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As a youngster Stan Turner is determined to become an attorney. He is mysteriously forewarned that the path to his dream will be difficult and fraught with danger. At every turn, Stan is confronted with seemingly insurmountable obstacles, yet he pushes forward, undaunted by the unknown forces that seek to derail him. Forced into the United States Marines by a vicious twist of fate, Stan leaves his wife and family and reports for duty. On his first day he unwittingly befriends a serial killer and soon finds himself charged with the murder of his drill sergeant. Aided by a lustful nurse who wants him and a journalist who wants his story, Stan desperately searches for the actual killer to prove his innocence.

328 pages, Paperback

First published July 1, 1998

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About the author

William Manchee

29 books186 followers
William Manchee is an attorney by trade and practices consumer law in Texas with his son Jim. Originally from southern California, he now lives in Plano, Texas. He is the author of 25 novels including the Stan Turner Mysteries, Rich Coleman Novels, and the Tarizon Saga.

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5 stars
13 (16%)
4 stars
22 (28%)
3 stars
17 (22%)
2 stars
20 (25%)
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5 (6%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 49 reviews
Profile Image for AH.
2,005 reviews370 followers
February 24, 2011
Undaunted is the story of Stan Turner, a law student who enlists in the Marines during the Vietnam War. During basic training, Stan has a confrontation with his drill sergeant. Later on the drill sergeant is murdered. Stan is the prime suspect for the crime.

There was an interesting story in this book, but it was bogged down by a lot of details and dialogue. There was a lot of dialogue in this book and at times it was difficult to follow.

I did not find Stan very likable and I am not sure if it was because the entire story was told through his eyes. I found that this made the main character a little bit more egotistical than necessary. First person point of view does not usually bother me however, in this book it was a little confusing. For example, chapters 1 and 2 were about Stan Turner and told from Stan Turner’s point of view. Chapter 3 is told from another point of view. The transition was a little rough and left me scratching my head. I could not figure out whose voice it was and I had to read the chapter a few times. Finally, I figured out it was a woman named Virginia, but her character had not yet been introduced.

*Book won in a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway.
Profile Image for Kim Nichols .
58 reviews3 followers
March 23, 2014
OMG what a great story! It was a page turner. I would like to read all other books by this author.
Profile Image for Kristine.
139 reviews2 followers
January 22, 2011
I got two copies of this book as part of a goodreads give away. I thought the premise was very interesting, and I do have to admit, I didn't figure out who the killer was--that was a surprise. I had a hard time getting into the book, largely because it's not terribly well-written. The writing gets better later in the book, but the early chapters are pretty painful. There are a couple of chapters (just two, I think) that are written from the perspective of another character (a reporter), but, just like the rest of the book, they're written from a first-person POV with no real distinguishing writing, so you basically just have to pay attention to realize those two chapters aren't written from Stan's POV. Stan is an unbelievably good character--in that it's unbelievable he's a person. It's also unbelievable so many women were falling all over him. The characters in general are pretty one-dimensional and so hard to care about. The near death of a major character at the end should have left me feeling shocked or saddened; instead, I felt cheated because there's so little exploration of the emotional ramifications of the event for the characters involved.

I'm going to guess this is a first (or at least early) novel, and also guess that the author's later books are better than this one.
Profile Image for Ishanie.
260 reviews10 followers
April 1, 2011
I just won this selection through the First Reads giveaway here on Goodreads and I'm patiently and excitedly awaiting its arrival. I love to read any books related to psychopaths or serial killers since it's what I study!


So I'm very disappointed with this selection. I know it's a first in a series so I'll be gentle.
This reading was laughable at best. This Stan Turner character was certainly likable but he's impossibly fake. There is NO man like this out there. He claims to be in love with his wife... then he has these gorgeous women throwing themselves at him (literally) more than once and he turns them down even though he's somehow managed to fall in love with one of them. Yet, nothing happens due to his devotion to his wife. LAUGHABLE!

He's accused of a crime and it was definitely not an obvious criminal (which is why it got 2 stars rather than one) but then after the case gets solved, Stan gets accused of something else... somehow that's wrapped up in a chapter but not before something else happens. It's just silly.

It wasn't painful, otherwise, I wouldn't have finished it. I have the second selection on audio and I'm still willing to give it a chance.
19 reviews
January 22, 2023
Good background to a great series.

I'm really enjoying the Stan Turner series of books from this author. They have an excellent blend of legalese and courtroom drama along with an engaging story. This first book in the series is not as complex as the later books, but it provides a really good introduction to the main character before his career started and shows his honesty and integrity. That's why I only gave this book 4 stars since the later books definitely qualify for 5. I also enjoyed the premise of the story. Fans of the movie A Few Good Men (with Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson) should enjoy this book. If you want to get into this excellent book series, then this is the place to start.

