Who exactly is Mark Dawson? How come I didn’t know about him? I consider myself reasonably clued in with regard to who’s writing what in the crime/thriller world and would be reasonably familiar with a lot of author names and characters. And if I hadn’t read them, they’d have come up in conversation with similar crime aficionados. But Mark Dawson slipped beneath my radar.
I happened across him during a Kindle 99p sale. Three of his novels on sale for 99p. A digital boxed set. With nothing to lose, I paid, I downloaded, and I started to read. Seven novels later, I’m on the brink of identifying a little too much with his character, the rugged John Milton, former SAS, former assassin, current alcoholic, who is on a mission to atone.
Milton ain’t no Jack Reacher, but he’s as close as I’ve come to finding someone who might, with a slight stretch, touch his shirttails. I’m impressed. Not only with the depth of character, but also with what I’ve learned about political situations in the various cities, states, and countries that Milton (an Englishman) finds himself in. I’m enjoying the moral dilemmas and the subtle lessons to be learned from each book.
I like how Dawson goes back in time without disturbing me and I like how some characters reappear a couple of books after they’ve made their debut. I also like how I try to anticipate these follow-up appearances but have yet to be right. Saint Death won me over. Completely. Any lingering doubts I might have had about Milton were laid to rest. That’s not to say he doesn’t irritate me at times. I was pretty pissed with him for the assumption he made at the end of The Sword of God – I’d come to expect more of him, but he redeemed himself in Salvation Row.
A little perturbed that I might be coming to the end of what Dawson has currently published, I was thrilled skinny to find that one character I particularly liked has been given her own series and those two boxed sets have just been downloaded. Dawson also has a Soho Noir series on the go and I’ve that slated for when I’m done with Beatrix Rose.
So who is Mark Dawson and where has he been hiding? He’s English and lists his jobs to date as ‘DJ, a door-to-door ice cream seller, factory hand and club promoter’. A lawyer by profession, he spent ten years working in the City of London and Soho, ‘first pursuing money launderers around the world and then acting for celebrities suing newspapers for libel’. He currently works in the London film industry … and write books. Lots of books.
His website has it all, including some free books (if you don’t believe me and want to try see for yourself…).
This week was a good one, a busy one, one where new doors opened and other doors closed but the balance tipped in my favour. The boys at Békéscsaba beat Siofók on Saturday and I was there to witness the 2-0 spectacle. I was out and about and catching up with old friends and getting to know new ones. And I had Mark Dawson’s Milton with me every time I had a free minute. So, this week, I’m grateful for my Kindle. Yes! I know. I never thought I’d hear myself say that either… but I’m hooked. It’s my IV … just turn the tap and the books flow in. And I’m grateful for writers like Mark Dawson who give me a door through which to escape my world long enough to appreciate it.