Review: The Steel Shark by Rebecca Cantrell

the steel shark

Title: The Steel Shark

Author: Rebecca Cantrell

Series: Joe Tesla

Genre: Mystery/Suspense

Rating: Related image Related image Related image Related image

A dog. His computer. The tunnels under New York City.

That’s all Joe Tesla’s agoraphobia has left him with—the inside world, the dark world—and now the black depths of the sea.

In the latest book in this award-winning thriller series, Joe Tesla seeks to expand his world beneath. He buys a personal submarine to join an underwater scavenger hunt. The competition turns deadly when a mystery sub targets Joe. His search for answers drives him and his service dog out to sea where he alone might find answers in time to save the city he loves from annihilation.

But can a man trapped inside by his own fears save the larger world above?

Received a free copy of this book via the author and publisher in exchange for an honest review.

It truly does suck that my dream man is an agoraphobic fictional character who lives under Grand Central Station. Joe Tesla, in this, the fourth novel in Rebecca Cantrell’s Joe Tesla series, remains a character who is full of heart, warmth and an intelligence that just won’t be stopped by anything. Not even crashing submarines.

This newest installment caught me from the first page, making me quite anxious to get into my reading and finish the book, but at the same time I desperately didn’t want to because I didn’t want it to end.

Without spoilers I will tell you there is a lot of character development for Joe, as well as Vivian, and the mystery isn’t so much a mystery as it is a determined, forceful plot-line pulling you through the book. The wonder in this is that even though there is no big huge whodunnit mystery in this book there is still enough of a mysterious tone to keep you guessing as to what might happen next.

Rebecca Cantrell’s strength in writing for me has always been the way in which she captures my attention with just a single moment in her books. In this book there were so many moments if I had been holding a physical book I would’ve gotten paper cuts by how quickly I would’ve turned the pages.



2. The Tesla Legacy by Rebecca Cantrell




This is a very natural continuation to the previous novel in the series, with Joe trying to cope even further with the revelation of why he is agoraphobic, and new revelations about his familial connections. The discovery of a dangerous device, created by none other than Nikola Tesla himself really does drive this plot in a great way.


My love for Joe Tesla only grows within this book and I can’t wait to read more of his adventures, or misadventures as they may be. His mind is truly an amazing thing, even as it turns against him in certain ways. There is more vulnerability for him within this novel, which only makes me care about him more, as though he is a real, live human being.

His enemies are twisted, almost more so than in the first novel. Ash is truly sinister, and a completely unreliable narrator, despite the reasons he gives for doing what he’s doing.

Characters I would like to learn more about: Vivian

Tone and Setting

The tunnels and his new home seem almost like coming home as a reader, as we are given the opportunity to become more familiar with them. The tone of this novel is more sprawling, from fear, to almost abject terror at one point. It’s a true mystery though.


I’ve already got my hands on the second novel and I can’t wait to read it. Rebecca Cantrell is a fantastic writer, one who knows how to do her research as well.

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Recommended to: Nikola Tesla fans, mystery lovers, people who have read anything else by Rebecca Cantrell.

1. The World Beneath by Rebecca Cantrell



Rebecca Cantrell is easily one of my favourite authors, as the way she manages to weave a tale together is truly inspired.

This book, and the story within it had me rapidly turning the digital pages, eager to find out what happened. Joe Tesla’s life within the tunnels is definitely a hard one, and one worth reading about. Though there were a few filler chapters overall this book and its plot are well written.

Joe, despite all his riches and presumable good fortune is an easy character to like. He’s also easy to empathize with, someone who is kind to those he meets but who is unable to deal with the outside world.

Dubois is a truly mad scientist, trying to play with things that no one could help to understand.

Edison, the yellow dog, is easily one of my favourite characters. Sweet, and charming he’s well trained. I was truly amused that he was named Edison, all things considered.

Vivian is not someone I am sure I can trust as of yet, but I do look forward to getting to know her.

The tone of suspense all throughout the novel was well kept up, and I found myself cringing and wanting to stop at certain moments when Joe was in true danger.

The setting, the New York City tunnel system is a character within itself in this novel. Sinister, dank, and scary this setting was well lent to the tone and feel of this novel.

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Recommended for: Those who like medical suspense, or who have read Rebecca Cantrell’s previous novels.

A Game of Lies by Rebecca Cantrell

A Game Of Lies (Hannah Vogel, #3)A Game Of Lies by Rebecca Cantrell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is probably my favourite in the series so far, with more mystery for me than the other two combined and a great deal more drama.

I devoured it completely and loved it. I love the way history is melded with fiction and I drank it down like it was the richest of drinks.

The drama is heart wrenching and the stakes are definitely higher. Hannah is one of my favourite female characters in fiction, because she makes mistakes and is not infallible but she is soon ready to admit it.

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A Night of Long Knives by Rebecca Cantrell

A Night Of Long Knives (Hannah Vogel, #2)A Night Of Long Knives by Rebecca Cantrell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While I did not enjoy this book as much as the first one it was still very easy to sink into and Hannah is still one of the most formidable female characters I’ve read in a while.

She is strong, and yet at times her vulnerability is what draws me in more than anything else. Her life is one of quickly made decisions and thinking on her feet.

The suspense in this novel is rich, and yet it didn’t capture my attention as much as the first however it remains an interesting piece of historical fiction which had me reaching for more information about the time and finding only that Rebecca Cantrell’s research is immaculate.

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A Trace of Smoke by Rebecca Cantrell

A Trace Of Smoke (Hannah Vogel, #1)A Trace Of Smoke by Rebecca Cantrell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I did not expect to fall into this book at all. The subject matter initially left me feeling very aware of how this could be very poorly done.

Instead I found an enriching read with fully fleshed out characters. Hannah is definitely a female character to be proud of, displaying strength and vulnerability very realistically in situations which seem quite intense and are written in vivid detail.

The beauty in this is the way in which history is fleshed out with characters who feel as real as those who were actually there and using real people to make it all the more interesting.

This is a read for anyone who loves historical fiction.

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