Cover Image: Deadlock


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Member Reviews

I.enjoyed this second book in the.series.stightly more then the first.
The.character is like a.foul mouthed James.Bond and I love it 
I can't wait for another
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I found this book to be very interesting and intriguing. I would recommend this a friend because this is a book for everyone.
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Dive into the heart-pounding world of espionage and high-stakes action with James Byrne's gripping thriller, "Deadlock."

Dez Limerick, a former soldier and expert hacker, is back in action, this time facing off against a ruthless group of mercenaries with a deadly agenda. When a series of targeted attacks threatens to unravel a covert operation, Dez is tasked with protecting two women with crucial information.

As Dez delves deeper into the conspiracy, he uncovers a web of deceit and betrayal, where everyone has something to hide and no one can be trusted. He must rely on his cunning, his wit, and his unwavering determination to keep the women safe and prevent a global catastrophe.

Byrne masterfully crafts a suspenseful narrative that keeps the reader guessing until the very end. The plot twists and turns keep the pages turning, and the action sequences are adrenaline-fueled and exhilarating. Dez is a captivating protagonist, his sharp intellect and unwavering loyalty making him a force to be reckoned with.

The supporting cast is equally well-developed, each with their own motivations and secrets to unravel. The characters' interactions are a source of tension and intrigue, adding depth and complexity to the story.

"Deadlock" is a thrilling ride through the world of espionage and high-stakes action. Byrne's writing is engaging and suspenseful, his characters are relatable and well-developed, and the plot is full of twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.
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The second book in the series which can be read as a standalone. I enjoy the main character Dez Limerick - a loyal and intelligent person with unexpected skills. As I read, I could not help thinking that the story would make a good movie. An enjoyable read.
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My second book by this author and his writing and characters continue to be entertaining. Dez continues to put himself in situations that it seems no one else would for their friends. He gets a call from his friend  who’s worried about her sister. He goes to protect both Swann sisters and starts to uncover a major corporation in the area isn’t who they seem to be. How is this connected with his friends? Well Dez is determined to figure it out.
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I enjoyed this sequel much more than the first book in the series. It feels a little less misogynistic and Limerick feels a little less skeevy. The writing is compelling, fast-paced, and action-packed. I enjoyed watching Limerick outsmart the bad guys. I'm still not sure that there is enough here that is special, that sets this series apart from other thrillers on the market, to make it memorable, but it's an enjoyable way to escape reality and kill some time. I wouldn't object to reading more of the series.
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Dez is back and he’s funnier, wittier, cleverer than ever. Book 2 was nonstop action and humor and it was the perfect balance. Dez answers the call to help a friend whose sister was attacked for no known reason. From there, with the help of the sisters he starts to uncover the motive and bests every person who comes across his path. The ending left quite the little cliffhanger and I can’t wait to read book 3 to see what happens next. 

Thanks to NetGalley and Minotaur Books for the arc.
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Deadlock follows The Gatekeeper in James Byrne's military thriller series starring retired mercenary soldier Desmond Aloysius 'Dez' Limerick

In this 2nd in the series, Dez answers a call for help from a friend and ends up facing a mercenary army! The action is explosive and the dialogue consistently entertains.
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Published by Minotaur Books on August 8, 2023

It would be difficult to find a more likeable tough guy protagonist than Desmond Limerick. He isn’t a pacifist, but he prefers to avoid violence when he can. Unfortunately, he has a tendency to make enemies who want to kill him. He might kill to solve a problem on occasion, but he has a moral compass that limits his use of violence for retribution. He can be creatively nonviolent when people need to be punished. There are nevertheless times when he concludes that threats must be eliminated to protect people he cares about.

Deadlock is the second novel about Dez, a former soldier from the UK who attained the legendary status of gatekeeper. He opens locks and gates and holds them open until the mission is complete. He’s retired from a military life and isn’t seeking similar work in the private sector. Rather, he’s moved to the US where he plays his guitar and enjoys his life. At least, that’s the goal.

A young woman named Raziah, whose band Dez occasionally joins, asks him to help her sister, who has been facing threats in Portland. Laleh was writing a profile of a forensic auditor who was looking into Clockwork, a Portland tech firm that does all sorts of good around the world. After the auditor died, someone apparently worried that Laleh learned something from him that she shouldn’t know.

Dez goes to Portland, thwarts thugs who plan to kill Laleh in her hospital room, then makes a plan to keep the sisters safe. In the long term, that plan requires him to learn why Laleh has been targeted so he can eliminate the threat. As he unlocks various doors, he learns that Clockwork has been infiltrated by criminals who have a clever scheme to gain and shelter ill-gotten wealth. I won’t discuss the details but I will say that, while some of their criminal tactics are familiar, the ultimate criminal goal it’s a surprisingly original. Kudos to James Byrne for coming up with something new.

