Sunday 18 September 2022



1. Buy Food. 2. Visit Ma. 3. Kill Henry O’Neil

The Lemon Man is Patrick Callen, a bicycle-riding hitman with mild O.C.D. in Dublin, Ireland whose carefully ordered life is totally upended when he becomes the accidental caretaker of a baby boy. Now he’s got to balance his daily to-do list of errands and murders-for-hire with his unexpected domesticity, which impacts him and his work in ways he never expected…and that could get him killed.

"Keith Bruton's passion for his hometown of Dublin and for crime fiction shines like a beacon in hiis glorious debut novel ... bringing to mind some of Donald E. Westlake's vintage efforts. His quiet, domestic set pieces are as rewarding, and as exciting in some ways, as his riveting action scenes." Mystery Scene Magazine

Dublin - my old home town, a hitman (I do like a hitman book) and a baby - not his own but one he has assumed responsibility for - what's not to like? I'm also a list-maker and the main character is exactly the same. I could easily identify with him. 

Really good fun. Great storyline where our hero, Patrick Callen seems beset by accidents, misadventure and pure bad luck, while he cycles around the city doing his thing. His thing being killing people. 

And after making a newborn an orphan, acquiring the additional title of kidnapper and stand-in-dad-parent-unofficial guardian. It's kind of hard to strike the correct work-life balance when you've a newborn baby to care for and you haven't got a scooby on how to go about it.

I loved seeing Dublin through Keith Bruton's eyes. I never knew it had so many rivers. 
Why should I though - I haven't lived there for over 50 years.

Fresh, funny, original, satisfying. I look forward to seeing what Keith Bruton turns up with next.

4.5 from 5 

Read - August, 2022
Published - 2022
Page count - 268
Source - review copy from publisher Brash Books
Format -  Paperback


  1. Oh, this does sound like good fun, Col. I like a Dublin setting, and adding that layer in of the baby sounds effective. Patrick sounds like an interesting lead character. I'm not usually one for hitmen, but he sounds like a good guy, in his way. Glad you liked this.

    1. Margot, lots to like here and yes for a hitman, he's one of the good guys which is a tricky thing to pull off.