Here are a excerpts from a few of my favorite reviews of Lethal Voyage!
“Take a six-night cruise to Bermuda from your couch. If you like cruising, you should get yourself a copy of Lethal Voyage. I loved it!” — Bruce frommert, Travelling With Bruce YouTube channel. (Listen to Bruce give his review live on his YouTube channel HERE.)
InD’Tale Magazine — November 2020 (5-Stars : Crown Heart)
NYPD Detectives Mike Stoneman and Jason Dickson take a much needed cruise to Bermuda hoping to dodge publicity and spend time with their lady loves, Medical Examiner Michelle and her friend Rachel. As fate would have it, they are soon embroiled in an onboard murder investigation on the high seas.
With the reluctant assistance of the ship’s security captain; the two detectives, their companions, and an old mentor gather clues and put their crime-solving skills to the test. The main suspects are a clever mastermind, a lucky dimwit, or a guilty scumbag in a dangerous love triangle. In a race against time, with a climbing body count, our two intrepid detectives have to solve the crime or see a murderer sail free.
Filled with action, drama, and surprising twists, “Lethal Voyage” is a captivating addition to the Mike Stoneman series, guaranteed to delight readers old and new! This third installment continues almost immediately after the second ends and quickly provides readers and the story’s characters with a villain escalating to serial killer status. The side characters are an ensemble cast of passengers and crew who provide excitement, drama, and add zest to the tension-filled storyline. The tale’s vivid depiction of the wonderful world of cruise line adventure and ambiance and the diligent crime-solving minds of heroic detectives ensures readers won’t regret buying a ticket on Mr. Kevin G. Chapman’s fatal seafaring whodunit. So, grab a life jacket and don’t fall overboard as NYPD Homicide Detectives Mike and Jason set sail on a murderous cruise, where the treacherous outcome of a philanderer’s indiscretions and a woman scorned becomes a lethal journey of death!
Midwest Book Review (December 2020)
Diane Donovan, Senior Reviewer
Lethal Voyage is a thriller that revolves around NYPD homicide detective Mike Stoneman and medical examiner Michelle McNeill, who can’t seem to catch a break away from their duties even when they attempt to take a relaxing cruise.
The ship’s security is supposed to be in charge when a passenger is found dead, but Michelle’s more savvy nose for trouble indicates that this is a murder with nefarious undertones, and her persistence places her on the radar of a dangerous killer who is along for the voyage.
It’s up to husband Mike to enter the fray and keep her safe, even if it means setting aside the concept of relaxation in favor of another problem-solving team effort.
No prior familiarity with the feisty team or their appearance in the prior Mike Stoneman book is necessary in order to appreciate the tense standoffs Kevin G. Chapman employs in Lethal Voyage.
The story opens with the bang of a murder scene set in 2018 in North Carolina which sets the stage for events to come. It should be cautioned that the murders it introduces are graphically portrayed—not unduly, but more so than many a murder mystery thriller. Readers who wish to dance over blood and gore for a more casual treatment of violence might wish to skim over these passages or look elsewhere. But it would be a shame if they did, because what evolves from this introductory scene is compelling and thoroughly engrossing reading.
The reader doesn’t just get to know Michelle and Mike better. A host of characters enter the picture; all of whom have different perceptions of what they wish to get out of the cruise. Many of them bring their problems along for the voyage: “Rachel stepped forward and handed Shirley a tissue. “If you’re not happy being with Max, why don’t you just divorce him? Life’s too short to be unhappy in a relationship.” Shirley’s face softened. “Thanks, Sweetie. I love how you still think marriage is romantic. I’ve gotten over that. I’d throw the bum out but I have a pre-nup to make sure he can’t take my money if he dumps me. If I divorce him, he gets a pretty big payment. I don’t want to give him the money, so I’m waiting for him to divorce me, or die of a heart attack. Unless I throw him overboard first.” “Be careful saying things like that,” Michelle said. “You never know who might take it the wrong way.”
