Murder on the Dodder by Keith Bruton | Magazine | Crime | Interviews

By Keith Bruton

Patrick Callen is The Lemon Man, a bicycle-riding hitman with mild OCD in Dublin, Ireland. Murder on the Dodder is the second book in the Lemon Man series, which I had lots of fun writing. I think fans of Patrick Callen will enjoy the thrills and spills in Murder on the Dodder

I’ve gone a little darker with the sequel, especially with Patrick’s relationships. His boss, The Bronze Man, his girlfriend, Olivia, gun seller, Jack Magee, whom he sees as a father figure, and Junkie Jake, his street contact. Not only do Patrick’s relationships change, but his past addiction to drugs also comes back to haunt him. Though there are moments of violence in the book, it has hints of Irish charm and eccentric characters that I feel the reader can have a good time with. 

Coming up with unique characters is the easy part. All a writer has to do is leave the house. The minute you step onto any public transport or enter any pub or shop, you will meet a variety of people from different backgrounds. The Irish are very open, and strangers are willing to give you their whole life story very quickly. Besides interacting with other people, you can watch movies, TV shows, and read every day to get inspiration for character development. 

I learned a lot from the first book and still made plenty of mistakes on the first draft of the sequel. It required many long days and weeks of working hard on the plot, which I feel is the hardest part of writing a book. Characters and the setting come naturally to me. Coming up with a unique story is the difficult part, as is having it all come together in the end.

Keith Bruton

I think outlining your book is very important—not necessarily going into great detail in every chapter but making sure you hit the right beats in each act. A notebook will come in handy when jotting down ideas at home or on the go. You can also use your phone for voice notes if something you see could be featured in your book. For outlining, I think using different software, like Plot Factory, Plottr, and Scrivener, are good tools to use for fleshing your book out.

Another important thing to do before writing your book is to have someone with experience take a look at your outline. I’ve made mistakes in the past by writing a whole book before getting a second opinion or advice on where I could make changes to my plot.

As the years go by, there are more and more writers, particularly in the crime genre. The competition is stiff, and you’re up against authors from the past, new ones, self-published authors, and writers who have been around for 50 years and who are still publishing books with a loyal readership like Stephen King and Dean Koontz.

As a young author, I try to promote my book on social media. Instagram, for me, has been the best out of the lot. I can engage with book lovers and people who are interested in reading my books. Facebook and X are also good ways to connect with other authors. I try my hardest to post at least three times a week on social media. This could be just a post about my upcoming book or something I’m currently reading or watching on TV.

Though it seems like a lonely world being a hitman, Patrick has so many people in his life he’s close to and who are more than just work colleagues or contacts, but family. It’s another reason why readers will grow to like Patrick. He’s still human, after all, even if he kills for a living. And when you find out he’s murdering lowlifes, you find yourself in a weird way rooting for him.  

Murder on the Dodder will take Patrick into dark places and make him perform hits that will put everything on the line. Writing about the city of Dublin is second nature to me. I was born and bred here. I’m only a fifteen-minute walk to the city center, which I adore. This makes it easier to research for the book, and Google Maps goes a long way.

Like Patrick Callen, he sometimes has a love-hate relationship with Dublin. From the miserable weather, the herds of tourists, the drunks spilling out from pubs, and the horrendous traffic, which is why he cycles to his jobs. To quote Burt Lancaster in The Sweet Smell of Success, as he watches a fight spill out of a nearby club while on the streets of New York, “I love this dirty town.” 

The most important thing as a writer is to take your time. There is no rush. It can be difficult, especially when you go online and see authors pumping out multiple books like it’s nothing every year. The goal is to write something original and exciting that hopefully the readers will find entertaining, and most importantly, you will enjoy writing.

All will be revealed in Murder on the Dodder. How far will Patrick go to save the people he loves? Sacrifices will need to be made, and as always with The Lemon Man, there will be blood.

(c) Keith Bruton




About Murder on the Dodder:

Get Gun
Kill Doyle
Save Jack

The eagerly awaited sequel to The Lemon Man, winner of the Ned Kelly Award for Best International Novel and a Deadly Pleasures Magazine Top 10 Paperback of the Year.

Patrick Callen is a bike-riding hitman with mild OCD trying to save his crumbling relationship with his live-in girlfriend while racing through Dublin to save his kidnapped mentor from execution. The ransom: ticking off a to-do list of murders that will make Patrick a target of the police, the mob, and his closest friends…and doom his romance…if it doesn’t get him killed first.

Order your copy online here.

About the author

Keith Bruton is a writer from Dublin, Ireland. He studied at Technological University Dublin receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Management in 2014. He lived in Toronto, Canada for four years. He currently resides in Dublin with his partner.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get all of the latest from delivered directly to your inbox.

Featured books