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Released: May 2018
ISBN: 9781370854424
Kindle US, Kindle UK
Apple, Kobo, Nook
Author: Jonathan Dunne
Length: Novel
Genre: Thriller
Price: $4.99

Amazon US - Amazon UK - Goodreads

In the aftermath of Ireland’s most deadly gang war, Dublin’s ruling family has scattered to the wind.

Into the void steps a criminal genius known only as The Black Hand. His organisation’s powerful grip is ruthless, bloody and barbaric.

With Europe’s biggest crime in play, The Devil needs a distraction. And The Black Hand needs Jacob Boylan to return to Irish shores. He will stop at nothing to provoke Dublin’s most lethal criminal out of hiding.

But has the wily genius misstepped? As all eyes are on Jacob, the Dublin exile carefully plans a gangland wipeout, for he is nobody’s pawn.

The Hit

The Glaswegian sat sipping his coffee as the St Patrick’s Day parade rolled on by. It always amazed him that the Irish celebrated a man who unleashed Catholicism and all its ills on Ireland. They should be burning the effigies instead of celebrating them. He let the thought linger for a few seconds, then cleared his mind of all distractions. He had a job to do.

It was just after midday and he wouldn’t move until the band marched down O’Connell Street. The Glaswegian needed the noise to disguise the carnage he was about to let loose. Half of his contract had been paid. The other half would be transferred upon completion of the assignment. Fifteen more minutes passed as he calmly ran his thumb over the edge of his cup. The coffee was good; not great, just good.

The band began their journey into the heart of Dublin as the Glaswegian ran a crisp white cloth over every surface he touched. Nothing was left to chance. He slipped off the main street and carefully shielded his appearance from every form of surveillance. His black beard, dark eyes, and protruding teeth were all false. The chances of being identified were negligible, but he was meticulous in that respect.

The old structure rested halfway down a urine-soaked back street. It had a fire escape leading to several windows. He knew the window, the layout, and the schematics of this building intimately. Quietly and deliberately, he made his way into the building and followed the carefully constructed holes that led to the basement. When he reached it, he found an old lift shaft with a long ladder leading down into the vault. From this point onwards, he listened intently as the drumming of the bands outside got louder and louder. Perfect, he thought, as he began his downward climb. The insulation confused him until he realised it was sound-proof—an extra precaution to further disguise the noise of the ongoing construction.

The Glaswegian allowed himself a rare smile. This was a team he admired. They were, like him, professional in their approach to criminality. Slowly, he unsheathed a blade and cut a section of the insulation, large enough to crawl through. As he crept into the vault, he noticed the team of four men working in perfect harmony. One was bagging the goods, another was manning the scanners, and two were emptying the strong-room. The timer was running down, and they were set to leave in exactly five minutes.

Once more he shook his head in admiration. This was like running a blade across the canvass of a masterpiece. He was momentarily saddened as he pulled the pin of the grenade and threw it into the vault. He stood left of the wide hole that had been drilled in the wall. There were slight muffles as the crack of the grenade silenced the team. He threw one more in, just to be sure.

He caught his breath, steadying his pulse before crawling into the vault. This was messy. Nevertheless, he had his instructions. He checked the vitals of each of his victims and the first three were dead. He was happy. Jimmy Boylan, whom he knew well, had a pulse, of sorts. He pulled out a snub-nose gun and pressed it against Jimmy’s temple. Judging by his injuries, Jimmy had borne the brunt of the explosions.

The Glaswegian rarely saw that type of loyalty amongst criminals. It unsettled him. Jimmy was a bloody rag. The odds were stacked against him living the next ten minutes, let alone the next three days when the bank would reopen. He placed the gun back in his holster.

The executioner stepped away from Jimmy before taking two black duffel bags. It was all he could manage, and he wasn’t about to jeopardise his assignment by being greedy. His contract stipulated two bags. He would deliver two bags.

He looked back at Jimmy once more, wondering if he should put a bullet in the man’s head. No, he thought, he’s finished.

Today was a day of rarities for The Glaswegian. He stood in front of the vault entrance with the bags resting across his wide shoulders.

‘You’re dying because of a woman, Jimmy. I owe you that much. Now, let go.’

The Glaswegian doubted the other man heard one word.

Jimmy had heard every word.

Top Reviews
Jonathan’s penchant for horror and fantasy serve his mysteries well. The biting flavor of his writing is present form the opening paragraphs . . . The story is complex – rightly so – and the synopsis serves it well . . . Jonathan Dunne has successfully created a niche - a blend of crime, horror, violence, all told with that special sense of Irish grace that keeps the reader closely aligned with the characters. He continues to build a strong literary stance. ~ Grady Harp, San Francisco Review of Books and Amazon

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If you are looking for something exciting, fast and fun, The Black Hand can be just the thing. I simply loved it, and I actually have a hard time explaining why. From the first page it all just flows like it should, you are immediately in it, hooked on and ready to go . . . It is very fast paced book, almost too much at times, but it balances out. It still has time to develop good characters, bad guys especially (ok, most of them are bad anyway, in one form or another). It is one of those book where, when you read them, you can practically see a movie unraveling before your eyes. Very visual, cinematic reading experience, and thoroughly enjoyable. Get it, read it, you won’t regret it. ~ Sanjin, Amazon

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The Black Hand by Jonathan Dunne is a great read . . . This story is told with a rapid pace; someone is looking to replace Jacob, take him down a notch in the Irish organized crime world. Jacob has plans of his own, and this is where the story gets truly interesting. There are plenty of characters here to get to know, the author does a fantastic job of delving into their personalities, you will understand their motives and more. Superbly written with a deft hand, realistic language and a fascinating setting, this author is one who sets the tone well and embraces the plot. For a read that is full of action and suspense, and gets you into the mind of a criminal, this book is highly recommended. Not to be missed. ~ V.E., Amazon



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