It may be that the edition of this book that I purchased had been re-edited, but I really didn't notice any of the proofing issues that others have commented on, and I usually notice those types of things in other books. Or maybe I was just enjoying getting to know Stan too much.
Profile Image for Sandy.
169 reviews
October 19, 2017
The story was okay and I would have given the book three stars except the edition I read had so many typos it was distracting. It was if someone type the story on a typewriter and failed to have it proofed before being published.
Profile Image for IslandRiverScribe.
470 reviews17 followers
October 8, 2013
Don’t you just love it when a book has had its copyright renewed 3 times, the latest being in 2013, and there’s a grammar mistake in the 2nd paragraph of the first page? And it doesn’t stop there! You can hardly go more than two pages without an obvious editing error – grammar, punctuation, incorrect word choice, missing words, uncorrected changes from first person POV to 3rd person POV, et cetera and so on.

I realize that this is either the first or second book that the author ever had published (original copyright is 1997). I also realize that this is the first book in a series that, to date, has at least 10 books. But the first book in a series is like the flagship of a fleet. It needs to be good; actually, it needs to be better than good if the author is to entice readers to buy a second and future novels.

And this book wasn’t good. It had an excellent premise, but that premise got lost in a myriad of errors and faulty constructs. And, apparently, the author has never seen fit to give his flagship an overhaul.

First, the main protagonist, Stanley Turner, is portrayed as just about the most oblivious, naïve, wishy-washy late 1960’s college-age male facing the Vietnam War draft that I have ever seen (or read about). You see, I am only a year younger than Stanley was portrayed as being. And even though I am female and was not subject to the draft in those years, every guy I knew in college was. Every last one of those guys knew every option in every military branch open to them on a daily basis. And yet Stanley was written as the ostrich with his head in the sand, not knowing his options, not even checking them out until it was too late, just hoping the war would end before he graduated. The word “unrealistic” doesn’t even begin to describe this set-up.

Secondly, there was the section of the book concerning the court-martial proceedings. Even in 1970, hearsay evidence was not allowed, evidence had to be documented, presumptions were squashed and court-martials were not public. The author’s lack of research in this area is appalling.

And these are just the most obvious of the poor constructs. There are simply too many, large and small in scope, to describe in this review.

However, there was one redeeming value to this book. The author may have portrayed Stan as naïve and wishy-washy, but Stan was also consistently portrayed as an honorable and good man, a man who loved his wife and family, a man with a conscience and the guts to follow that conscience.

In reality, it took over half the book to get to the action, the murder mystery. That first half slogged through an overload of background and biographical material on Stan. It also contained material on other characters and situations without relating that material to our protagonist. And the author failed to establish a creditable timeline in relation to these scenarios.

Normally, I would have abandoned a book with such a plethora of problems well before that halfway mark. However, I won the 5th book in the series, Deadly Distractions, in the Goodreads Giveaway Program. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to give that book an honest review without at least reading the first book in the series. So I purchased this book to try to get a feel for the main character and the basis for the series. And I fought with it to the last page.

I surely hope that 5th book is better.
Profile Image for David Caldwell.
1,673 reviews32 followers
June 29, 2013
This is the first Stan Turner mystery.

William Manchee is a master at weaving a multi-plot novel filled with plenty of suspense. He adds plenty of courtroom drama made extremely believable due to his years of experience with the legal system (as a lawyer of course).

Stan is just starting to reach for his dreams of becoming first a lawyer and then a politician. He is also starting his life with his wife and his first child. But with the Vietnam War raging, he is worried about the draft. Just when he thinks he is in the clear, he gets notice he has been drafted. Thinking it will be better to enlist and becoming an officer, Stan joins the Marine Corp and heads for OCS. Suddenly Stan's luck gets even worse. He gets in trouble with his drill sergeant on his very first day. Stan ends up in the hospital and his drill sergeant ends up murdered. Stan is on a path that will bring him into contact with a serial killer, overly-friendly woman , and a trial that could end up with him in front of a firing squad. With just crumbs of leads and a few helpful strangers, Stan is faced with hurdle after hurdle. Even the smallest stumble could mean the end of Stan's marriage, freedom, or even his life.

My only quibble with the book is that printer gremlins did cause several glitches (such as changing the pronoun from he to I or his to my). I did not realize Stan was quite this old. From this book, Stan would be in his mid-sixties in his latest story. He seemed to be younger.

