Sea Hawke
November 20, 2021

Book Review

Sea Hawke

reviewed by Pam Guynn

Sea Hawke by Ted Bell is an exhilarating action adventure and spy novel featuring Alex Hawke, a wealthy counterterrorism officer with MI6. Alex has had a yacht custom built and wants to take a year off to sail with his son around the world.

Instead, his boss, Lord David Trulove wants him to combine the trip with some business. An alliance of nations are plotting to attack Western democracies and Trulove wants Alex to stop the conspiracy. It has aspects of both political and military thrillers as well as an action-adventure thriller and is the twelfth book in the Alexander Hawke series.

Alex is an intelligent and likeable character who adores his young son Alexei. From teaching him to tie knots to reading a variety of books together, their bond grows during their voyage and there are some profound and heartfelt moments. While Alex can be somewhat daring and seemingly doesn’t always address some issues when readers may want him to, he also demonstrates integrity, honor, leadership, decisive action, and friendship. I got a sense of what he is like in the down time between missions and what his hopes are for the future.

The first 25 percent of the novel was slower than I anticipated, but that allowed me to learn about Alex’s past and present, Alexei, and Alex’s friends, crew, and colleagues. This enabled me to read it as a standalone since this is my first book by Bell. However, after the slower beginning, there is plenty of action and thrills that kept me engaged and flying through the pages. Bell’s unique writing style may take readers a little while to adjust to, but it flows well and also has some humorous moments. Additionally, it highlights the dangers posed by terrorists and unstable governments as well as others that threaten democracy.

The novel takes readers on a sea voyage from England to the Netherlands to Bermuda and Cuba, and finally to Brazil. The world-building is especially good in the latter three as well as while the yacht is at sea. As with many military thrillers, there’s information on a variety of weapons and battle tactics and strategies. However, it isn’t overdone and fits with the genre and was worked into the plot well. While a lot of the action is over-the-top, it kept me engaged. I also loved the numerous literary references in the novel.

Overall, this book was suspenseful, riveting, fast-paced, action-oriented, and entertaining. If you enjoy action thrillers that have strong male characters, then this may be the series for you.

Berkley Publishing Group – Berkley and Ted Bell provided a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley. This is my honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way. Publication date is currently set for December 7, 2021.

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