The Old Corsair

Fiction - Mystery - Historical
462 Pages
Reviewed on 08/22/2023
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Shannon Winings for Readers' Favorite

Nearly a decade ago, Terrie Murphy lost her sister and she still does not have many answers. She turned to the Navy to find the answers herself and now works as an intelligence officer. Her first assignment takes her to Maine, where she is able to start digging deeper into her haunting past. However, instead of finding answers, she only uncovers more secrets and death. She learns of the ship Neptune’s Trident and Captain Tunney who just may be linked to her sister's death. Yet, people have done much to keep this secret and they aren't quite willing to let it go. Will she be able to discover the truth with her life intact?

The Old Corsair by Michael DeStefano was wonderfully well written. The imagery in the book was so vivid that I felt the author actually painted me a picture of what was happening so I could see it with my own eyes. It was beautiful and satisfying. The book started with just as much detail but limited information that made me want to read more and see how the story progressed. In addition, the characters were unique and interesting. I felt for the main character, Terrie, as she wanted to find out what happened to her sister. Instead, she ran head-first into a decades-old secret with so many questions and trap doors that I wasn't sure how she would get out. This author definitely has a new fan and I'm excited to see what is coming next.

Saifunnissa Hassam

Michael DeStefano's The Old Corsair is a mystery and historical tale set in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. In 2013, Lt. Terrie Murphy, a young naval intelligence officer, joins the Navy's intelligence center in Portsmouth. At the historic Badger Island marina, she discovers the logbook of an American merchant ship, the Justice, presumed lost in 1788. Intrigued, Terrie researches colonial-era newspapers and correspondence. She learns of Captain Vernon Tunney, known as "the Old Corsair." Tunney fought Barbary corsairs and captured their flagship. Terrie's research is halted. An expert on the Middle East, she is fluent in Arabic and Pashto. Her work on Middle East materials reveals inexplicable links to the past. An American ship, "Neptune’s Trident," presumed lost in 1850, is of importance to Middle Eastern terrorists. The tension and pace of the story rise dramatically.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Michael DeStefano's The Old Corsair for its gripping suspense and the complex character of Terrie Murphy, her courage and tenacity. Terrie comes under growing, intense, and life-threatening pressure to stop her investigations. But she is tenacious. I liked the way Terrie's character opens up from a fiercely independent and solitary young woman to one who cares for her colleagues, their achievements, and personal grief. I liked the way Michael DeStefano brings in the other characters, including Terrie's colleague and friend, Lt. Jack O'Hara. His intelligence, his empathy and honesty help Terrie to uncover the mysteries of the merchant ships, and to identify the people who want to stop her. I liked the development of teamwork as the story twists and turns through dangerous life-threatening situations. A spellbinding tale of a young woman's incredible courage, of 18th-century American merchant ships, and The Old Corsair.

Gobi Jane

The Old Corsair by Michael DeStefano is a masterly blend of mystery and suspense, following a compelling female protagonist. Terrie Murphy has just discovered vital information about the murder of her sister. With the press and the government mute, she decides to handle it her way. She trains to be a Naval Intelligence officer in the guise of investigating her sister’s murder. Stationed at a site for the demolition of an old marina on Badger Island, she discovers startling information buried in old newspapers, a Navy’s classified library, and most importantly, the logbook of a merchant vessel from 1788 that went missing. Now Terrie is in the midst of investigating a mysterious ship called Neptune Trident, run by Captain Vernon “Cyclops” Tunney. As she gets closer to the truth, enemies work hard to stop her, including the government.

The story is gripping and I enjoyed the way the author pursues motivation in the protagonist. Initially, Terrie just wants to solve the murder of her sister, and she makes major decisions to achieve this goal. Surprisingly, she becomes embroiled in a mystery that goes back two centuries and makes enemies that are equally determined to cover up the truth. As I read the story, I couldn’t help but fear for the protagonist. She is genuinely flawed and her drive to uncover the truth also blinds her. The prose is great, sprinkled with strong descriptions. The plot is well imagined and deftly written, featuring themes of murder, adventure, and a young woman’s unrelenting quest for the truth. The Old Corsair is a page-turner, written in a cinematic style that floods the reader’s imagination with strong imagery.