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Constant Fear

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In Daniel Palmer’s electrifying, brilliantly plotted new thriller, a private school campus becomes a battleground as a desperate father takes on a terrifying enemy….

When Jake Dent’s dreams of baseball glory fell apart in a drunk-driving incident, his marriage did too. In those dark days, a popular survivalist blog helped to restore Jake’s sense of control. He’s become an avid Doomsday Prepper, raising his diabetic son, Andy, to be ready for any sudden catastrophe.

Andy, now a student at the prestigious Pepperell Academy where Jake works as a custodian, has a secret—he’s part of a computer club that redistributes money from the obscenely wealthy to the needy. Usually, their targets don’t even realize they’ve been hacked. But this time, they’ve stolen from the wrong people: a vicious drug cartel that is coming to get its money back…

Staging a chemical truck spill as a distraction, the cartel infiltrates the Academy, taking Andy and his friends hostage one by one. Jake, hidden inside the school’s abandoned tunnels, knows that soon the killing will start. With his training, and a stockpile of weapons and supplies, he’s the last, best hope these students—including his son—have of getting out alive. But survival is no longer an abstract concept. It’s a violent, brutal struggle that will test Jake to the limit, where there are no rules and no second chances…

326 pages, Hardcover

First published May 26, 2015

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About the author

Daniel Palmer

15 books532 followers
DANIEL PALMER is the author of four critically-acclaimed suspense novels. After receiving his master’s degree from Boston University, he spent a decade as an e-commerce pioneer. A recording artist, accomplished blues harmonica player, and lifelong Red Sox fan, Daniel lives in New Hampshire with his wife and two children where he is currently at work on his next novel.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 144 reviews
Profile Image for Judy Collins.
2,470 reviews347 followers
October 17, 2019
Top 50 Books of 2015 "Best Audiobook (tie), Best Father/Son Action Adventure Suspense Thriller."

No one can pull out all the stops like Daniel Palmer, one of my top all-time favorite suspense authors, having read all his books, while anxiously awaiting his next adrenaline rush thriller.

In Palmer's upcoming latest, CONSTANT FEAR, he turns up the complexity, suspense, and intensity, with father and son team, fighting against a terrifying enemy.

In Winston, Massachusetts, Berkshire County, a quintessential New England town with picturesque views, a small community with only twelve thousand residents, Jake Dent and his teenage son, Andy are hiding out, trying to stay alive in a double-wide trailer which they now call home.

Everything they need to survive is stored and Jake’s ultimate goal is to protect his son, Andy, a diabetic, and geek at Pepperell Academy. While Andy is a computer code maestro, Jake’s knowledge is limited; however, he is a pro when it comes to survival techniques.

Andy is part of a computer club (The Shire)—six members, that redistributes money from the obscenely wealthy to the needy. But this time, their hacking targets the wrong people; a vicious drug cartel from Mexico, wanting revenge and their money, at the tune of $200 million. However, they do not know the whereabouts of the money.

Nearly all the buildings of Pepperell Academy are connected by a series of tunnels, dating back a century. As a grounds manager and custodian, Jake has access to the secret passages—making it a perfect bug-out location (BOL).

As the book opens, father and son are on their way to yet another survival trade show (Self Reliance be Ready Expo held in NY). Andy is tired of living like this. The latest and greatest in survivalist gear, training, and the best prepper paraphernalia. Andy tells his dad he has control issues and with the loss of his career, and his mother--this survival thing is out of control. He wants to stop living their lives in constant fear of the end of the world.

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”

When Jake was twenty-two, he had a lucrative contract with a big-league ball club, a stop away from pitching in the majors, married to his high school sweetheart, and a father to a three-year-old boy. He crushes his BMW in a drunken accident after a teammate’s bachelor party; shattered his elbow-- his career over; sank into depression, his son Andy became sick, and his wife, Lauren left. She vanished, and they were divorced. Eventually, his brother got him a job at Pepperell Academy as custodian.

