Thriller fans who were up early this morning were treated to a big announcement when Sean Parnell, the former U.S. Army airborne ranger turned bestselling author of Outlaw Platoon, a nonfiction account of the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division’s heroic stand in the mountains of Afghanistan, unveiled the cover for his first fiction book, a thriller called Man of War, on Fox & Friends.
We’ve been tracking Parnell’s fiction debut since the end of last year, back when it had the working title of Backlash. It’s also on our list of Fifty Must-Read Thrillers Hitting Stores in 2018, though very little was known about the plot back when that list came out in January. Now, all the details are out, including the plot synopsis, cover art, and the release date.
“Fast, hard, and effortlessly authentic—both lead character Eric Steele and author Sean Parnell are the real deal.”—Lee Child
“An exciting, action-packed debut! Bristling with intrigue, deceit, power, and treason—once you pick this book up, you will NOT be able to put it down. Sean Parnell has knocked it out of the park!”—Brad Thor
The New York Times bestselling author of Outlaw Platoon makes his fiction debut with this electrifying military thriller—a gripping tale of action, suspense, and international intrigue that introduces a compelling new hero, Eric Steele.
Eric Steele is the best of the best—an Alpha—an elite clandestine operative assigned to a US intelligence unit known simply as the “Program.” A superbly trained Special Forces soldier who served several tours fighting radical Islamic militants in Afghanistan, Steele now operates under the radar, using a deadly combination of espionage and brute strength to root out his enemies and neutralize them.
But when a man from Steele’s past attacks a military convoy and steals a nuclear weapon, Steele and his superiors at the White House are blindsided. Moving from Washington, DC, to the Middle East, Europe, and Africa, Steele must use his considerable skills to hunt this rogue agent, a former brother-in-arms who might have been a friend, and find the WMD before it can reach the United States—and the world is forever changed.
Along with the high-praise from Brad Thor and Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author C.J. Box called Parnell’s Man of War a “breakneck-speed thriller with enough action and combat to satisfy any reader,” and said his new protagonist, Eric Steele, “a one-man army.” Box finished with, “Sean Parnell uses his background in tactics and weapons to bust into the ranks of the best thriller writers out there,” which will no doubt have readers pumped up to get their hands on it.
On Fox & Friends this morning, Parnell announced that publication is set for Tuesday, September 11, 2018, which also happens to be Patriots Day, the annual day of observance to remember those who were injured or killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001.
I reached out to Sean Parnell (who is also the CEO of Branding Freedom) this morning, who told me his “number one goal with Man of War was to write a fast-paced and entertaining story, with a diverse cast of characters who all have nuance and depth.” As for the plot, Parnell said he crammed “as much action and ass-kicking, cutting edge tech and tactics, and all the latest weapons into this book,” before adding, “there’s also some politics. And sex.”
“Eric Steele has been a character that’s been on my mind for over 10 years now,” said Parnell. “I came up with him in Afghanistan. Steele is a guy who loves America. He sees this nation as a ‘shining city upon a hill,’ and is willing to give his life to keep it that way. Steele doesn’t hesitate to eliminate America’s enemies with extreme prejudice, but he also embodies what’s best of the American warrior ethos. He protects the helpless and innocent, even if it means deviating from the mission at hand to do it. In fact, his altruism is tested like never before in this book”
As for what fans can expect when they dive into this one, prepare for an authentic, action-packed reading experience!
“I also wanted this book to be as real as possible. I want the combat and action to feel authentic. To give the reader a sense of what it’s like to have a round crack by your head. How it feels to lose a friend. The smell of blood in a fresh wound. . . I really hope this book puts the reader there with Steele on his ops.”
Readers anxious to get their pre-orders in early, can purchase Man of War here, or anywhere else books are sold. And make sure to check back, we’ll have plenty of coverage for Parnell’s fiction debut leading up to its highly-anticipated release this September!
Update: 9:04 am ET
Brian Kilmeade, one of the hosts of Fox & Friends, just posted Parnell’s interview on his Facebook page. Watch it below!
Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck is the editor-in-chief of The Real Book Spy, and one of the thriller genre’s most well-recognized critics. He currently lives in southwest Michigan with his wife and their five children. For more information, make sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook!