Interview with crime novelist Jonathan Dunne

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.
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.
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?

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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
own flight required no logistics. It had been planned for years. When that day
came, he wanted it to be effortless.
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.
escape had been patient and meticulous. And one week to the day, he finally
arrived in his Warsaw apartment.
arrival, the barrel of a gun was placed to his head as he dropped his bags. Alfie
was so stunned that speech deserted him.
Giles, you have reneged on our agreement,’ said the voice in the shadows. ‘Your
stock has fallen. Follow me, please.’
couldn’t comprehend the wretched scenario unfolding before his eyes. The street
lamps cascaded through the living room, revealing two armed men with weapons
did you betray us?’ asked the voice.
Alfie tried to find his voice, he heard the weapon being cocked.
‘I was
afraid,’ he replied nervously.
a lot of people.’
was a chuckle from the other two men. It chilled Alfie to his marrow.
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.’
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?’
what quick?’ came the reply.
here to kill me?’
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.
the job. And you will live,’ came the order.
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

What exciting story are you working on next?


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?

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.

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?
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?

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?

no plans. Too busy living life!

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?

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!

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9 thoughts on “Interview with crime novelist Jonathan Dunne

  1. James Robert says:

    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.

  2. Jonathan Dunne says:

    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…

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