Thereafter he placed all his energies into survival. With the writings of Thomas Wiggins, the founder of a popular survivalist blog, gave him inspiration. He has devoted his life to becoming an expert survivalist. From weapons to physical training, food, storage, DIY fuel, gardening, livestock, medical supplies, and first aid. There was always a constant fear of the future and he wanted to be prepared. Jake knew when the day arrived, Pepperell Academy surrounded by undeveloped woodland and farms would be the perfect place for The Day with the home a few miles from campus.

Lance, his brother asked he keep his beliefs private. Nobody needed to know the school custodian was a dedicated survivalist, a doomsday prepper. Jake would keep the underground passageways and chambers a secret. Andy does not want to live life preparing for something which may never happen in his lifetime; however, his dad’s training may not be in vain, after all.

Now, Andy and his friends are held hostage, a massive chemical spill, an evacuation, murder. These guys want their two hundred million dollars. Andy will die without his meds. What had they done? It was supposed to be thrills mixed with a message. The Shire never meant to hurt anybody. It was a statement about society, about income inequality. Yes, they all enjoyed the rush of hacking—it was addicting for sure.

Jake is in a race against time to get to Andy, his son to save him. The campus had thirty buildings – who were these people, terrorists, with bombs? With six kids taken hostage and four armed men dead and Jake may be the key to unlocking the entry.

Will Jake, and Ellie, Jake’s friend and love interest, a cop with her trained dog, Kibo reach Andy and his friends in time before more people are killed? Jake swore when this was over, he would tell her of his fears. With comparisons of baseball and tunnels--the SWAT team, snipers, cops and FBI are unsure if Jake is a fugitive killer and the target of an unprecedented manhunt. And someone else’s greed may be connected for an intense and dramatic ending.

Highly recommend for those thriller seekers enjoying a fast-paced roller coaster ride. A perfect gift for father's day!

My Reviews

From 2011 to 2015 Palmer is in a class of his own, and find myself constantly trying to compare other authors to him; however, "not going to happen"; no one can compare, or live up to his brilliantly crafted complex plots.

"Death doesn’t schedule an appointment. It may show up at any hour, on any day, uninvited, unwelcomed.”

It is a given to followup with the audiobook, as hoping for Peter Berkrot, as Palmer and Berkrot are perfectly matched, making for an unstoppable dynamic duo.

A special thank you to Kensington and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Maureen DeLuca.
1,013 reviews32 followers
February 12, 2018
It wasn't that bad of a read- the idea was interesting, and I have to say at times it was a bit bogged down with 'stuff'. Reading the reviews for this book there were 4 and 5 star reads all the way down to 2 stars.

Here we have some kids, who are smart and hack into a computer and steal 'bit coins' -Turns out the money was from a drug cartel gang.... never a good idea.

The story is ok to good, kept my interest most of the time......a bit far fetched the other times---but hey, it's a book! And like most gang related cartel drug lords- there was some gruesome kills-
Profile Image for Candace.
854 reviews
May 28, 2017
Jake Dent is a single father raising his diabetic son, Andy. Jake is a Doomsday Prepper. He also is a baseball pitcher whose career ended after a drunk driving accident. Jake works as a custodian at the Pepperell Academy, a private high school.

Andy is a computer geek who attends Pepperell Academy. He forms a club, called the Shire, with five of his friends. They are hackers who steal money from rich parents and give the money to charities. Things get dangerous when they steal $200 million in bitcoins from a parent laundrying money for the Mexican drug cartel. The cartel wants their money and will stop at nothing to get it back. Problem is that someone has stolen the bitcoins because it's not in the Shire's account.

Did one of the Shire members steal the bitcoins and is holding out against his/her friends? Can the Mexican drug cartel get their money back? Will Jake be able to save Andy and his friends from the cartel?

This is my first novel by Daniel Palmer. I felt the first third of this thriller was slow, but it picks up steam after the drug cartel entered the storyline​. Jake and Andy are real. I care about what happens to them. The secondary characters did not overshadow the main characters. The plot has a twist at the end of the story. The subplots are neatly tied up. There are some violent, graphic scenes in this novel.

Profile Image for Emma.
1,102 reviews80 followers
May 21, 2015
I received a copy of Constant Fear by Daniel Palmer in exchange for my honest review.

