Review: "The Lemon Man" by Keith Bruton
Lemon Man, the debut novel of Irish writer Keith Bruton, is a fast-paced
and humorous crime story about a Dublin hitman named Patrick Callen. Callen
earned his nickname, “the lemon man,” on his first ever hit when the former
Lord Mayor of Dublin – who had been forced to resign after multiple women
accused him of sexual misconduct – mistakes Callen for a horticulturist there
to help with his sickly lemon tree. Since that awkward first killing, Callen
has earned a reputation as one of Dublin’s finest assassins.
Callen’s lifestyle is well-ordered and quiet. His high-end apartment is neat and clean. He has a few friends, an obliging and attractive girlfriend, and a vocation he enjoys and pays him well. He is also a shameless list maker:
KILL HENRY O’NEIL
MEET UP WITH THE BRONZE MAN
SLEEP WITH OLIVIA
everything changes for Callen when he removes (and takes home) a crying and filthy infant from
the apartment of his latest victim. Patrick has never changed a diaper, bathed or
fed a child. He enlists the help of his girlfriend, Olivia, who thinks Patrick
is babysitting for a friend, but she is as lost as he is. Then the baby’s
mother, a low-life junkie, goes public with the abduction and Callen’s boss, a ruthless
villain called The Bronze Man, begins to doubt his judgment.
The Lemon Man is a welcome entry into the world of fictional crime. The plotting is tight and there is enough action – from Callen’s occupational endeavors to his dealings with the baby, which he calls Keano – to keep even the most restless of readers attentive. But it is The Lemon Man’s humor that separates it from much of what is available in the genre. Imagine a hitman riding a bicycle to and from each job, a neat-freak caring for a sticky-handed and smelly infant. The Lemon Man is a winner that will appeal to most readers, especially to those that enjoy Carl Hiaasen and Elmore Leonard.
The Lemon Man is a trade paperback and eBook published by Brash Books (July 2022). You can purchase a copy at Amazon with the link below…