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The Furnace (The Tanner Sequence Book 1) by [Johnston, Timothy S.]
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The Furnace (The Tanner Sequence Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in The Tanner Sequence (3 Book Series)
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Editorial Reviews


***** WINNER of the 2015 CYGNUS Award --- Science Fiction Thriller *****
***** WINNER of the 2015 CLUE Award --- Blended Genre Category *****
***** 2015 EPIC Awards Finalist in the Science Fiction Category *****

"The Furnace ... is well-written and engaging ... This is a really good book, and I heartily recommend it." --- Science Fiction

"... fun ... enjoyable ... plenty of action ... entertaining ..." --- SF Site

" ... a Crichtonesque thriller ..." --- K I R K U S

"THE FURNACE --- Scary and Gripping ... An enthralling Sci-Fi thriller ... It is a case of Agatha Christie meets Isaac Asimov with added Crichton for flavouring." ---

"Fans of Michael Crichton or James Patterson will certainly love Timothy S. Johnston." --- Science-Fiction-Review

"... properly gruesome." --- SFcrowsnest

"... a fast-paced, science-fiction/thriller that takes you for a ride from the first page to the last." --- The Qwillery

"Completely original and compelling. A must-read." --- Ardath Mayhar, author of over 60 novels including THE WORLD ENDS IN HICKORY HOLLOW.

"... fantastic ... Highly recommended." --- TrekWeb

"I was absolutely blown away by The Furnace ... Johnston is an exemplary novelist." --- Dreamworld Book Reviews

"The suspense was intense ..." --- The Bibliophilic Book Blog

"... an edge-of-your-seat page turner!" --- Moonrise Book Blog

"... wonderfully diabolical and frightening ..." --- Martha's Bookshelf

"... a gripping page-turner ..." --- Ramblings from this Chick

"... I was thoroughly entertained by this novel ..." --- Booklover Book Reviews 

From the Author

From Timothy S. Johnston and Carina Press:



THE VOID (2015)

Timothy S. Johnston is a lifelong fan of techno-thrillers and science-fiction thrillers in both print and film. His greatest desire is to contribute to the genre which has given him so much over the past four decades. He wishes he could personally thank every novelist, screenwriter, filmmaker, director and actor who has ever inspired him to tell great stories. He has been an educator for nearly twenty years and a writer for twenty-five. He lives on planet Earth, but he dreams of the stars. Visit to register for news alerts,  read reviews and learn more about his current and upcoming techno-thrillers. Follow Timothy on Facebook and Twitter @TSJ_Author.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1220 KB
  • Print Length: 390 pages
  • Publisher: Carina Press (December 23, 2013)
  • Publication Date: December 23, 2013
  • Sold by: Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00F942TT2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #276,547 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Recently, I mentioned to a friend that I wanted something different to read. He told me that he had read the reviews on The Furnace and thought it looked interesting. A science fiction, locked-room mystery would certainly be something I had never read before so I decided to give it a try. Almost immediately, I was drawn into the story and found it to be a well written, fast paced, immensely enjoyable book which I had trouble putting down. I could say more but I don't want to divulge any of the plot. I certainly would recommend this book.
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Format: Paperback
In 2401 AD, Confederate Combined Forces Security Division, Homicide Section Lieutenant Kyle Tanner investigates crimes at the most isolated locales in the solar system. His success rate is much greater than his colleagues because he cares about the family members of the butchered victims. Thus he obstinately stalks deadly predators with a determination fueled by his need to tell the loved ones he executed the monster. Other investigators do not give a damn about the victim or those grieving the loss.

In a dive on Mercury, Tanner captures Quint Sirius who killed his only friend. After he breaks his prisoner's kneecap, he takes him to CCF Headquarters. CCF Lieutenant Commander Bryce Manning informs Tanner that earth wants him to go to SOLEX One, an energy gathering station closer to the sun than Mercury. SOLEX One Command Group Chief Jace Lassiter explains there are six officers, four scientists and five crewmen until someone murdered and mutilated crewman James Chin. His assignment is to find the killer. The station Captain Fredericks greets him with disdain while the Systems Officer Shaheen Ramachandra welcomes him. However, Tanner finds no motives for the death or mutilation as the cause is much more insidious to both ends of the pipe line.

This is a great science fiction locked station mystery as Tanner is only the second visitor to SOLEX One. The key to the exciting thriller is the futuristic world of Timothy S. Johnston feels real whether it is the tunnels of Mercury or an isolated energy gathering station. Tanner is terrific as a caring yet kick butt protagonist. With a delightful late twist, readers will appreciate this early twenty-fifth century whodunit and why.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just wanted to recommend this book. It's quite the page turner. I literally could not put it down. Been looking for an Crichton-esque author for quite some time. T. Johnston could very well be that author! Could definitely see it becoming a movie
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Floating in space between the sun and Mercury, Lieutenant Kyle Tanner has only sixteen hours of oxygen left and not enough acceleration to get anywhere useful. Worse, his radiation shielding is toast. He’s dying. But before he goes, he has a story to tell.

Dispatched to the SOLEX One facility between Mercury and Sol to investigate what might or might not be a murder, Tanner encounters the most baffling case of his career. The death appears accidental, but the body has been tampered with, the head and hands removed. Given identification has already been made, the mutilation makes no sense. Nor do the next two deaths. The two after that make a horrid sort of sense. Tanner is too close to breaking the case and the killer is on the run.

I really enjoyed ‘The Furnace’. I read it in two sittings and was not pleased about being told to put the book aside for something as trivial as dinner. So we had guests. I held the fate of fourteen, twelve, no…ten people in my hands. Yeah, at times, the body count escalated about that quickly. The action was tense, the mystery convoluted and interesting and the gore properly gruesome. Johnston held no punches while delivering his tale.

The reader will be left with questions at the end. The main mystery is solved before Tanner finds himself drifting at a leisurely three kilometres-per-second through space. The story is greater, however, and the epilogue doesn’t quite sit the lid tight on the pot. That’s fine. To further my little analogy, whatever escapes will be interesting fodder for new adventures. The science fiction aspect of the story is just as well done as the mystery. The world is well-constructed and interesting enough to have me reaching for the next book in the series.

Written for SFCrowsnest.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Two good things about having a hurt knee and being told to stay in bed when you get home from work.

1 - Your spouse spoils you by bringing you dinner and drinks.
2 - Good excuse to watch Charlie Chan movies and read a new book.

The Furnace is a well written mystery, with strong horror elements. It's by definition also science fiction, but that strikes me as the third of the three elements.

It starts out with a Verdun quote from 1916. Good start.

First sentence of the story - "Certain death approached." Ooo...

I read that to my wife and she replied "That's a grabbing start." The first two pages are a really good opening. Reaches out and pulls you in to the story.

The characters are good. You will be able to guess the two main characters, and I found them likable. I also got their motivations. Lt. Kyle Tanner, Homicide detective of the Security Division seems human with human flaws. He's good, very good at what he does, but he isn't perfect at all. I really like Anna as well. Not as sure as to why, but I did like the character.

I kept reading Jimmy Chin as Jimmy Chan, which caused me a few moments of mental distress.

I really loved the description of the Sun when Lt. Tanner goes on his first EVA - "Part magical, part nightmare."

Some really odd elements to the story which worked well. What other mystery teaches you how to calculate the thickness of folded paper?

I understand why The Furnace is described as a locked room mystery, but that description seems too limiting to me. I would call it a mystery, that slightly over half way in, morphs to more of a horror story, with the strong science fiction elements.

Constructive criticisms.
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