Wednesday 28 June 2023

Fearless by M W Craven #Fearless @MWCravenUK @LittleBrownUK #BenKoenig #BookReview @BethWright26


Five million reasons why Ben Koenig had to disappear. Only one to bring him back . . .

Ben Koenig is a ghost. He doesn't exist any more.

Six years ago it was Koenig who headed up the US Marshal's elite Special Ops group. They were the elite unit who hunted the bad guys - the 
really bad guys. They did this so no one else had to.

Until the day Koenig disappeared. He told no one why and he left no forwarding address. For six years he became a grey man. Invisible. He drifted from town to town, state to state. He was untraceable. It was as if he had never been.

But now Koenig's face is on every television screen in the country. Someone from his past is trying to find him and they don't care how they do it. In the burning heat of the Chihuahuan Desert lies a town called Gauntlet, and there are people in there who have a secret they'll do anything to protect. They've killed before and they will kill again.

Only this time they've made a mistake. They've dismissed Koenig as just another drifter - but they're wrong. Because Koenig has a condition, a unique disorder that makes it impossible for him to experience fear. 
And now they're about to find out what a truly fearless man is capable of. Because Koenig's coming for them. And hell's coming with him .

Fearless by M W Craven is published in hardback on 29 June 2023 by Constable and is the first in a new series to feature Ben Koenig. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review. 

M W Craven is well known and well loved for his fabulous Washington Poe series. I adore those books and eagerly await publication of the next in the series.  I was intrigued to discover that Fearless was set in the US, and was curious to see how the author dealt with that. 

I was hooked from page one. I said to someone last week that Fearless is like Jack Reacher on acid, and it really is. It's a fast-paced, tension filled rollicking ride of a read set in the desert with a lead character who I think it going to become a cult figure in crime fiction. 

With Craven's trademark short, snappy chapters and told from Koenig's point of view, this is a story that hurtles you head first into action, whilst being privy to the main character's innermost thoughts really enables you to get to know him. 

I'm not going to talk too much about the plot, that's the author's job, not mine. However, I will say that Ben Koenig is a US Marshall who was in charge of the Special Operations Team. For the past six years, he's been 'invisible', took himself away from life and lived undercover, with a price on his head. 

However, he's now being hunted openly, with his face on television for all to see. When his boss gets in touch, Ben agrees, reluctantly to get involved in the case of an abducted girl, he's doing this as a favour, because basically he's a good bloke and wants to help a mate.  

Ben then goes on a whirlwind of a journey, there's violence, death and danger along the way, and it's absolutely breath taking, and heart pounding at times. I was so impressed by the author's depiction of life in a US desert and his superb knowledge of all things military. 

Oh, and Ben has one other major feature. He never feels fear. This is not always an advantage for him and adds such depth to what is already a stonker of a read. 

Bravo M W Craven, I loved it and Ben Koenig is my new hero!

M. W. Craven was born in Carlisle but grew up in Newcastle, running away to join the
army at the tender age of sixteen. He spent the next ten years travelling the world having fun, leaving in 1995 to complete a degree in social work with specialisms in criminology and substance misuse. Thirty-one years after leaving Cumbria, he returned to take up a probation officer position in Whitehaven, eventually working his way up to chief officer grade. Sixteen years later he took the plunge, accepted redundancy and became a full-time author. He now has entirely different motivations for trying to get inside the minds of criminals . . .

The Puppet Show, the first in a two-book deal he signed with the Little, Brown imprint, Constable in 2017, was released to critical acclaim in hardback in 2018. It has been sold in numerous foreign territories and the production company Studio Lambert, creators of the award-winning Three Girls, have optioned it for TV. The sequel, Black Summer, follows in June 2019.

M. W. Craven is married and lives in Carlisle with his wife, Joanne. When he isn’t out with his springer spaniel, or talking nonsense in the pub, he can be found at punk gigs and writing festivals up and down the country.


Twitter: @MWCravenUK

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