Other conundrums evolve beyond just staying alive and locating the perp, including maintaining the illusion of a pleasant voyage for the rest of the passengers: “Mike had to admire what a tight operation it had been. None of the passengers would know that a bloody murder had just happened – unless somebody from the security team spilled the beans. Or, unless Mike, Michelle, Jason, or Rachel said something.”
Kevin G. Chapman is a master at crafting absorbing scenes with satisfying twists and turns that keep readers guessing. Those who choose this thriller for its compelling characters and setting won’t be disappointed.
CrimeFiction.com – 11.30.20
Let’s put my cards on the table from the off – I’ve never really fancied a cruise, though lots of my friends swear by this form of vacation. I don’t like the idea of being stuck in the middle of the ocean with a bunch of people I don’t know. Well, anything could happen, couldn’t it?
Maybe NYPD detectives Mike Stoneman and Jason Dickson should have heeded my warning, because once they set sail on the luxurious Colossus of the Ocean with their girlfriends Michelle McNeil and Rachel Robinson, things begin to go awry.
Mike and Jason are on leave for a good reason. After a recent case they were running undercover went badly wrong and made headlines, it was suggested by the police commissioner that they become ‘unavailable for comment’ for a while. So a life on the ocean wave it is!
It’s a chance for the pair to kick back and enjoy their luxurious surroundings and the company of their female partners – and Mike and Jason throw themselves into it with gusto. But there’s a killer lurking on board, and soon the detectives, and Michelle, who just happens to be a medical examiner, are at the heart of the investigation – much to the annoyance of the on-board head of security, a former FBI data analyst.
Karl Keller is used to running a smooth operation, but with two detectives on board and the head of security for the cruise company (who is also a former NYPD cop and was Mike’s mentor), he is feeling the pressure when a passenger falls to her death.
Keller is quick to label the demise a suicide, but Mike and his party had met Shirley Bloom and her husband Max, a Broadway talent agent, and witnessed the couple’s prickly relationship. That puts Max firmly in the frame for murder – but with Keller toeing the company line, Mike and Jason are going to have to work hard to convince him. So much for a leisurely break! As the death toll begins to mount, even company man Keller can’t deny that he needs the help of a couple of hard-bitten New York detectives.
This is the third book in the Mike Stoneman series and the first time I’d encountered this character – but don’t worry, because Lethal Voyage stands perfectly well on its own merits. It’s an entertaining read and author Chapman meticulously paints a vivid picture of life on board a luxury cruise ship, even down to the towel animals placed on the turned-down beds of the passengers each night! If it wasn’t for the pall of death hanging over the Colossus of the Ocean, I might actually be tempted aboard.
There’s an easy companionship between Mike and Jason, obviously developed over years of working together, but by throwing Michelle and Rachel into the mix, Kevin G Chapman adds an extra dimension to the narrative. Michelle, Mike’s girlfriend, is looking forward to them spending quality time together, but when that all disappears like a sea mist, she is professional and intuitive. Rachel? Well, she’s another matter. She dreamed of becoming an entertainer until a knee injury ruined plans of a dancing career, but she is on holiday and determined to milk every minute of it. The luxury and glamour of life on board is conveyed beautifully in the scenes which feature Rachel, who enthusiastically throws herself into every scrap of entertainment the ship has to offer.
Bermuda is reached and there are a few scenes there, but it’s a little throwaway – only to be expected, I suppose, when there’s a stone-cold killer on board the ship, but a tad more local colour would have been nice. That said, Lethal Voyage is a great escapist read. And as the wind howls outside and rain batters the window, that’s just what’s needed right now!
“Action from bow to stern, tight scenes, well drawn characters, and a good read.” – MurderinCommon.com
Elmore Leonard had certain books that had idiosyncratic characters and humor intermingled with grit and violence. That’s what Kevin Chapman’s Lethal Voyage reminded me of. I haven’t read the first two books in the Mike Stoneman series. Doing so might have helped flesh out the main characters for me a bit more, but I still found them very engaging and this third book in the series very enjoyable. (And intend to dig into the first two.) I’ve never taken a cruise, so I found all the details fascinating. It’s a great setting for a thriller and the supporting characters were vivid, offbeat and distinctive. The main characters didn’t feel like they were in much danger through most of the action, though the danger did ramp up as the story progressed and that kept me turning pages all the way to the end. — Haris Orkin, author of the James Flynn Escapades.