Jake Dent is a dooms day prepper in the closet. His son, Andy, is a hacker Robin Hood. What happens when Andy steals from the wrong people?

An interesting premise with an execution that did not do it justice.

First, the entire attitude that being a prepper is some awful, dirty secret that Jake has to hide didn't really jive with me. I'm a hippie and I have hippie friends - perhaps that's why I don't find the notion of being a prepper that odd.

Next, the plot device of the wayward ex wife seemed stilted and too convenient.

Constant Fear had several too-long passages of drawn out descriptions of Jake's gun collection or his myriad survival gear. A personal preference, but I just don't care. I'm sure if I was a gun or survival fanatic these pages would have been candy.

There was a part of the book where one of the main characters is going to check out a lead during a hostage situation. She believes she has approximately 40 minutes to solve the mystery of who is holding kids hostage and why before all of them are killed. So she stops at her house to pick up a dog and we're treated to a long description of an irrelevant trick the dog performs. A trick that was previously described toward the beginning of the novel. Uggghhh. This ends up being a convenient out for this character later but it was just so awkward and out of place that it distracted me from what was supposed to be a suspenseful few chapters.

Overall, Constant Fear gets two stars because the first half of the book lacked the cheesiness of the second half but this probably isn't something I'd recommend to anyone I know.
Profile Image for ReadAlongWithSue .
2,636 reviews170 followers
April 21, 2015

I've not read one of this authors books before, I don't know why, maybe its because I've not heard of him until the other day when I saw a book friend reading Trauma.

I realized then I had the first chapter of CONSTANT FEAR from Net Galley to read, so I hoped on that today.

Its a great introduction to this author for me. I was enthralled with his writing. Its really made me want to read the rest of this book.

This is about a Father and son.....

I don't want to spoil anything and lay it all out on the line, just to say, that if the first chapter is anything to go by, how can this get any better.!

I can't wait to read the entire book.

I've read my teaser, I have been thoroughly teased! I want more.

I would like to thank Kensington Books via Net galley for the chance to read and review this
Profile Image for Debbie.
1,751 reviews96 followers
May 27, 2015
This one was definitely a page turner! My iPad said I had four hours to go in this book, next thing I knew it was 36 minutes. It was that intense. My roommate came home during the last hour and a half of it and I raised my hand and said "I'm in the middle of a hostage crisis". He shook his head and left me alone. Ha!

Seriously at the beginning it was a little slow, but that was just leading up to the good part, then another little slow part, then a greater part, then came the greater part, and then came the best part. This is definitely one I would recommend!

Thanks Kensington Books and Net Gallery for the opportunity to read and review this seriously entertaining thriller!
Profile Image for Greg at 2 Book Lovers Reviews.
487 reviews49 followers
September 14, 2015
This is one of those reviews that I hate to write. Why do I hate to write it? Well, let me explain.

I judge a book by its cover. I know that I’m not supposed to, but I do. Constant Fear has a fantastic cover, that’s what first grabbed my attention.

The next thing that I look at is the synopsis, and Constant Fear has a great sounding premise; a fallen hero (Jake Dent) is haunted by a mistake from his past. Jake’s son has become a modern day Robin Hood who has bitten off more than he can chew. Jake must use the tools and skills he has acquired to save his son in a “violent, brutal struggle that will test Jake to the limit”. Now that sounds exciting!

Constant Fear was a well written book. I can’t criticize the flow or the writing in any way. No typos, editing, or other proofing issues. I just didn’t connect with the book, and I don’t know why.

This is just one of those books that didn’t work for me, but it will undoubtedly work for many other readers. I found that it was lacking a little something to create that necessary connection.