Like a good horror movie monster, this story keeps going after it seems to be done. The more Stan Turner mysteries that I read, the more I like them.
Profile Image for Michelle O'flynn.
114 reviews3 followers
March 5, 2011
I won this book from Goodreads as a first read. While Willima Manchee comes up with a great storyline, it is rather to trite and doesn't really delve into the kinds of dilemmas and emotions that form the motivations of his characters. The main character Stan is idealistic and yet that is contradicted by his near betrayals with at two females who seemingly want to fall all over him. Yet in the main Stan is a strong person, and should not have so easily been tempted, yet also done so many stupid things. He didn't seem to recall that he never actually spoke angrily about the drill sargent; knowing that he could come under close scrutiny why did he allow himself to be in compromising situations with these two females; and then towards the end, he his friends Steve and Rita were eating in a public restaurant when he was meant to be unseen. I think that if William had actually woven a little more ingenuity and detail into the course of events, this would have been a much better book. It would have made it longer, but that still would have made all the difference. I would suggst that Mr. Manchee take a leson from some great commercially viable authors like Michael COnnolly, Jeffrey Deaver and Jonathon Kellerman about how to come develop characters that are both likeable clever and yet believable. All in all if this had been a first effort it was pretty good. But Mr. Manchee has several books to his credit, so I wonder. Maybe I might win another and it may be better.
Profile Image for Julie.
583 reviews65 followers
December 25, 2010
I won Undaunted through the Goodreads First Reads Giveaway on 12/02/2010 and received my copy on 12/13/2010.

I just finished reading Undaunted and I feel like something was taken from me in a way. I was so excited to read this book and through the whole thing, the book felt a bit robotic. Like someone just had a ton of ideas for the book and jotted them down. I hate to say that, but it's my honest opinion.

Undaunted also skipped around. It will be one month in the book and then the next paragraph it will be 3 months later. But in the middle of all of that, there will be a sentence that goes back to something that happened 5 months ago and weighs no bearing on the situation at hand, it just felt like random unnecessary facts.

There were also so many characters that showed up for a sentence or two and then they came back later - I always had to flip back through the book and try to find their name so that I knew what in the world was going on in the story.

The premise of the book really intrigued me - it was a great idea that I think just needed some more feeling behind it. To clarify - it needed more feeling than just - eh.
Profile Image for Charity.
24 reviews1 follower
March 12, 2013
Undaunted is a huge disappointment. What should have been a great story line ends up being trampled to death in the race to the finish. Characters are flat and poorly developed, with wildly varying traits occurring in the same people at different times in the book. Unless the author somehow forgot to mention that more than half the cast is suffering from bipolar disorder, the characters were unrealistic and often irritating.

The writing itself is frustrating to read because there were, at least in the edition that I read, glaring typographical errors. In some cases, entire words were wrong, like the word "innocent" appearing where it clearly should have said "incident." There were also several times where half of a sentence was written in third person, and the other half was in first.

On top of all that, there were several incorrect statements of law and/or legal procedure, which indicate that the author did not research those areas thoroughly.

All in all, it was a great concept that should have been given the time it is due. Instead, it reads as though the author just slapped down words on a page and sent it off to be bound without even reading it over.
Profile Image for Brent Soderstrum.
1,399 reviews18 followers
September 2, 2013
This is the first of the Stan Turner mysteries created by William Manchee. This book starts out with Stan joining the Marines so he can avoid being drafted. This takes place in 1970 when our country was still fighting in the Vietnam War. Stan goes to boot camp and things go downhill from for Stan. His drill sergeant is not a warm and guy. Stan gets beat with a plastic rod and ends up in the infirmary. Then the drill sergeant is killed. Stan is the prime suspect. How does he find the true killer?

It was a fun read. Stan has trouble being friends with women. He is married to Rebekah and stays loyal to her but he sure puts himself in situations that aren't advisable for married men with Rita and massage therapist Nicole. These women help him but come on Stan, what were you thinking.