Dez endeavors not only to keep the sisters alive, but to help the older sister understand her younger sibling. He makes a new female friend (a Russian bar owner named Veronika) and patches up a relationship with a British SIS agent whose career he might have destroyed during his gatekeeping days. The novel’s plot and subplots arrive at tidy resolutions. Is there anyone who doesn’t enjoy a well-crafted thriller?

Dez’s attitude, reflected in snappy and very funny dialog, contributes to his likeability. He has other traits that make him a terrific thriller hero, including humility, a sense of fair play, and fierce loyalty to his friends. Laleh is astonished that Dez hasn’t tried to sleep with Raziah, but she’s only nineteen and Dez sees her as a talented singer/songwriter, not as a conquest. He isn’t sanctimonious about right and wrong — he’s able to make flexible moral choices — but he always does the right thing, even when that he does morally questionable things for the right reason. There’s enough nuance in his character to make him interesting and enough integrity to make him admirable.

Byrne keeps the story in constant motion. Action scenes are more inventive than readers encounter in standard thrillers. Dez is often the target of shootings but he tends not to use guns. He prefers to settle disputes by outthinking his enemy but he has no problem using his fists. One powerful punch is typically all he needs to subdue a foe. He improvises weapons as needed to win battles. Dez's ability to think and plan sets him apart from action heroes whose idea of thinking is to decide which gun to use next.

Deadlock is every bit as good as The Gatekeeper. At a time when most tough guy series have gone stale, it’s good for action novel fans to have a new thriller hero keeping the genre fresh.

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Fast-paced and action-packed thriller. The main character, Dez Limerick, is a unique and resourceful type who does what has to be done and is supremely loyal to his friends. I had a lot of fun reading this one.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a free e-ARC of this book.
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Dead Lock is the second book in James Byrne's Dez Limerick series, I found this to be an enjoyable read. Fast paced and it kept me turning the pages. I would recommend it to others.

I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher, and I am leaving my review voluntarily.
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This is the second book in the Dez Limerick series, and having read and loved the first one, I was really happy to jump into this new adventure with Dez.  And this one did not disappoint.  Dez is an interesting guy - a jack of all trades, and master of many - especially the important ones like, oh, saving the world.  In his past professional life he was what's known as a "gatekeeper" - excelling at opening doors (both physical and virtual doors) and keeping them open long enough to complete the job at hand. In his "retirement" he enjoys traveling and improving his amateur musical skills, but somehow still finds ways to use those professional skills from his past life.  He's the kind of action hero I like - he has a distinct moral compass, he's fiercely loyal, he has a quirky sense of humor.  His adversaries here are part of a company that's supposedly all on the side of good - but underneath the shiny altruistic surface, they're a completely different beast.  The powers that be in the company make a gross tactical error when they threaten one of Dez's friends and her sister, and  that fiercely loyal side of him kicks in.  Fun read - can't wait to see what lies in store for Dez in the future.
Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for providing a copy for an unbiased review.
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Publication: 8/87/2023 by St Martin’s Press/ Minotaur Books
And Macmillan Audio
Narrated by: JOHN KEATING