*3 Stars​
Profile Image for Jenni.
246 reviews
June 10, 2015
(audio) sigh. another one that i didn't love or didn't hate. it was honestly a chore to get through, but not so much that i abandoned it. it felt tedious and it was also painfully slow in some places. out of 11 hours, the last 2 were the best. those 2 hours were the 2 hours i anxiously wanted to finish. those 2 hours, though, did not save this book for me. too predictable.
Profile Image for Donna.
3,832 reviews10 followers
December 22, 2019
I could see this as a movie. The premise was something that worked for me. This is a father/son book. The father is a fanatical prepper and he is so fanatical about it that he feels the need to hide it from his girlfriend. He raised his son with this ideal, but the son realizes he is not on-board with his dad's life outlook. With the set up done, the story finally begins. It was predictable (not to mention highly highly improbable), but I really enjoyed the dad's journey in this. We all want a dad who would walk through hell for us. The villains were also completely over the top. So 4 stars for the entertainment of this.
Profile Image for Tgordon.
1,031 reviews8 followers
September 26, 2018
Wow, this was great! Heart pounding and pushed adrenaline the whole way! What happens when you steal money and you steal from a Mexican cartel? Matters get way worse when someone then steals the money from you! To make matters worse you are kids! Who do you turn to? Yikes! It was my first read by this author but not my last by far!!!
1,116 reviews18 followers
March 11, 2016
I hated giving this three stars because there were several things I really liked about this book. I loved the characters. Jack was a single father. He'd once been on the road to becoming a major league baseball star when an accident while driving drunk put an end to that career. Then his son was diagnosed with diabetes. As a result, Jack's wife, Lauren, walked out on Jack and Andy, never to be seen again. Now Andy is in high school, attending the private school where Jack works as the janitor. Jack is also in a relationship with Ellie, a local police officer. They are taking things slow although Ellie is having a hard time figuring Jake out at times. She's never been to his house. Whenever they get together it's at her place. He's also very close mouthed regarding his past. She really wants to know him so she Google's him and finds out about his lost baseball career.

Jack is a little upset about it at first but realizes Ellie has a right to know if they are going to continue seeing one another. However, there's something Ellie still doesn't know, a secret Jack is afraid to reveal for fear it really would destroy what they have at the moment. He's a prepper. He believes totally in the whole world is going to end scenario or the possibility the United States will be attacked by foreign enemies. He's prepared and taught his son what to do in case something happens. As janitor at the academy where he works, he's got total access to the tunnels running underneath the school and has stored up everything he and Andy could possibly need when doomsday comes. Weapons, food, water, a heat source, first aid supplies, etc. There's enough to last them for a long time. He even wakes Andy at 3 am to run a drill where they rehearse all kinds of potential threats that could occur.

Andy is getting tired of it. His dad has gotten obsessed and Andy has other things to worry about now. He and his friends at school started a secret group called The Shire. All of them are very smart and a couple of them have unbelievable computer skills. They began hacking into some of their wealthy classmates' parent's investments, stealing money, and donating it to various charities. They get away with it for a time but then really mess up when they steal a huge amount from a big drug cartel. Of course, the cartel wants their money back and they send several members to retrieve it. When they hatch a plan to evacuate the school, they then take the members of The Shire hostage intending to torture them until they get their money back. Jack is the only one who seems willing to do anything about it and knowing the tunnels like he does and with his stockpile of resources, he sets about rescuing his son.

The elements of action and suspense were all here. I had no problem with that. The torture scenes were a little disturbing but I got to where I skipped over those parts which took nothing away from the plot itself. I did have a problem with all the computer jargon and the talk of bitcoins, something I never heard of and didn't understand. This did detract from the story for me. I would think anyone who wasn't knowledgeable in this field might feel the same. I also wasn't thrilled with the whole drug cartel and speaking in Spanish, which had to constantly be translated. This slowed things down.

