another blog post altogether.  Anyway, I digress, I’d enjoyed that first book as the setting was so different and so was very appreciative to be approved for a request via Bookbridgr!

This is kind of a standalone novel but I think you’d be wise to read the first in the series as this does heavily reference the first book even though it’s a new case.

From the opening chapter I had an idea of how the main character, Dani, would play out, she simply cannot follow orders and it beggars belief that she’d be allowed to get away with what she does. Putting herself and her team in danger on more than one occasion, secret missions and insubordination….okay okay it adds to the drama and some poetic licence is needed but with an institution such as HM Royal Navy…mmmm not so sure on that!

This book has a lot of different crimes going, and I’m wondering now if all of what it involved was overkill; serial rape and murder, drug smuggling, torture, stalking, kidnapping and vigilantism so prepare yourself, I found this a lot more hard-hitting than the first.

I didn’t like the torture scenes, I know I know you’re not meant too but honestly if I’d have been watching this on tv I would have turned over.  There’s a couple of scenes where a character is subject to some pretty horrific treatment and whilst this character is not a very nice person at all, I still felt sorry for him – is that normal?!

Overall it was an okay read but I found that I just don’t gel with the main character, Dani, at all.  I should, because she is a confident strong lead but she just rubs me up the wrong way and for that reason I don’t think I’ll continue with the series.

Book links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

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Small print for info
Source: ARC
No of pages: 432
Publisher: Headline


  1. 29th May 2018 / 9:16 am

    Wow, it does seem like there’s a lot going on within this story. It’s hard when you don’t get on with a main character.

    • Lindsay | Bookboodle
      30th May 2018 / 7:28 pm

      It certainly is, which is a shame because there is lots of things to like in this book.

  2. 29th May 2018 / 12:06 pm

    I probably would have had the same reaction to torture scenes! Great review, and thanks for the warning!

    • Lindsay | Bookboodle
      30th May 2018 / 7:29 pm

      Thank you!!

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