“A tight, fast-paced thriller – and another winner from Kevin G. Chapman. Fans of the Mike Stoneman series will not be disappointed.” — Dan Alatorre, USA Today bestselling author of The Gamma Sequence and Double Blind
“The action never stops in this skillfully plotted thriller. This is a great new series!” — Valerie Davisson, author of the Amazon Best-Selling Logan McKenna Mystery series.
Probably my favorite book of the three that comprise this series. I’m not a cruiser, but I did recently visit Bermuda and it was great to see some familiar haunts even as the case moved away from Mike and Jason’s typical beats.
Even with the deliberate air of mystery around one of the women, the limited number of characters allowed those that were part of the narrative to grow into fully fleshed people vs just characters on a page. I felt as if I knew the Blooms and wanted to know more about Elisabeth’s hold on Marjorie. While I can’t recall whether we met Ferguson in a prior book, it was nice to have him on the ship to tie the ship security and NYPD together. A fun, quick read, and great use of Chicago as the ship’s show to further tie things together.
If grit and humour and foibles are what you look for in your detectives, then Mike Stoneman is right up your alley! Lethal Voyage grabs you from the first page and doesn’t let up till the ship is back in harbour. Mike Stoneman is the kind of cop you wish they all were; acerbic, no one’s fool, and gets the job done.
Join him as he goes on what’s supposed to be an R&R cruise and watch as it becomes anything but! Full of twists and turns, red herrings, and “oh I think I’ve got it” moments; Lethal Voyage is a page-turner. Kevin Chapman writes a compelling story with characters you’ll love . . . and some you’ll hate – but that’s life too, isn’t it? Highly recommend this as it’s a great standalone read. But as mentioned, I’ll be reading more about Mike Stoneman!
Lethal Voyage is an engaging story that hooks you on page 1 and doesn’t let up until the very end, and even then you just know that Mike Stoneman will be back to solve another crime. Mike Stoneman and Jason Dickson are the perfect team of detectives who don’t let up until they solve the crime. Michelle and Rachel as Stoneman’s and Dickson’s girlfriends respectively, are the perfect additions to this crime solving team. Michelle is a medical examiner and Rachel an EMT, and both add substance to the story. Urged to get out of NYC for a bit, Stoneman and his friends had no idea that their vacation cruise would turn into more work than play. And when more than one person on the ship is murdered, these four butt heads with the chief of ship security more than once. Chapman’s ability to stay on point is remarkable, and I really enjoyed Lethal Voyage. I’m looking forward to reading more books Mike Stoneman thrillers.
Lethal Voyage is the third book in the Mike Stoneman contemporary thriller series about a middle-aged Detective from New York and his younger partner Jason Dickson. You don’t need to have read the earlier books to enjoy this – and there are a couple of minor spoilers for them here. There has been a marked change in tone from the first book, which was quite gory and violent, to the second which was lighter but still quite serious and political, while this one is a more fun old-fashioned murder mystery with plenty of humour and a bigger focus on our heroes’ relationships, without crossing the line into cozy territory.
Mike and his Medical Examiner girlfriend Michelle have booked a last minute Caribbean cruise with Jason & his new flame Rachel. All they want to do is kick back and enjoy the drinks specials, but when a wealthy wife of a womanising theatrical agent falls to her death from her balcony, they can’t help but get involved – especially when it seems that the Chief of Security is determined to rule it an accident, or even a suicide. Then more deaths follow, with all evidence suggesting the husband is covering his tracks – can Mike catch the killer in time to save their holiday?
