May 20

Tenacity – J.S. Law

Tenacity 2Suicide 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 thanks to Headline for my review copy.


From its shocking opening scenes to the tense finale Tenacity was a gripping read. Scenes play out in the claustrophobic confines of a submarine and James Law captures the tension on every page.

Lieutenant Danielle (Dan) Lewis is one of the Navy’s best investigators, however, as Tenacity opens we find Dan has placed herself into extreme peril by acting on her own initiative and has not waited for back-up from her colleagues to pursue her lead. The fallout of her actions have repercussions, Dan loses the trust of her peers and her judgement is questioned.

The story jumps forward a few months and Dan is called in to investigate a suicide on board submarine nuclear submarine Tenacity. Dan is concerned to learn that the wife of the dead submariner was brutally murdered just days before he chose to take his own life. Her orders, however, are that she is only to investigate the suicide and this is not sitting well with Dan.

Investigations are just beginning when Tenacity receive orders to return to sea – Dan’s impulsive nature takes over again and she finds herself joining the crew of Tenacity so that she may continue her quest to uncover the truth. She finds herself in a hostile environment which is ill-equipped to contend with a female investigator on board and facing a crew who are not happy with her presence or the nature of her investigation.

The scenes on Tenacity literally had me tightly gripping the book as I read. I felt that Dan was in constant danger while she was on board the submarine and my ire was stoked as she was bullied by crew members who were hindering her investigation and even restricting her access to meals. Brilliant writing from JS Law – institutional bullying of a vulnerable female lead character, you cannot help but root for Dan to overcome all the obstacles ‘they’ try to place in her way.

I don’t remember being this captivated by a debut novel since Lee Child published Killing Floor. I read Killing Floor about a month after publication and the wait for Die Trying was eternal. Reading Tenacity before publication is already making me anxious as to how long I may need to wait to see what happens next for Danielle Lewis. I cannot think of a better recommendation for a novel than the urge to immediately pick up the next book and keep the story going.

Tenacity has been a stand out read. A review score of 5/5 is a given, if I scored in stars they would need to be gold ones.


Tenacity is published on 30 July by Headline

JS Law is on Twitter: @JSLawBooks



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Posted May 20, 2015 by Gordon in category "5* Reviews", "From The Bookshelf