We’ve all seen multiple movies and read multiple books in which the heroes are described as “fearless,” meaning they are able to put aside their self-preservation instincts and do what needs to be done in the face of grave danger.
In M.W. Craven’s thriller Fearless, the scenario is a little different. Ben Koenig is a man who literally cannot feel fear. As cool as that sounds, it’s a condition that often puts Ben — and those around him — in danger.
Koenig is a man on the run, a U.S. Marshal who upset the wrong people and has a sizeable bounty on his head. He’s pulled out of the shadows by an old friend whose daughter has gone missing. Koenig is convinced the woman is already dead, but he agrees to go on the hunt for her…and for those who took her. The chase leads Koenig down a dangerous, elaborate rabbit hole that involves warring cartels, solar energy, and a passel of angry Russians.
Craven is an award-winning crime writer who has the thriller format down pat. Short chapters (most of them only three pages) and constant forward momentum make this a quick, fun read. There’s not a lot in the way of characterization — Koenig’s backstory gets a good amount of attention, but the supporting cast is barely sketched out — but that’s not the point of a book like Fearless. This is all about the action, and Craven deals it out on nearly every page.
The back of my advance copy screams “Major Streaming News to Come,” and I can see this becoming a really fun piece of episodic content.
Fearless is crammed with shooting, chasing, hand-to-hand combat, scene-chewing villains, tough guys and tough ladies, plot twists and surprising revelations. If that’s your idea of the perfect summer thriller, you won’t be disappointed.