I’m glad I took the time to reread this as the finished product was an enjoyable lighthearted mystery, and it was a buzz to see my name in the credits and know I helped in the process! I liked the banter between the couples and the scenes of life aboard the ship, although reading about going on a cruise in the middle of a pandemic which has shut down the industry was bittersweet – who knows when it’ll be an option again? I’ve only done small boat adventure cruises but can see that with the right people (and without the homicides) it could be a lot of fun.
My first book by this author. What a cruise! I am not one who cruises, one time was enough for me as I find seasickness is not worth the cruise. I must say though that Mr. Chapman has the cruise industry and the workings of a cruise itself down pat. I was hooked from the very first chapter and was guessing the whole way as to who the culprit was. I had one hint, emerald dress, emerald ring, but then I changed my mind. I certainly am a follower now and will read the first two in the series. Thank you for a great read. Write faster!
Elmore Leonard had certain books that had idiosyncratic characters and humor intermingled with grit and violence. That’s what Kevin Chapman’s Lethal Voyage reminded me of. I haven’t read the first two books in the Mike Stoneman series. Doing so might have helped flesh out the main characters for me a bit more, but I still found them very engaging and this third book in the series very enjoyable. (And intend to dig into the first two.) I’ve never taken a cruise, so I found all the details fascinating. It’s a great setting for a thriller and the supporting characters were vivid, offbeat and distinctive. The main characters didn’t feel like they were in much danger through most of the action, though the danger did ramp up as the story progressed and that kept me turning pages all the way to the end.
Lethal Voyage is the third in the series and my favorite. I am typically a medical thriller reader so the detective series was a new read for me. I enjoyed the story lines and character development that evolved throughout the series. Each book stands alone as a great read and a series follower can enjoy deep linkages peppered throughout the grouping. The main characters have their own deep stories developing in conjunction with case plot. I love that the author did his law degree in NYC and his wife (co-author) is a NYC native. The NYC authenticity shines through and keeps the reader searching for tidbits of NYC fun. I highly recommend the book and the series.
My first read from this author and enjoyed this mystery. This book is part of a series but can definitely be read as a standalone. Good storyline and character development. A psycho killer on the high seas, will the murderer get away with the killings? How could no evidence be found at the crime scenes? What could be the motive? Three murders, are they connected? There will be characters you love, some will frustrate you and others that you will despise. Contains murder, suspense, humor, twists and romance. What more could you ask for in a book. Recommend. Received an ARC and this is my voluntary honest review.
“I’ve never been on a cruise, but I’ve always wanted to take one, so a crime mystery on a cruise ship pulled me right in. I have not yet read books one and two of the Mike Stoneman series, but I didn’t feel any awkward moments where I felt like I missed something from the previous books. This truly can be a standalone book. I enjoyed the exchanges with the four main characters – they seemed to mesh well and keep the story interesting. Overall, this was a very hard to put down read!” I received an advanced reader copy for an honest review. My honest review is – it’s GREAT – don’t miss out!
I received an ARC copy of this book from the author. This is the first book I have read by Kevin G. Chapman. I really enjoyed the characters and the venue of the story line. I felt like I was actually on board the ship watching all of the drama play out. That is not my usual experience. The fast pace and twists made this a fun and angst ridden read. I was able to enjoy this book even reading it out of sequential order of the series. That I am now going back and starting with the first book in the Mike Stoneman series.
This was the perfect book for me… I love cruising and murder mysteries! The book was such a fun, fast read, that I was almost sorry that it had to end. Looking forward to the next Mike Stoneman thriller!
Kevin G. Chapman makes this plot believable. The author has obviously travelled on a cruise ship, and includes details that bring the scenes to life. I personally would like to see a towel eagle… I was flipping over the pages at speed near the end, as events sped up and the killer was revealed. The denouement was expertly done. Love the way it was tied in with ship activities…Much fun and I look forward to more from this author. Grab it and dream of the time when we will be able to travel again…with perhaps fewer deadly outcomes. – Dorothyanne Brown for Reedsy.com (5-stars)