Murder on the Dodder by Keith Bruton | Book Reviews | Crime/Thriller
Murder on the Dodder

By Mark Rice

This is a Dublin hitman’s diary, a fast-moving thriller with a high body count. We step into Patrick Callen’s world as it threatens to spin out of control. The root cause of his problems is that he fell in love. Before this, he was a relentless cold, cool, calculating killer, with a steady stream of successful contract killings. Unfortunately for him, his chosen love interest comes with strings attached, leaving him now trying to satisfy two employers, whilst keeping his new love interest oblivious to his trade.

Patrick Callen is Dublin’s “Equalizer” but on two wheels and possibly a mouthful of steroids. We cycle around the city and suburbs with him as he juggles to keep all his balls in the air.

However, Patrick’s not perfect, I mean who is? For a man so calm and decisive under pressure, an impulsive petulant act almost proves fatal. We are just thinking that the week couldn’t get much worse for him – and then it does. The novel relentlessly charges forward with the author constantly surprising and wrongfooting the reader as Patrick battles to meet super-tight deadlines, set by sadistic, viciously evil individuals.

The magic of this book is that we continue to sympathise and be on the side of, let’s face it, a contract killer, even after his unedifying life is revealed before us. Before I read this book I always felt that winning the reader over was going to be a hard sell but Keith Bruton makes it look easy. Patrick Callen is a lot more than a one-dimensional character. He carries a dry sense of humour and a love of classical music. He also seems to be a dab hand at cooking (cooking lesson on page 135/136) and knows a good wine when he tastes one. Add to that he is an animal lover and in his darkest moments, he is often caught thinking of his rarely walked long-suffering dog, Simone. In summary, Patrick Callen himself is a bit of an animal but when all is said and done, he’s our animal and his heart is in the right place.

Following the release of this novel, Bord Failte will have its work cut out trying to encourage its readers to visit Dublin. A city, seemingly populated, by an inordinately large amount of low-life who live and operate, in uncomfortably close proximity, to the ordinary law-abiding local citizens and tourists alike. On the other hand, if this novel becomes a best seller and a blockbuster movie to boot, I could foresee Dublin City tourist guides with pink flags leading hordes of tourists along the cobbled streets and lanes of the old city, re-tracing Pat’s murderous routes and bloody meeting places.

Murder on the DodderAs a fringe benefit to reading this novel, you will pick up a detailed knowledge of Dublin’s historic streets, statues, bridges, churches, and public houses not to mention literary greats.

It’s like getting a history of Dublin lesson for free.

(c) Mark Rice

Mark Rice is an Irish published fiction writer with books on Amazon  Murder On Board, Murder in Maspalomas and Locked Down Bubbling Up and his blog

Order your copy of Murder on the Dodder online here.


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