Have you ever read a book and at the end you liked the promise of something entertaining at the start but once finished you were left with the feeling it was somewhat lacking but could have been so much more? That's the way I felt at the end. I loved the plot, loved the characters, but at the end was left disappointed and thinking it could have been so much more.
Profile Image for Cindy (BKind2Books).
1,476 reviews28 followers
July 8, 2016
I found this one to be nonstop action. Jake has been beaten down a few times in his life and in response becomes a prepper (like the guys on tv). He has worked not only to stock food and supplies but also guns and ammo. Additionally he and his son, Andy, practice their skills. Jake's day job is as a janitor at a private high school and part of the benefits include tuition for his son. His son and a few other semi-geeky kids form 'The Shire' and they become modern day Robin Hoods - skimming money from accounts and giving to charity. Then they steal a huge amount of bitcoins from the wrong person and bring down the wrath of a drug cartel. The action heats up as the cartel comes to get their money back. These guys are baaad and the action can be a little graphic, but it is central to the plot. I enjoyed this author's style and look forward to more.
Profile Image for Becky.
914 reviews9 followers
May 31, 2015
This had a great premise and having enjoyed the author's previous work, I was expecting more out of this. The characters never seemed quite developed enough, there was a death that seemed out of place, and the bad guy was predictable. On the plus side it was an intriguing read. There was a lot of action and kept you going. This also felt more like the first in a series, but I think it is meant to be a standalone.
Profile Image for Jane Russo.
367 reviews8 followers
June 30, 2015
I really enjoyed this book, at the beginning. Mid way through the book it just seemed to get bogged down and when it should have been suspenseful it wasn't. The book was about 100 pages too long
Profile Image for Nikki Sciarrino.
161 reviews4 followers
June 1, 2015
This was a really good story about a boy who is struggling to find his way and his father who had found a way to bury everything that he felt like he couldn't handle in the past.

I really enjoyed the baseball analogies, it demonstrated how Jake still compared everything to that time in his life. I love how Jake didn't want Andy to ever feel like his mother left because of him. He did a great job raising his son on his own and was finally starting to realize that there was another chance at love for him.

Andy and his friends having been accused of stealing money from a Mexican Drug Cartel somehow managed to bring the relationships to the surface and allowed everyone to explore the feelings that they didn't want to acknowledge, just as almost dying with do I am sure!

Palmer keeps your attention from the first page and just when you think you have everything figured out, you're wrong!
Profile Image for Barbara Bryan.
1,113 reviews
May 3, 2016
Just not my thing. Stupid story, End of world survivalist, drug cartel, kid hackers.
104 reviews1 follower
September 27, 2016
This book lived up to its review, if you like Lynwood Barclay or Harlan Coben, you'll enjoy this book as well
Profile Image for Lynn.
1,774 reviews40 followers
May 20, 2020
Jake Dent is the facilities manager at an expensive private school in the country. He has a son, Andy, he's proud of and a nice girlfriend, Ellie, who would like the relationship to be serious. Jake has a secret, he's a Prepper in his off hours. Andy also has a secret which is going to pull them into a maelstrom of trouble.

I really enjoyed this book. It's a thriller with improbable scenarios; I can get on board with that if the author is able to keep the tension rising and reality hovering on the horizon. Daniel Palmer accomplished that.
Profile Image for Devin.
71 reviews5 followers
May 27, 2015
This review has also been posted on Devin's Book Hub. I had received an eARC for reviewing purposes, but it doesn't change my opinion on the book. :)

Jake and his teenage son Andy live alone in a trailer in a quiet Massachusetts town. His ex-wife Laura has been out of the picture for many, many years after Jake was in a drunk-driving incident which threw his baseball career out the window, as well as Andy's diagnosis with diabetes. It was too much for her to handle so she walked out of his life, no traces of her to be found.

The two of them get along fine. Jake is a doomsday prepper and Andy is a computer geek. While Andy's fine with his father's doomsday preparations and he'll help out sometimes as a sacrifice to keep his father happy, his patience with it is growing thin. As the days pass Andy wants less and less to do with the survival training his father forces upon him.

As it turns out, Andy is more than a computer geek. He's a hacker. Him and a few of his friends at Pepperell Academy, where Jake works, are part of a secret computer club they call The Shire. They'll hack into bank accounts of the wealthy and transfer a thousand or so dollars to those who could use it - and the people are so rich, they don't even notice the money left their account.

Unfortunately, one of their hacks goes wrong. They ended up hacking a Mexican drug cartel and stole two million dollars worth of bitcoins. The cartel isn't happy about it, so they hunt down the money thieves, tracking them to the school they attend. The cartel then infiltrates the school after having a chemical truck spill its contents a little ways from the campus. With the school evacuated as a safety precaution due to the spill, the cartel take the members of The Shire hostage until they get their stolen money back. Will they make it out alive?

