Blind Fear (Finn Thrillers: Book 3) by Brandon Webb and John David Mann

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Bantam

Date of publication: July 11th, 2023

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction, Suspense, Crime

Series: Finn Thrillers

Steel Fear—Book 1 (review here)

Cold Fear—Book 2

Blind Fear—Book 3

Purchase Links: Kindle | Audible | B&N | AbeBooks | WorldCat

Goodreads Synopsis:

Haunted by the death of his best friend and hunted by the FBI for war crimes he didn’t commit, Finn lands on an island paradise that turns into his own personal hell in this gripping follow-up to Steel Fear and Cold Fear —from the New York Times bestselling writing team Webb & Mann . . .

“Webb & Mann have done it again. Blind Fear has it great characters, an amazing plot, and an incredible setting. This novel moves like a hurricane!”—Connor Sullivan, author of Wolf Trap

By day, AWOL Navy SEAL Finn is hiding out on Vieques, a tiny island paradise off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico, living in a spare room behind a seafood restaurant owned by a blind local. By night he scours the dark web, hunting for the rogue officer responsible for the crimes he is accused of committing.

But Finn’s world is about to be turned upside down by a new nightmare, when his employer’s two grandchildren go missing. To find them, he’ll have to infiltrate the island’s dangerous criminal underbelly and expose a shadowy crime network known as La Empresa—even if it means exposing himself in the process.

As the children go on their own harrowing odyssey to stay one step ahead of a cop-turned-killer, a hurricane batters the coastline, cutting Puerto Rico off from the rest of the world. Taking his pursuit to the sea, Finn’s skills and endurance will be tested to their limits to rescue the lost children and escape his own pursuers before the clock runs out. No one is to be trusted. And those who are seemingly his friends might be the most dangerous foes he’s faced yet.

First Line:

They have been out there for hours, climbing the great rock cliffs overlooking Black Sand Beach, then down by the water, poking through the shells and driftwood left by the ebbing tide, cooling off in the sky-blue sea as they drift toward the western tip of their island home.

Blind Fear by Brandon Webb and John David Mann

After fleeing Iceland, Finn settled on a small island off the coast of Puerto Rico. Living in a spare room behind a seafood restaurant, Finn spends his days helping the blind owner and his nights on the dark web, looking for clues to the identity of the man responsible for the crimes Finn is accused of committing. But that changes when two things happen. The restaurant owner’s grandchildren go missing, and a hurricane is barreling toward the island. Desperate to find the children, Finn must take down a criminal empire called La Empresa and risk exposing himself. But can Finn trust his friends? Or will they be the people who will turn him in?

Blind Fear is a fast-paced book that doesn’t let up on its pace during the book. There was almost no lag (a tiny bit in the middle of the book). That did not distract me from the storyline.

There were three separate storylines in Blind Fear. The first storyline follows the children (Pedro and Miranda), their kidnapping, and their journey across the jungles of Puerto Rico. The second storyline is centered around Finn, his search for the children, and his search for the killer of his friends. The third storyline centers around Monica Halsey and her search for Finn. When I realized that there were three different storylines, I got worried. Usually, one overshadows the other storylines. But this wasn’t the case. Each storyline was well-written, with well-fleshed-out characters. By the time the three storylines came together, they merged seamlessly.

The storyline with the children was well-written and kept me glued to the book. Pedro was a likable kid who kept Miranda, who was younger, safe. He had to make adult choices, some of which weren’t right. But everything Pedro did was to save his and Miranda’s life. He was also very confident that Mimo (Finn) would rescue them.

The storyline with Finn is ongoing, carried over from Steel Fear. I did not read book 2, so I didn’t understand the references to Iceland or what happened there. The author explained what happened later in the book but didn’t detract from this storyline. I liked how Finn juggled four things:

  • Finding Pedro and Miranda.
  • Finding out who Papa Bear was.
  • Staying ahead of the agents.
  • Exposing La Empresa.

In my experience, something gets dropped or forgotten when a main character has a lot going on. But, in this case, it didn’t happen. The author slowly merged each thing until they were a singular entity.

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to classify the storyline with Monica as one of the main storylines. But, as I read the book, the more she came into play, I decided that the storyline was the main one. Monica was different than how she was featured in the first book. She had it out for Finn. She wanted him to serve time for what she thought he did.

The end of Blind Fear was terrific. The authors wrapped up the Puerto Rican storylines in a fantastic way. I loved how every single bad guy got what they deserved. Both Finn and Monica’s storylines were not wrapped up. What the author did instead was a perfect lead into book 4.

I would recommend Blind Fear to anyone over 21. There are no sexual situations but extreme violence and language.

Many thanks to Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Bantam, NetGalley, Brandon Webb, and John David Mann for allowing me to read and review Blind Fear. All opinions stated in this review are mine.

