Deadlock by James Byrne

Published: August 8, 2023

Minotaur Books

Genre: Assassination Thrillers

Pages: 359

KKECReads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

James Byrne lives and writes in one of the coolest cities on Earth: Portland, Oregon. Under various names, he has published nine other novels in the realm of thrillers and mysteries.

Desmond Aloysius Limerick (“Dez” to his friends and close personal enemies) is a man with a shadowy past, certain useful hard-won skills, and, if one digs deep enough, a reputation as a good man to have at your back. Now retired from his previous life, Dez is just a bloke with a winning smile, a bass guitar, and bullet wounds that paint a road map of past lives.

Jaleh Swann, a business journalist hot on the trail of an auditor who was mugged and killed, lands in the hospital just one day after her Portland apartment is ransacked. When Jaleh’s sister, Raziah, reaches out to an old friend for help, Dez has no choice but to answer. The Swann sisters have been pulled into a dizzying web of cover-ups and danger. At the center lies an insidious Oregon-based tech corporation, Clockjack, which has enough money and hired guns to silence just about anyone―including this rag-tag trio. Luckily, Dez’s speciality is not just to open doors, but keep them open―and protect those working to expose Clockjack’s secrets.

More stands in the way of the truth than just one corporation. When hired thugs come to the finish the job and attack the Swann sisters at the hospital, Dez does what he does best. Now, the two captured men (and the corpse Dez left behind) attract the attention of not just Clockjack, but of the Portland police, the D.E.A, and the U.S. Marshalls. Dez and the Swann sisters are on the run from powers beyond their control and means. Outnumbered, under resourced and outgunned, Dez must use all his skills to keep his friends safe and stand up to corporate conniving. After all, the one thing Clockjack didn’t count on? A good man with a simple job to do.

“Best fights are the ones never get started.”

Dez was a gatekeeper but decided to step away. He travels to America, where he isn’t expecting to get caught up in international chaos, but he works well under pressure.

I enjoyed this book. I wish I had read the first one before I jumped into this one. I recommend reading the books in order; getting to know the characters from the beginning would add much to the development.

This was a weirdly mixed slow burn mixed with a fast pace. There were parts things took a while to build up, but then like setting off a domino chain, once things started, it was fast and furious.

This read like an action film, and I enjoyed the humor mixed in. The characters seemed well-fleshed out. I enjoyed how the plot played out, and I am invested in the story, so I will be reading book one and book three!

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