Many of us have probably seen some sort of doomsday show on television within the past few years, after National Geographic brought to light their his show Doomsday Preppers - showing Americans around the nation preparing for what they feel is a looming end of the world scenario that they want to live through. While Jake definitely takes his stuff seriously, he's not totally crazy: he doesn't look like a guy from Duck Dynasty as the book puts it, nor does he go around preaching the end of the world. In fact, he guards his doomsday preparations as a secret. Not even his girlfriend, Ellie, is aware. In my eyes there's nothing wrong with being a prepper. We all have our hobbies, beliefs, and quirk. Being a prepper is Jake's, as by being a survivalist he can prepare for the future.

The book was a little bit of a slow start for me, but after the cartel became involved the gears really started churning and the pace picked up from there on out. The hostage situation is what takes up a majority of the novel, and it's filled with many surprises and quite a bit of pain and gore - kicks to the testicles, a bullet splitting a head open "like a watermelon dropped from a height"....you get the idea. Quite some gruesome stuff! If it wasn't for all the gore and violence I'd have considered this young adult-ish. In fact, I'd almost consider The Silence of Six by E.C. Myers to be a young adult version of Constant Fear.

Constant Fear and The Silence of Six are completely different stories, let me make that clear. But both stories involve teenage hackers who find themselves in trouble for different reasons, and it's up for them to make it out alive. Both books are filled with lots of action and surprises.

Aside from the slow start I aforementioned, there are no other gripes. Constant Fear is a rush of adrenaline for the reader as they live through the hostage situation.

And, as final note, I too love reading the acknowledgements in novels just as Daniel Palmer mentions in his. I found the acknowledgement to his father very touching.
Profile Image for Jennifer  (BTH Reviews).
498 reviews18 followers
February 4, 2017
4.5 stars

*I received a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This review originally appeared on my blog: Books That Hook

Constant Fear is an exciting thriller about a man named Jake who is raising his son on his own, in an unusual manner. Jake is a doomsday prepper. He has tried to instill in his son the necessity to be ready for an attack of any kind. The story gripped me at the beginning because I didn't know who Jake and Andy were running from. Jake mentions an enemy, but he doesn't say who the enemy is. I had to keep reading to find out.

Once I learned about what was going on with Andy, I was even more interested because it went against what I had expected. Since the father has extreme beliefs, I expected him to be the one to start trouble. Instead, it was Andy. He had started a group at school called The Shire that hacked into rich people's accounts to rob them and give money to charities. The teens got themselves in a huge mess when they stole $200 million from a student's father, who was a money launderer for a Mexican drug cartel.

While there are a lot of books and movies about drug cartels, hostages, and hacking, Constant Fear is unique. Other than Andy being diabetic--a common disease for a hostage to have in a thriller because the stakes are so high if the hostage doesn't get his or her medication or food--I was impressed by the originality of the story. And, even though it's not unusual for a hostage to have diabetes in this type of story, it was written convincingly.

One thing I noticed while reading this book that I didn't particularly like was that the point of view sometimes slipped into that of an omniscient narrator. Most of the time, it was third-person limited point of view, but that changed occasionally. Another aspect of the book I disliked was the appearance of Laura. It seemed too coincidental to me that she would, after 12 years, suddenly decide to come home and try to start a relationship with Andy, the son she abandoned, right before all hell breaks loose.

Also, I will admit that I got a little bored during the early sections written from the point of view of the bad guys. These were the only parts that I felt dragged, but that could just be because I am more interested in what the good guys are doing. This didn't bother me too much, because I was totally engrossed by the 35% mark. It was intense and hard to put down. The scenes with Jake, Ellie, and/or Andy more than made up for those slower parts. Even when there wasn't violence, there was conflict and tension to keep me captivated, like when Andy and Jake argued about Jake's survivalist methods and beliefs.