Manchee weaves a nice story which shows the cruelty men and women can face in boot camp. There are some editing errors that were not caught so if that stuff gets you upset then pass this by. If not enjoy the story.
Profile Image for Julie Barrett.
7,800 reviews138 followers
October 31, 2013
Undaunted by William Manchee
I had read the second book in the author's other series and loved it so much I did go out and buy the other two books and they were just as good.
This book is mainly about Stan Turner and his life, growing up, in high school, college and then married and then his military life.
I recall the draft lottery as my brother had #134 as we sat huddled near the radio that day as the #'s were being announced.
Liked following the military career and found it to be similar to what my son told us about when he was in the army boot camp.
Hard at times to hear of the abuse and dying senselessly. Court trial was a bit different than the regular ones in the public sector.
Liked how the action was there all the time and you had to pay attention to the clues as they came out later in the trial..
Not a typical book I would've picked to read but I really did enjoy the story line and characters, and a bit of travel and learning about the Marines.
I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

3 reviews
July 12, 2011

Undaunted by William Manchee

This is the first book that I read by William Manchee. I was initially curious about this book because of the picture on the cover, I wasn't sure what to expect from this mystery. In the long run,this was a good read and I found myself excited as to what would happen next in the story. I must admit that at first I was a little confused in the first chapters. I thought it was a short short story book and that one story had finished and another beginning, when in reality the story teller was going from past to present. In any case, I think it may have just been my needing to get accustomed to the author's style of writing. I quite liked the story line and suspense. The book was long and a little bit drawn out, but generally I enjoyed the book and anticipate reading more books by William Manchee.

My thanks go to the Publisher who provided this book to me through the GoodReads First Reads program.
Profile Image for Jan.
677 reviews15 followers
January 17, 2011
Time frame, 1960's/1970's Vietnam War. California college student gets married, has kids tries hard not to get drafted. Number comes up, works some deals, goes off to Officer training school w/Marines. The normal nasty drill Sgt. he dislikes gets murdered, student is unjustly accused. A little 101 info on basic training and court martial is woven into the story. Student must be awfully good looking as women full all over themselves to help this unfortunate recruit. Willing and ready to die for him! With a little help from his friends and lawyers and a female reporter the true perpetrator confesses to murder! Saga continues, with more accusations after a suicide. Recruit pulls more help from congressman and leaves the Marines. Stan returns to his wife and kids, and lives happily ever after? Or does he? Will he become a famous lawyer and defend the unjustly accused? Who knows, stay tuned.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Patti.
1,810 reviews
March 8, 2013
Received free thru Goodreads First Read

This was a an interesting story premise, but the writing was just not up to par. It was very raw and unfinished, and not in a good way. The whole beginning was very unsophisticated and, in my opinon, completely unnecessary. It was an information dump, I guess because the author didn't know any way else to get the info out there. It would have been much better had he let it come out via the character's thoughts or actions or even just waiting until it came up later in the book, which it did. The book must have started as a first person POV, then changed to a third person POV, because there were numerous instances of "I did this" instead of "He did this." Grammatical errors abounded.

If you can believe the blurbs on the back of the book (I never do), his later efforts in the series were well-received. I can't say that I'm gonna give a later book a try.
Profile Image for Billjr13.
49 reviews1 follower
January 13, 2011
I won Undaunted by William Manchee from Goodreads and I found it an enjoyable book.
It follows Stan Turner and every man type character that grew up in California during the 50’s. Turner is married and in law school; to avoid the Army draft he joins the Marine Corps and heads to Officer Candidate School. While there his drill sergeant is murdered and his finger prints are on the murder weapon. Charged with murder Stan has to find the real killer with the help of a nurse who has the hots for him and a journalist trying to get a story.
I think most people will enjoy this book and there are two more Stan Turner novels by Manchee out if you like this one. It is an entertaining mystery legal thriller and worth a look if you like the genre.
Profile Image for Meredith.
137 reviews1 follower
January 15, 2011
I won this book through First Reads.

I enjoyed the plot of this book and found it to be a quick read. My issues with the book are that while the narration portions of the book were well written, the conversational portions of the book came across as unrealistic. Something about the wording came across as not how real conversation sounds. I also had difficulty with the point of view changes in the early chapters as it was unclear whose point of view we had switched to and why. Obviously, later into the book it all makes sense.

As I said, I did enjoy the story line and might be interested in reading more Stan Turner Mystery's, but some of the writing felt novice to me.
Profile Image for Steve.
19 reviews
December 26, 2010
For the record, I won Undaunted through the Goodreads First Reads Giveaway and finished just now (12/26/10). It could have been a good book but I didn’t like that it skipped around from person to person without clues that the first person, I, was changing. Time moved like in a bad dream where speed up and slowed down uncontrollably. Events that were important were given too much time and so they were obvious clues that went beyond foreshadowing. The writing style was as if a novice had just written down their thoughts. Had I spent $20 on it, I would have been very disappointed. My opinion, for what it’s worth.
Profile Image for Nicki Markus.
Author 63 books258 followers
March 13, 2015
Ok. This was an average read for me. I was loaned the book by a friend who won a copy in the Goodreads First Reads Giveaway.
There was nothing wrong with the story and I was able to finish reading the book from cover to cover but it never really grabbed me. I was happy enough reading it but I was never truly drawn in.
Nothing was wrong with the characters, but nothing stood out about them either.
The dialogue was my main gripe though as at times it felt really stilted to me and I didn't believe it.

