Waterborne by J Luke Bennecke

I’d like to thank Mindbuck Media for so generously providing me a copy for review.
All opinions are, of course, my own.



Book Details

Genre: Thriller
Publication Date: April 22, 2021
Length: 340 pages
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
ISBN: 9781684336746

Book Description

When Californians start getting sick with flu-like symptoms, traumatized engineer Jake Bendel is once again forced to work with the FBI to discover the cause.

With his new desalination plants behind schedule and searing pressure from the California Governor, Jake uncovers a secret network of vengeful terrorists planning catastrophic genetic modifications.

But before the engineer can find a way to cure the masses, he himself is injected with the virus, forcing him to dig deep to track down the leader of the terrorist group.

Using strength from recent losses in order to save the lives of millions, Jake overcomes drone strikes and bunker bombs to discover the mastermind behind the plot, but not until the very end does he realize he’s been chasing someone who can’t possibly be caught.


J. Luke Bennecke is a native Californian and veteran civil engineer who has spent his career helping people by improving Southern California roadways. In addition to his first book, Civil Terror: Gridlock, which became an Amazon Bestseller, Bennecke has written several novels and screenplays, a creative process he thoroughly enjoys. He has a BS in civil engineering from Cal Poly Pomona, an MBA from Cal State San Bernardino, a private pilot’s certificate, and is a partner in an engineering firm based in Riverside. In his role as philanthropist, he awards scholarships annually to high school seniors at his alma mater.

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Bennecke resides in Southern California with his wife of 30 years, whom he enjoys traveling with, and three spunky cats. In his leisure time, he spends his hours flying, learning about innovative tech, playing golf, and catching up with his grown daughters.

Bennecke is a member of International Thriller Writers and looks forward to attending ThrillerFest every year in New York.

Connect on his website, Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

My Thoughts & Takeaways

Apparently, my not-so-thrilling life is full of thrilling books now, but I’m not complaining! This is a stand-alone book, but the second in the Jake Bendel thriller series by Bennecke.

A love a good apocalyptic-ish book so when I read the premise of Waterborne, I was immediately intrigued. Jake Bendel is an engineer who is still trying to recover from the happenings of the last big fiasco he had to deal with (i.e. book one). But, Californians are getting flu-like symptoms and he has to help the FBI figure out why.

The pace is quick while still controlled. Don’t worry about the technical aspects of the story. As Bennecke is an engineer himself, it’s clear that he’s comfortable “dumbing it down” for the rest of us (thanks for that BTW!). I found it fascinating that he took what sounds like a very successful career in engineering and turned it into what looks like will be a successful series.

I would give this a solid 3.5 stars (rounded up to 4) and that’s only because this isn’t my typical preference. I think this book is perfect for anyone that loves thrillers, apocalyptic-esque stories, science-based thrillers without being SciFi, and so on.

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Ashley Hubbard

Ashley Hubbard is a blogger and freelance writer based in Nashville, Tennessee focusing on sustainability, travel, books, plants, coffee, veganism, mental health, and more. She has two other websites - wild-hearted.com and odditiesandcuriositiestravel.com

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