Some readers may not like how the writer backs up at times and shows the same scene from the perspective of another character. I think that is something that is a matter of personal taste. Personally, I didn't mind it.

Apart from the great suspense and action, the thing that makes Constant Fear a wonderful story is the way Daniel Palmer worked in details about baseball pitching, diabetes, weapons, and more. It was a very well-researched novel. Those details made it more convincing to me. Plus, I always enjoy learning, even if I am reading for pleasure.

This was the first book I read by Daniel Palmer, but it won't be the last. If you're looking for a story with high stakes, a satisfying ending, and interesting characters, I strongly recommend checking out Constant Fear.
Profile Image for Denise.
1,956 reviews81 followers
May 14, 2015
4.0 out of 5 stars -= Be prepared...

Jack Dent and his son, Andy, live in a double wide trailer in Massachusetts -- close by Andy's prep school where Jack works as the head of maintenance. Because of some issues in his past, Jack has become a doomsday prepper and has trained and drilled his son for the day when the world falls apart. Jack stresses that they must control what they can, even more difficult sometimes because Andy has diabetes, and Jack is a single parent. All of this preparation, that has irritated Andy (who's a bit of a geek), comes in handy when some really bad enforcers from a Mexican drug cartel come looking for Andy and his 5 other friends who, it seems, have stolen some 200 million dollars worth of bitcoins from a very angry man bent on getting his money back.

This is a grisly book with descriptions of torture, murder and sadistic behavior and is very fast-paced once the action starts. Jack represents "father as hero" to the end, and the conclusion is predictable and expected but an absorbing read that was hard to put down.

This is the first book I have read by this author, but I will look for others he's written. Readers who like Harlan Coben and Linwood Barclay will also enjoy this.

