Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Interview with crime novelist Jonathan Dunne

Novelist Jonathan Dunne joins me today and we’re talking about his new crime fiction, The Black Hand.

During his virtual book tour, Jonathan will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there, too!

During the tour, the book is on sale for $0.99.

Jonathan Dunne is a native of Dublin's north inner city. The Black Hand is his second novel in the crime genre. The Takeover - his first crime novel went on to wide acclaim and regularly featured in Amazon's bestseller lists.

He is also an avid MMA journalist who has penned articles for some of Ireland's biggest publications. He holds a Degree from the Dublin Institute of Technology and is a strong advocate of lifelong learning and education. After returning to complete his leaving certificate as an adult in Jonathan has went on to have four novels published.

Welcome, Jonathan. Please share a little bit about your current release.
The book is essentially a mystery. In the aftermath of a gang war, a mysterious figure steps into the void and takes over not only, the Irish underworld, but swathes of the criminal landscape in Europe.

There is essentially a chess game in play. My protagonist, Jacob Boylan, is considered Ireland’s most lethal criminal. He is living a quiet life abroad, so begins a persecution of his family in order to lure him from hiding. What occurs is an almighty battle between the Black Hand and Boylan.

Both are formidable in their fields and yet the question lingers, all through the book – who the Black Hand?

What inspired you to write this book?
The theme song to Peaky Blinders – believe it or not! Nick Cave’s Red Right Hand presented the omnipresent and unseen crime lord who pulls the strings while remaining deeply concealed.

Excerpt from The Black Hand:
Alfie Giles was considered one of Ireland’s most talented criminals. His capacity to avoid publicity was a rarity among the criminal fraternity. Alfie was that rare breed who was driven by money, and money alone. He detested loud-mouths and flashy criminals. Most criminals – he surmised – that ended up in the papers, wanted to be in the papers. Alfie was a top-class logistics man and his genius lay in the aftermath of a robbery. He was the man who took over once the job was done.
Three of Ireland’s most high-profile robberies had Alfie’s stamp all over them. Unlike most of his community, Alfie kept abreast of the latest developments in DNA detection and had a voracious appetite for learning when it came to technological advancements in security. At the tender age of forty, he had completed two degrees; one in mechanical engineering and the other in criminology. He completed at least two courses a year in security installation and cyber security.
Throughout his criminal career he had built a network of associates that were paid well and trusted implicitly. Whether it was steel works, scrap yards, or undertakers, Alfie kept them as close as a wallet nestled in his inside pocket.
Alfie was nondescript in every respect; his features were forgettable, as was his height, weight, and dress sense. His car was small, and his home was a three-bedroomed terrace house on the periphery of the north inner city of Dublin.
His criminal contacts were the elite of the criminal underworld. He never dealt with anyone involved in feuding, or who was a movie-star gangster. Quite simply, no criminal’s stock was higher than Alfie Giles. He was trusted, efficient, low-key, and quite simply, a genius in his field.
So, when a new outfit offered him a job – he politely agreed. However, they were stone cold murderers and they were slowly and methodically taking over the criminal landscape. Alfie knew they had butchered a dozen major criminals, so he was on-board almost immediately – at least, that’s what they thought.
Alfie had a contingency plan in place for this type of situation. He had helped many criminals flee, and the ones that followed his rules had never been found. Only once in his career had he broken his own rules, and that was for Jacob Boylan.
Alfie’s own flight required no logistics. It had been planned for years. When that day came, he wanted it to be effortless.
Alfie was ready. His new name was George Armstrong, and he had a bustling restaurant and car dealership in Warsaw, Poland. A plastic surgeon was prepared, but he deemed it unnecessary. His flight was in the guise of a holiday, and Alfie (now George) would travel on forged documentation by boat, train, and car, where he would detour across the vast terrain of Europe. In all, it would take one week. Alfie was diligent when it came to other people’s lives; even more so when it was his own.
In the meantime, he continued to work with the new outfit. His own research had alerted him to their sophistication; however, they were not in Alfie Giles’s league. He worked diligently for his new masters, but just before the job was due to go ahead, Alfie was gone.
His escape had been patient and meticulous. And one week to the day, he finally arrived in his Warsaw apartment.
On arrival, the barrel of a gun was placed to his head as he dropped his bags. Alfie was so stunned that speech deserted him.
‘Mr Giles, you have reneged on our agreement,’ said the voice in the shadows. ‘Your stock has fallen. Follow me, please.’
Alfie couldn’t comprehend the wretched scenario unfolding before his eyes. The street lamps cascaded through the living room, revealing two armed men with weapons ready.
‘Why did you betray us?’ asked the voice.
As Alfie tried to find his voice, he heard the weapon being cocked.
‘I was afraid,’ he replied nervously.
‘You’ve…killed a lot of people.’
There was a chuckle from the other two men. It chilled Alfie to his marrow.
‘Mr Giles, we only remove people who break agreements. Like you’ve just done. If you had completed the task at hand, you wouldn’t be in this predicament.’
‘I’m sorry. Your organisation is unknown, and the stories…’ replied Alfie. ‘I’m a careful man. You’re too bloodthirsty for me. Can we make this quick?’
‘Make what quick?’ came the reply.
‘You’re here to kill me?’
The three men turned to a shadow sitting in the corner. Through a single ray of light, Alfie could see nothing but a black, gloved hand. The black hand gestured ever so slightly, and the three men turned to Alfie.
‘Finish the job. And you will live,’ came the order.
Alfie crumbled to the floor in relief. His breath came in short rasps and flashes appeared before his eyes. When the panic subsided, he was alone.
When he regained his senses, Alfie Giles was sure of two things: one, he had been outsmarted by a superior enemy; and two, that enemy had a name – The Black Hand.

What exciting story are you working on next?
The Florist is my next project. It’s a heart breaking story of an unwitting pawn. The story is the unravelling of a decent human who simply falls in love with the wrong woman. The ramifications of this are profound as we watch the kindness and humanity slowly fade, only to be replaced by a murderous desire for revenge.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
That’s a hard question – I still don’t believe it at times. Each step is a little victory. A new contract, a good review or a little acknowledgement goes a long way. I write because I love it. That should be enough for anyone.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
No. I work in Insurance Regulation. My workday starts at 5am. By 5.30am I’m already on the computer. If ideas are spilling over – I’ll take a notepad on the commute and write for the entire journey. You can make the time any place, anywhere. No excuses. If you’re a writer – you should be writing.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I write with my heart rather than my head. You pour your heart onto the page and hope for genuine feeling. The reader has to feel the words. Emotion is transferable. Sorrow is transferable. Suffering is transferable and ultimately so is triumph.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I’d no plans. Too busy living life!

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I would ask readers to take a chance on aspiring writers. There are truly beautiful novels lying in that bargain basement. Read, review and rant about them. We live and die by word of mouth.


Thank you for being a guest on my blog!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

James Robert said...

Thank you so much for taking time to bring to our attention another great read. I appreciate it and thank you also for the giveaway.

Jonathan Dunne said...

Thanks for the interview, Guys...A real pleasure

Bernie Wallace said...

What is your favorite scene from the book?

Jonathan Dunne said...

Hi Bernie,

The one in this interview comes close...however it has to be the colossal assault on Jacob's family by the Black Hand...

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a great book.

Victoria Alexander said...

Great post, thanks for sharing :)

Bernie Wallace said...

Who is your favorite author currently writing?

Danielle merkle said...

Sounds like a good read