I, of course, know of Mark Dawson from his huge presence in the Indie author community. All he’s achieved is a great inspiration for all of us, and I’d be personally happy to succeed even half as well as he has.
Until now though, I’d never read one of his thrillers. But having raced through the pages, I was really impressed. It’s not just the marketing he’s good at, he puts out damned gripping reads too.
THE CLEANER centres on John Milton (there’s an old convention of giving tough guy heroes literary names – see also Marlow and Spenser), a high level British agent who is going rogue. Well, maybe ‘rogue’ is not quite the right word in this instance. Certainly he’s disregarding his training and his conditioning and dropping off the grid, but he isn’t Bourne-movie-style taking on the whole establishment – instead he is making it his business to help ordinary people. This is a hero who, if he could, would spend a lot of time fixing up community centres. But of course, trouble seeks him out and he’s more than capable of dealing with it.
Reading like THE WIRE crossed with James Bond (Milton laughs at the Bond comparison in the book, but even the physical description of him reminding me on Fleming’s creation), THE CLEANER finds Milton on a tough Hackney estate, tackling rude boys, rappers and drug dealers – while also finding a certain decency in society. Although you can see what the parameters of the denouement will look like – so you know which direction its heading – Dawson still crafts an excellent thrill-ride.
It’s a genuinely propulsive narrative in a compulsive novel in a series I’m more than happy I’ve (finally) dipped into.
If you’re interested in my own writings, SOMETHING WENT WRONG AND OTHER STRANGE TALES – my frankly must read collection of scary and quirky short stories is available for free now!