So, while this was a perfectly fin book, there just wasn't any 'wow' factor about it for me. Not one I'd reread or make a particular point of recommending sadly.
Profile Image for Bee.
27 reviews
February 14, 2016
I won a copy of this book a few years ago, I have reread it recently and thought that I ought to give an honest review.

The story itself is an interesting one, I feel that a series of books would be great and I would read more in this series. There are a lot of ideas to explore with regards to the main characters back story and "future" story.

But I couldn't get past the poor spelling and grammar (hence the low stars). I kept noticing such obvious mistakes that I found myself wanting to underline mistakes with a red pen and send it back to the editor!
22 reviews9 followers
March 20, 2014

I won this book through a Goodreads giveaway - thank you. I found the title of the book "Undaunted" to be an appropriate name.

This novel was a quick read, a suspenseful, military mystery re a man forced into the service. He had many problems, solutions, and more problems involving his family and a killing in the Marines. He was accused of this murder and spent much of his time (with the help of others) trying to prove his innocence. The book kept my interest alive and I had difficulty putting it down as I wanted to find out if he was the killer.
Profile Image for Debbie Roberts.
68 reviews2 followers
December 24, 2010
I enjoyed the drama that unfolds in this well written story.
After finishing this book I recommended it to a neighbor and she is now reading it.
I love to share good books!

I won a this copy of "Undaunted" from Goodreads!
Many thanks to Willilam Manchee for offering this in a giveaway, and thank you Goodreads for choosing me as a winner. This is a such a wonderful place to learn about new books, discover authors, share ideas with readers and wrtiers...the list goes on and on.

Profile Image for Gayle.
124 reviews12 followers
December 22, 2010
I won a free copy of this book. It was a good story but I found the writing a little stilted.
Did anyone besides me wonder if the main character was trying to convince me, or himself, that there was nothing
going on with the nurse. He made excuses every time he kissed her. I think a wife would know the difference
between a friendly kiss and a romantic kiss.
Sorry that I can give it only three stars.
Profile Image for Marsha.
1,449 reviews17 followers
May 27, 2015
Undaunted by William Manchee is the first book in the Stan Turner Mysteries. It is a very well written, very quick read. I enjoyed it tremendously. Mostly, in detective/mystery series, the reader picks up the characters at some life point, then flashes show you what led to those events. Undaunted tells the story of Stan Turner from the very beginning, almost biographically. It is amazingly well done.
3 reviews
March 5, 2014
While I rather enjoyed the book, I did find it was slow getting started. The character development was a little to in depth during the first few chapters, and the story didn't even begin until half way through the book. Even when it did start it picked up very slowly.

On the good side, when it did gain some momentum there were some wonderful plot twists that catch you completely by surprise. By the last few chapters I found the book hard to put down.
682 reviews6 followers
March 22, 2015
This is the first book in the Stan Turner mystery series & I have to tell you I was not at all impressed with the first part of the book. The story drug and drug on the first few chapters & frankly, if I had not already read one of his later mysteries I would have put this down after the second chapter. But thank goodness it got a whole lot better about mid way thru the book & in all honesty I had NO clue of the real killer till the ending which is why I'm giving it 3 stars instead of 1.
Profile Image for Richard.
171 reviews3 followers
February 21, 2014
Book 1 in the Stan Turner Mystery series. Mystery/Legal Thriller.
I've read a few books from this series and really enjoyed them, so I decided to make it my goal to read them all.
Undaunted is a fun read with great characters, courtroom drama, suspense, humor, and a few surprises.
Nothing ever works out easily for Stan.
Another book for my favorites shelf.
5 stars.
Profile Image for Connie.
75 reviews13 followers
June 27, 2014

This was an OK read but bless this Marine Hero! He had so many things go wrong and it seemed he was the only one to be able to fix the issues.
I am aware that both Marines and Heros are the best to call when there is trouble but this poor guy was overworked, and should have just locked his door and stayed in bed.

Profile Image for Patricia Ann.
216 reviews8 followers
March 10, 2014
This was a fast read. I was distressed by the grammatical errors, the mixing of first and third person in the narrative, run on sentences, etc. WHY were these not corrected in the years between publications???
Storyline was initially slow moving and the main characters needed to be fleshed out .
Displaying 1 - 30 of 49 reviews

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