Death Watch by Michael Sedge & Joel Jacobs Book Review

A fast-paced, adrenaline-pumping page-turner of a thriller book, you'd not likely tear your eyes off the pages once you start reading it. It's a highly exciting experience.

Death Watch by Michael Sedge & Joel Jacobs Book Review
Genre: Military, Mystery & Thrillers
Authors: Michael Sedge and Joel Jacobs
Date Published: January 15, 2015
Publisher: Motivational Press, Inc.
Edition: paperback (I got a digital ARC from Netgalley)
Size: 300
ISBN: 0991469615

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How does the mind of an international terrorist work? Particularly when that terrorist is former American DELTA Force commando George Hadden who is on a mission to strike a blow against the United States that will leave the world aghast. Follow Matthew Blake, Special Agent, Naval Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS), as he tracks Hadden through Europe, Africa, and abroad the aircraft carrier USS George Washington. It's a plight that puts the U.S. Navy against itself as the crew combats a deadly outbreak of ebola, making the ship a floating "hot zone" in the Mediterranean Sea.


Meet George Haddan, a cold-blooded killer, hell-bent on doing whatever dangerous job you drop at his feet, so long as you pay the right amount. A military bad boy with evil good looks, who would have guessed that the handsome man before you has the face of a terrorist?

The synopsis says to follow Matthew Blake, but in reading, for the most part (like half the book) I was following George Haddan instead as he accepts a job that was relayed to him by his closest friend Giovanni de Martino, to carefully plotting how to terrorize the US, down to executing the job. Overall, it felt like an antihero type of story until getting over that first half mark. Written in the third-person perspective, Death Watch felt like reading something straight from a script as every single element of the story is so detailed.

Details. I love details.

I'm always attached to all the introduced characters, especially 'Fingers' the somewhat internet expert and Hans, the virus expert. Maybe because they're the first victims? I expect Haddan to be a killer but him hands-on killing someone who trusted him was just a shock to me. One thing you're facing a person and the next, you are dead. And the nature of the killing is very quick but so grotesque. It makes me want to be some distance away when talking to a stranger... but only when nobody else is around.

It really is true that once you give someone a name, or rather mention a name of a person involved in any kind of situation, you will see the involved as a person and thus, as a decent human being, will care for another human being. Not only do the authors give names to their characters, they also took special care in humanizing them more by detailing their works and giving them personalities one can relate. I feel bad every time Haddan kills each one of them after gruelingly done their part on the job that he gave them.

This book's writing style is so spot on, you'd actually feel that the characters are into serious business. The tone is already strikingly set just by the first page. And the narration? It's staggeringly smooth. This is my first suspense book in years and I was just awed. Reading feels like actually watching a movie from the big screen. It's just authentic, this book is made for a movie. So I guess that explains why everybody's named. Wait, I think I mentioned that already. When describing Hans who loves viruses:
The ones he liked best were those that resented living forms and doing their best to convert them into something dead.

On the second half of the story, you'll be brought to the really exciting part. Aboard the U.S.S. George Washington, you'll witness how the sailors of the Navy and pilots and flight officers of the Air Force go about their business and work together. It felt pretty much like having a tour aboard a nuclear-driven lethal carrier, only that the tour gets so personal and invasive as you witness every single person's thoughts and emotions.

Moreover, you'll see the cooperation of various intelligence and security agencies across the globe in getting info on a problem and coming up with a solution. Everybody works fast and does so efficiently.

The transition from one's reverie or rather recalling of events to the present (usually grave) scenario and vice versa is just awesome. It keeps the entertainment on while not breaking the momentum of the current action.

There's a joke here that I haven't heard before and it sounds funny as hell! Lonnie "Snickers" Mathis might sound like an embarrassment to the U.S. Navy what with his sweet tooth, his addiction to junk food, his gullibility and his front teeth missing but his jokes are funny and you'd want a buddy like him in a squad to keep the dull moment at bay.
See there's this lady with little tits. So she goes to Doc Simons and says, 'I want my boobs enlarged.'
'Fine,' says the doctor,'we have a new technique that will be perfect.'
They put the woman to sleep and when she wakes up her tits were the same size. 'What's up?' she asks the doc."
'Like I said,' he replies. 'This is a new technique, when you want your breasts enlarged you simply bend your elbows and flap them, this pumps up your breast size.'
She tried it and her boobs grew like balloons.
Later that day, she rushes to meet her boyfriend, Billy. She sees him in the distance and starts running towards him. As she gets closer, she bends her elbows and starts pumping. Billy, now, stops, and he begins flapping his legs like he was doin' the boogie. His girlfriend looks down between his legs and yells: 'Billy, you went to Doc Simons too!!!'

I love how the title was made up. Death Watch might sound corny and regurgitating for a book tagged with terrorism, military, suspense, mystery & thrillers but it is apt. You'll find why at the latter part of the novel.

The intro into the story felt like the beginning of the play, Phantom of the Opera. In their old age, the people involved (Haddan and Blake) had this presentation of items that reminds them of the cruel past. There's the flash back which is apparently the entire story. The intro was misleading though when it talked about Giovanni de Martino's termination of employment 3 years after the incident of the past. What this misleading intro did to me was to look forward for whatever's coming to Gianni, by which after turning the last page, never comes. So, please don't jump to the last page after reading the first. Another problem I saw was the part where a Navy Flight Officer and her roommate as voracious readers go through more than 2 dozens of book a month! Just how?

Despite those two tiny problems, this book is just perfect! This is a good source material for a movie, I'm expecting to see it on the big screen soon.

More: Author Interview with Michael Sedge


  1. 77E0ENicholas7285AApril 14, 2024 at 3:19 PM



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