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for the e-book ARC to review.
Profile Image for Debbie.
51 reviews1 follower
March 13, 2017
First book I've read by Daniel Palmer but it certainly will not be the last. Excellent suspense thriller that is hard to put down. Jake Dent is an unassuming maintenance man at the exclusive Pepperell Academy hiding a secret obsession. He is a prepper....someone who prepares for doomsday. The only person who shares his secret is his son Andy, who thinks his dad is foolish but goes along with his dad's prepper drills and training. But Andy has a secret of his own. Andy has formed a club of hackers, The Shire, at Pepperell Academy. Andy formed The Shire as a Robin Hood Club, stealing money from the rich parents of the students at the Academy and donating it to those in need. All is well until they steal money from a parent with ties to a drug cartel. Things quickly get interesting as the drug cartel pulls out all the stops to get their money back. Edge of your seat drama ensues and you will be reading until the wee hours of the morning to reach the end of the book.
Profile Image for Howard.
80 reviews1 follower
October 12, 2015
Meh, just, meh. I enjoyed the character development but it still left me feeling unfulfilled. It wasn't a very original story either, since I know i have read a few of similar plot. But the titles are not coming to mind, i guess they were also forgettable. There's better reads with better plots then this. Skip!
Profile Image for Jim.
1,097 reviews13 followers
June 11, 2017
Once again author Daniel Palmer weaves an interesting tale with his suspense thriller, "Constant Fear". Palmer never fails to come up with some unique plots that branch off into many twists and turns. Protagonist Jake Dent is a custodian at a prestigious secondary academy for the really rich. Set in the western Massachusetts town of Winston, Pepperell Academy is as high priced as it is prestigious. Jake in his younger days had a left arm that major league baseball scouts dreamed about. However before Jake's dream of baseball stardom could be achieved it came crashing down around him like a 95 mph fastball . Years go by and Jake marries Laura and then son Andy soon arrives. Andy doesn't have it easy as he is a type I diabetic. Andy's health is a primary concern for Jake as the years roll along. With Laura running away when Andy was very little, unable to deal with Andy's health issues Jake leans on his brother Lance for a job at the academy. Luckily as an employee of the academy Jake gets to send Andy to Pepperell for free. Andy quickly grows into a brilliant student and leader of his own academic club. "The Shire" founded by Andy consists of the smartest kids who also are the best computer hackers on campus. The Shire like to hack into the bank accounts of the wealthiest of the wealthy to nick small amounts to anonymously send donations to various charities. With Laura long gone Jake fears he'll never meet his real soulmate until Ellie comes along. Ellie Barnes is an officer in the Winston P.D. and a crack shot on the rifle range. Jake and Ellie soon hit it off to begin a relationship that could be the real thing for Jake. However Jake has secrets. Ellie discovers one of Jake's secrets about his baseball past and their relationship hits a rough patch. Ellie wants Jake to stop hiding things from her. Jake has one secret he's petrified to let Ellie in on. Jake likes to be prepared just in case the world is thrown into nuclear crisis. Jake and Andy continually prep for the end of life as we know it. When Andy's Shire gang steal $200 million from an evil group in Mexico there is going to be hell to pay. Mexican cartels don't play nice when their money is stolen. Before long a contingent of Mexican gangsters arrive at Pepperell looking for the Shire. When Andy's mother pops back into the Dent's life looking for forgiveness Jake knows this could be a real disaster. So, when the cartel gang evacuate the academy and take the Shire hostage it becomes a race to save Andy and his friends. Coming in at just over 420 pages, "Constant Fear" is uneven at times. Although it's a taunt suspense thriller it runs far too long. The main characters are well drafted and substantive enough to root for. The over the top and mostly ridiculous bad guys are close to being cartoon characters. This one's plot does struggle to make it to the finish line. I had to sit and read the last 150 or so pages in one sitting so I could just close this one out. I've been a fan of author Daniel Palmer's books since his first one. Palmer is the son of the famous suspense thriller story teller the late Dr. Michael Palmer. Daniel is not quite there with Michael in weaving some excellent thrillers. I'm giving, "Constant Fear", three stars out of a possible five stars. (3.33 Stars rounded down). Although overall I did enjoy reading it, I just it was missing that certain something to make it special. I'd highly recommend all of Daniel Palmer's thrillers. Palmer is a skilled story teller and seems to get better with each book. This one slips a bit backwards though. Check it out for an enjoyable read nonetheless.
Profile Image for Estela.
217 reviews
September 30, 2020
I don't know if I'm just a little over the cartel stories or what, but that whole aspect in my opinion was the most boring part of this book. This book gave me very young adult novel vibes, but it is classified under adult fiction and mystery/thriller. I wasn't overwhelmingly thrilled throughout the novel. The action was entertaining to a certain extent and by the end of it, I was wondering who it could have been that stole the money. I was not expecting who it ended up being but there wasn't a whole lot of why, but I wasn't so invested that I needed to know why. As soon as I closed the book, I was done with it. Overall I didn't hate the book, but I wasn't a huge fan either.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
224 reviews
May 30, 2021
I guess each of us has a certain type of novel they like. This one has a bit of tech savvy, run and chase, shoot ‘em up and a good ending. It kept me interested and wanting more. The unfortunate thing this novel reminds us of is how ruthless some people are and how they will stop at nothing to get to their objective. They have no regard for others and would rather give up their lives than not succeed. That mentality being forced into our lives by criminals, as those depicted in this story, is something that generations before us never had to worry about. It’s a very sad commentary of what life has become!
Profile Image for Becky.
6 reviews
February 4, 2019
The last 1/3 to possibly 1/2 of this book would have earned 4 stars, had it not been attached to the first half. Not that it was bad, just REALLLLY SLOOOW to pull me in. I almost gave up on it several times -- the story was semi-interesting, decent characters, but I really just didn't care about them until the plot started to move a little more than half-way through. If you make it that far, it becomes a pretty good book.
272 reviews1 follower
June 15, 2018
A lot going on here.

This was a good story. . .in many way, I wasn’t sure I would like it when I found out Jake was a prepper and forcing his son into drills he didn’t want to do but it turned out to be a good thing for both of them. The story was action packed and the ending was excellent. Kept me interested to the end. Well done.
2 reviews
June 18, 2017
Slow start but...

I almost didn't read this but I continued. The plot picked up and the storyline raced along. I couldn't stop, stayed up way too late finishing. Will definitely read more by Daniel Palmer.
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