       Better than James Bond!  A complex multilayered high octane thriller with non-stop action, intrigue, and menace. Our intrepid hero is Desmond Aloysius Limerick (“my friends call me Dez”) , who looks nothing like an action hero.  Dez is five-eight but built like a tank, with a barrel chest, thick arms, short bowed legs, and oversized hands riddled with scarred knuckles. His scars, burns, and bullet wounds paint a road map of the world’s hot spots.
    His past and training is shrouded in mystery, but he obviously was a seasoned veteran of black ops and clandestine ventures.  On the inside of his right forearm is a tattoo of Janus, the two-faced Roman god of doors, gates, and transitions …. the patron for duality - life/ death , war / peace, beginning / ending…. holding the metaphorical key to doors or gateways between what was and what is to come.
   Dez was an expert at opening doors that others couldn’t and keeping them open as long as necessary.  A small part of his skill set involved hacking into security and information systems, as well as physically picking locks. His crew gave him the nom de plume of “The Gatekeeper”  His mongrel accent is reflective of his upbringing in Liverpool, Ireland, and Scotland. Much like Nelson DeMille’s John Corey character, Dez cannot help but pepper his conversation with quips and wisecracks .. somewhat shrouding his true guile and mental acuity. He can quote writers and philosophers, yet is an expert at throwing and taking punches.
   Dez was attempting a retirement and finds himself in Los Angeles, when he receives a frantic phone call from a long time musician friend,Raziah, fearful for her sister, Laleh, a journalist who was brutally attacked and lies in the hospital severely injured. This may have been related to a story she was working on. She recently reported on the death of an auditor for a highly influential tech firm.  When he comes to the hospital, he is immediately called into action as he confronts several thugs intent on completing Laleh’s demise.  This high tech company is known as Clockjack, and has reached the level of recognition of a Google or Microsoft,,,, and their reach extends into the U.S. government … making them virtually untouchable.   Two of the founders have died under suspicious circumstances.  They have been replaced by two other men who have taken over control of the company.  They are employing former convicts and mercenaries for a covert operation, under the guise of normal corporation workings.  As Dez becomes involved the body count and turmoil exponentially increases.
    This sequel can be devoured as a standalone, as Byrne expertly weaves into the narrative the necessary backstory.  James Byrne proves to be a marvelous storyteller as he weave a complex ant twisted tale of intrigue, menace, and mounting tension that escalates into a taut and unpredictable roller coaster denouement.  With his impeccable character building, the multilayered actors seem to jump off the page. I personally alternated between the kindle and the audiobook version narrated by John Keating, The wonderful narration brings to life the full charm and wit of Dez, along with his empathy and sense of justice.  This intriguing tale will appeal to aficionados of Lee Child’s “Jack Reacher” and Gregg Hurwitz’ “Orphan X” series, as well as Nelson DeMille’s “John Corey/“
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I haven’t read the first book in the Gatekeeper series, but this second book stands on its own. In fact, I didn’t realize that there was a first book until after I’d read this one. And what is a gatekeeper? He (or she) is an action hero who would be a match for Rambo, John Wick, John McClane (Die Hard), etc.

Dez Limerick is a gatekeeper, and when a good friend’s sister is in trouble, he is happy to help. What he uncovers is so much more than one attempted murder! Dez is up to the task, though, and with his unmatched skills, he shows that he can take on just about anything.

The characters are well-developed, and I like how the villains are each evil in their own way. Along with the characters, the humor and the relationships Dez has with others on top of the action make this a great read.

Now, I need to read the first book!
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A crazy good plot with non stop action.  
Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and to Netgalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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I loved this book, it was a totally fun read. Another amazingly clever and skilled guy, rides into to town to rescue damsels in distress, and does so with both violence and charm. With some of the skills and body type reminiscent of Jack Reacher ( the earlier iterations) he kicked butt and even better, thought way ahead of everybody. That is the part of Des I really enjoyed, although his capacity for snark is pretty impressive as well. 

Most of these stories follow a predictable, if successful pattern, this one was really a pleasure to read, Can't wait to read more.
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really good book and kept me on my on my toes of what would happen. really enjoyed the characters and their journey and would read this author again.
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Thank you, NetGalley and St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books for the copy of Deadlock by James Byrne. The first time I tried reading it, I gave up. I waited a few months and tried again,and I ended up liking it., although it took a while because I didn’t like Dez at all. The book reminded me of the “men’s adventure” books from the 80s, where the men were smart, big, and strong, and women were only described for their appearance and bodies. The story was really good, though, so the book was really readable. If you can put up with how "alpha male-centric" the book is you will enjoy it. I don’t think it’s a series I will continue, because I like it, but not enough.
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Dez Limerick is truly a fascinating individual. With his multitude of talents, including his past as a mercenary, it's no wonder that he has a reputation for being both handsome and a great friend. He also possesses a quick wit that can leave you doubled over with laughter or moved to tears in the middle of a sentence.

Despite retiring and completing his last task, Dez's life takes an unexpected turn when he receives a call from his friend Raziah, who urgently needs his help with her injured sister Lelah. Little did Dez know that this simple act of kindness would put both Raziah and Lelah in danger, as they were being followed and watched. The hospital scenes that follow are truly shocking, and leave you on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next.

Although the plot may seem unrealistic, it's easy to get lost in this story and become invested in the characters. As the authorities get involved, the action intensifies, and we see just how many connections Dez has - he truly is a nice guy who people are willing to help.

As the story progresses, a large corporation becomes involved, and it quickly becomes clear that people are dying. The suspense builds, leaving you wondering who will be next, and whether Dez can stop this dangerous domino effect. Overall, this book boasts a fantastic plot, strong and well-developed characters, and is an all-around wonderful read that I highly recommend. With Dez as the main character, it's no wonder that readers are drawn in - he truly is an interesting individual with so much to offer. I really really like Dez.
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I received an ARC of this book.  This second book was just as intense as the first.  A thrilling suspense story with a great main character.  Jump in and you have to hang on until the end!
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