If you enjoyed reading this review of Blind Fear, then you will enjoy reading these books:

Other books by Brandon Webb

Other books by John David Mann

Steel Fear (Finn Thrillers: Book 1) by Brandon Webb and John David Mann

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Bantam

Date of publication: July 13, 2021

Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Fiction, War, Military Fiction, Suspense, Mystery, Crime, Mystery Thriller, Contemporary

Series: Finn Thrillers

Steel Fear—Book 1

Cold Fear—Book 2

Purchase Links: Amazon | Audible | B&N | AbeBooks | Alibris | Powells | IndieBound | Indigo | BetterWorldBooks

Goodreads Synopsis:

An aircraft carrier adrift with a crew the size of a small town. A killer in their midst. And the disgraced Navy SEAL who must track him down . . . The high-octane debut thriller from New York Times bestselling writing team Webb & Mann—combat-decorated Navy SEAL Brandon Webb and award-winning author John David Mann.

The moment Navy SEAL sniper Finn sets foot on the USS Abraham Lincoln to hitch a ride home from the Persian Gulf, it’s clear something is deeply wrong. Leadership is weak. Morale is low. And when crew members start disappearing one by one, what at first seems like a random string of suicides soon reveals something far more sinister: There’s a serial killer on board.

Suspicion falls on Finn, the newcomer to the ship. After all, he’s being sent home in disgrace, recalled from the field under the dark cloud of a mission gone horribly wrong. He’s also a lone wolf, haunted by gaps in his memory and the elusive sense that something he missed may have contributed to civilian deaths on his last assignment. Finding the killer offers a chance at redemption . . . if he can stay alive long enough to prove it isn’t him.

First Line:

Shivers rippled over Monica Halsey’s naked skin as she peered into the steel mirror and splashed water on her face.

Steel Fear by Brandon Webb and John David Mann

I DNF’d this book the first time I read it. I stopped reading at around 40%. The reason was pretty simple; I wasn’t a fan of how slow the book was. Fast forward to a couple of months ago. I decided to go through my NetGalley Will Not Give Feedback section and read/review all the books on that shelf. I am a little anal with keeping my NetGalley ratio on the higher side of 90. And since Steel Fear was one of those books, I decided it would be one of the first ones I read/review.

Steel Fear is a military mystery/thriller set on the USS Abraham Lincoln. Finn is a Navy Seal sniper who is being sent home for a debriefing after a raid goes wrong. With his memory of the events compromised, Finn settles for the voyage back. But soon, he is embroiled in a mystery when several seamen (and women) are found murdered in various areas of the ship. With the ship on lockdown and people beginning to think he is the murderer, Finn decides to take matters into his own hands and solve the murders. But with the body count piling up, can Finn stay one step ahead of the MPs and solve the murders? Or is he the one they are looking for?

Finn’s character was interesting to read. He was a very unlikely Navy Seal. He wasn’t tall, jacked up, or loud. Instead, he was average height, had an average body build, and was very quiet. He was so quiet that people often forgot he was there. What intrigued me the most about Finn was that he was an enigma to everyone, including the ship’s captain. No one knew why he was on board or where he was going. The authors chose to reveal almost all of Finn’s background slowly. His childhood, the horrific thing that happened, and what happened to his team were slowly revealed. And the more that was revealed, the more I needed to know.

As I mentioned in the first paragraph, this book was a DNF for me because of how slow it was. And, yes, it was still slow. But with the second reread, I noticed that the authors were weaving the story with several of the secondary characters. About halfway through the book, the pacing does pick up, and my interest in the plotline picks up with it. By the last chapters of the book, I was utterly hooked. It was more about the serial killer/murders than the ship.

The mystery angle of the book was well written. While I figured that Finn didn’t do it, I was at a loss for who it was. So when the serial killer was revealed, I was shocked. The authors did keep what happened to Finn on his last mission to the bare facts and what Finn remembered. So, there was nothing new was learned there.

The suspense angle of the book was as well written as the mystery angle. I was glued to the book, wanting to know who it was. I couldn’t hit my Kindle button fast enough.

This is a military book, and with it comes military jargon and talk. I wasn’t very interested in that and did skim over some parts of it. But, I did find it fascinating that the authors chose to highlight how women were treated in the Navy (and military). Let’s say that the women in this book weren’t treated very nicely by their COs. It goes with everything I have heard and seen on the news (rapes, coverups, etc.).

The end of Steel Fear was interesting. The authors were able to wrap up the serial killer/murders plotline in a way that I liked. I felt that person got what was coming to them. But I also liked where the author took Finn’s story. There was also enough left with his story for book 2 (which I will read).

I would recommend Steel Fear to anyone over 21. There is no sex. But there is strong language and graphic violence.

If you enjoyed reading Steel Fear, you will enjoy these books: