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Engage at Dawn


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About the Author

Edward Hochsmann is a retired U. S. Coast Guard search and rescue and law enforcement professional. The veteran mariner, aviator, college professor, and defense analyst has added author to his list of experiences. Ed has settled into a quiet life in the Florida Panhandle and likes reading, police procedurals, contemporary music on the road, and classical music in the office.


"The entire narrative has a conspiratorial feel, as though it's a true story we shouldn't be reading. The intensity of certain moments, the rapid-fire dialogue, and the incredibly high stakes of the plot make it difficult to put the book down, and Hochsmann knows how to masterfully draw out suspense. Engage at Dawn is an imaginative and captivating story, one that explores the nuance of brotherhood and service, along with plenty of rich twists and extraterrestrial tangles, for a uniquely compelling sci-fi thriller."

Self-Publishing Review

A taut and enigmatic SF nail-biter that offers plenty of tension and action...Hochsmann melds high-tech gadgetry and fast action with elements of science fiction in this first-rate action thriller. ...The chapters move seamlessly as new revelations unravel at a relentless pace. The interesting speculations about the destroyed alien vessel and floating alien conspiracy theories are integrated skillfully into the plot, and Hochsmann expertly evokes Coast Guard landscape, military protocols, people, and politics associated with wide-scaled extra-terrestrial conspiracies. His deeply realized characters complement his cleverly executed plot. Ben with his well-rounded world-weariness and edgy impatience makes for an electrifying protagonist who is determined to protect his crew and friends at any cost. His profoundly protective nature and his struggle with realistic moral dilemmas gives an authenticity to his character while the run-ins with DIA Agent Simmons add to his allure. The excessively secretive Simmons and the overly-cautious Samuel are both relatable and convincing. The secondary cast is sketched with equal conviction: they're multifaceted humane characters, each with a full array of strengths and weaknesses, each fighting to realize their collective goal. The crew's everyday interactions add levity while their growing bond reinforces that a normal life exists for them onboard despite the circumstances. Hochsmann seems to have fun while creating Coast Guard protocols and precise military language and culture. It hampers the flow of the narrative, but at the same time the descriptions make the Coast Guard landscape a fascinating place. Some of the military gadgets, including USCGC Kauai and cutters Poplar and Skua are fictional instantiations of the original, but Hochsmann succeeds in infusing over-the-top technology with authenticity. This is a wonderfully intricate SF action thriller, and one not to be missed.

The Prairies Book Review, 4 September 2020

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