Thank you for inviting me on the blog. In all my crime books I continue to be heavily influenced by Jack London’s Call of the Wild and White Fang. In these classics we watch two canines go from extremes of domesticity to violent savagery and vice versa. The environment moulds both animals and they find a natural balance in the world in which they inhabit.
Like it or not – there are people in perfect sync in a world which terrifies most of us. Jacob Boylan is such a man. He is at peace in the eye of the storm.
The novel introduces Jacob in his natural habitat. Despite the forces gathered against him, Jacob knows his terrain and unleashes the full force of will upon his enemies. He is devoid of fear or anger – he just walks a well-worn path. The violent road he knows too well.
The Black Hand is also a force of nature. A force hidden behind a cloak anonymity and an identity known to nobody. Of this we do know; his genius is terrifying. But how do you terrify a man who is not afraid to die? Jacob holds no fear of death -in fact he knows his days are numbered so his body count is measured in steps to the grave.
Like light and dark – Jacob is full contradictions. He fights for the underdog and empathises, yet his barbarity is without a moral compass or any measurable limit.
The Black Hand’s genius is also incomparable. How so? Here’s a taster.
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.
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.
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2I6LyRP
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2I4Wjnw
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1128305853
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.
Make sure to follow the whole tour—the more posts you visit throughout, the more chances you’ll get to enter the giveaway. The tour dates are here: http://writermarketing.co.uk/prpromotion/blog-tours/currently-on-tour/jonathan-dunne/