John F. Dobbyn

Black Diamond

"...I must confess to being blindsided by the final reveal.."


Michael Knight and his senior partner Lex Devlin agree to defend a jockey accused of murdering a colleague midway through a race at Boston's Suffolk Downs. Michael is experienced in the world of horse racing and this is a key factor in his decision to defend the man who allegedly killed his friend.

However not only is Boston's Irish Mafia involved but there are links to members of the former terrorist branch of the Irish Republican Army. Both of these organisations have fearsome reputations for brutality and Michael finds himself caught between a rock and a very hard place before he has had chance to draw breath.

As the action switches between Boston and Ireland it becomes clear that Michael has got himself mixed up in a scam which the two organisations will kill to preserve.

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This is the first book of Dobbyn's I have read, but it will definitely not be the last. With Michael Knight he has a fantastic lead who is clever, determined and driven. He is ably supported by Lex Devlin and D.A. Billy Coyne but it is Michael's story and he tells it with gusto and aplomb. Ten Sullivan is one of those characters who has a small part with a big impact, as does Seamus McGuiness. Characterisation and atmosphere creation are this author's greatest strengths and boy, is he strong. The plot is cleverly drawn out and I must confess to being blindsided by the final reveal despite offering many private theories. There has obviously been a lot of research conducted behind the scenes and it shows throughout. The pace is driven steadily by new information being discovered and evaluated. All in all I found Black Diamond to be a very clever and wonderfully written novel. More please.

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