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Saturday 4 April 2020

‘The Good Killer’ by Harry Dolan

Published by Head of Zeus Ltd,
4 February 2020.
ISBN: 978-1-8-389337-46 (HB)

The author is a new thriller writer to me, and a true diamond in the dust. I can’t wait to read his earlier novels.

This story, narrated in the present tense, centres on Sean and Molly a happily married couple who live quiet, unassuming lives under the radar in Houston for reasons that aren’t immediately apparent. Molly writes and indie-publishes e-books under a nom de plume, and Sean earns a crust from carpentry.

Molly signs on for a women’s only retreat at a Montana ranch that features activities such as meditation, yoga and riding.  Sean drops her off at the airport then decides to pop into a local shopping mall to buy a pair of boots. A mass shooting incident unfolds there and Sean, an ex soldier, with no regard for his own safety, rushes into the fray, takes down the perpetrator, who acted through unrequited love, and then goes on the run.  The onlookers’ mobile phone footage of Sean’s heroics goes viral and is viewed by two characters Adam and Jimmy who, respectively, for reasons of their own, are determined to wreak vengeance against Sean for an art robbery and for the death of Jimmy’s brother, Cole.

Enter Houston detective Garza who is tasked to interview Sean and investigate the mall incident.  He has his work cut out crisscrossing over multiple states in order to catch up with the elusive Sean who is joined by loyal Molly.

 A whirlwind game of cat and mouse, this is a fast-paced, action packed, thriller with a handful of vivid characters. The dialogue is easy on the ear, the prose is original and never falters to capture the essence of the helter-skelter and the ending is satisfyingly and ably wrapped up.  Highly recommended.
Reviewer: Serena Fairfax
Harry Dolan graduated from Colgate University, where he majored in philosophy and studied fiction writing with the novelist Frederick Busch. He earned a master's degree in philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and currently works for several years as freelance editor. He grew up in Rome, New York, and now lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with his partner Linda Randolph.

Serena Fairfax spent her childhood in India, qualified as a lawyer in England and practised in London for many years. She began writing by contributing feature articles to legal periodicals   then turned her hand to fiction. Having published nine novels all, bar one, hardwired with a romantic theme, she has also written short stories and accounts of her explorations off the beaten track that feature on her blog. A tenth, distinctly unromantic, novel is a work in progress. Thrillers, crime and mystery narratives, collecting old masks and singing are a few of her favourite things.

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