Book Review: The Cleaner by Mark Dawson

“Milton did not pause to think. His reaction was hard-wired, a response that had been drilled into him across ten years so that now it was automatic, an expression of muscle memory without conscience, sudden and terribly deadly. He swung the rifle around and squeezed the trigger for a longer burst. The car was peppered with bullets, half a dozen slamming into the radiator and bonnet, another handful into the windscreen. The officer was struck in the face and chest, stumbling backwards and then dropping onto his back where he lay for a moment, twitching horribly. Milton walked towards him, the gun cradled low, and put a final bullet into his head. Finally, the man lay still.”


Does that get your attention or what? I got goosebumps when I read that scene for the first time. Right then, I knew I was hooked! There was no going back–I had to finish this novel.

Anyway, here’s a brief (non-spoiler) description of the story:

Milton is the deadliest assassin of Group Twelve. But he wants to change. He feels guilty of his past crimes and “quits” being an assassin. His world is flipped upside down when he saves Sharon Warrener from her suicide attempt. He devotes the rest of his time trying to help her with her rebellious son Elijah as a way of trying to redeem himself. Though at the same time, his past is lingering in the shadows, ready to jump out at any moment.

The Cleaner was the ultimate page-turner! I’ve lost countless hours of sleep trying to figure out if Milton was going to pull through or if Elijah would finally go down the straight and narrow. It’s a story about family, love, trust, and redemption with a slight hint of James Bond, Jason Bourne, and Jack Reacher mixed in. If you’re like me and like to be thrilled at each turn of the page, dazzled with smooth descriptions, or just like to sink your teeth into a juicy story than you’ll love this.


What do you think of The Cleaner? Sound interesting?

An Update and A Big Thankyou to Followers!

Within only three weeks of opening up Inky Tavern, its managed to gather a lofty amount of patrons. It is a great pleasure to be able to do this blog (which I never expected to become this awesome) and to able to have you guys. Thanks a-billion!

Alright, now for the post.

College is getting to the point where it can induce headaches that puts heart attacks to shame. Yep, it’s midterms. With so much studying going on it’s a wonder how I am still able to even write this post. To be honest, I think I’ve started reciting the Declaration of Independence in my sleep!

Not that I’m complaining. Hardwork is apart of life.

Over the weekend I bought Legend by Marie Lu. I’m anxious to start reading it but…sadly…it’ll have to wait until after midterms.

I also worked on Restitution (my current WIP). I am dangerously close to finishing up my draft (it’s coming along very slowly). I can’t wait to revise, send it off to an editor, and then publish.

Crosses fingers, jumping up and down.


Baby steps, Desiree, baby steps…

Well that’s what my week has been like.


How’s yours? Also, how was the revision process for you (assuming you’ve written something)?

Freewrite Assignment #1: Music Muse

Chairs are being turned around to face the front stage where a band is setting up. An awful smell wafts up to your nose, causing you to pinch it close and glance to your side. There’s a cyclops pulling up a chair next to you. You smirk at the chair, since the pathetic little thing looked as if it would be better suited at some little girl’s tea party then underneath the rump of this oversized oaf. Still, you wanted to know what was going on. But before you had a chance to say anything to him I appear out of no where and pull at your ear.

Lemme talk to ya fer a sec.

You try to pull away from me…but it’s too late. I’m already leading you away.

You demand perfection of yourself, right?

There’s a crash on your side. The sound of splintering wood. You knew that chair was too small.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting every word in your manuscript to string together a sentence so poetic that it dazzles your reader. Or wanting them to feel every nuance of the world and characters that you made up. In fact, that’s the whole purpose of writing, isn’t it? Being able to transport your reader somewhere else.

While that’s great and all…it doesn’t work for the first draft. Not at all

You see, the words create and critique are about the same as the Hatfields and McCoys. They don’t get along! Actually you’re provoking one heck of a bar fight if you try to put them together. You’ll have one big narrative mess that only agitates you further and critique more, more, more, more and more. Until finally, a beast comes out of the woodworks.

Writer’s block.

No one likes dealing with that beast. No one.

Which brings me to the subject of this post: a freewriting assignment for you to do, if you dare. Typically I will introduce to you a simple theme and you write about whatever comes to mind without editing. Freewrites are meant for you to let loose and just write. Don’t worry about spelling, sentence structure, theme, or anything. The overall point is to ignore your inner critic. Which is essential for that tedious first draft.

So what’s the theme?

Today’s theme is based on a folk song called “Rattlesnake” by David Grisman. Simply listen to it, and then go write whatever image (scene, event, or ect) the song conjured in your mind. You can post it on your blog and leave a link in the comments if you like.

Simple, right?

Well lets get this show on the road!

Whistles for BoBo (my earth elemental bouncer) to dim the lights. An assortment of human, dragon, and alien eyes look towards the front stage.

Fill Your Monday In Words

You push open the swinging doors and walk into the Inky Tavern. Immediately you stop and raise an eyebrow at the scene.

The tavern is filled with a mixture of patrons from aliens to orcs to galactic mercenaries and wizards. Though everyone’s eyes are glossed over and droopy. In fact, you actually have to step over a frosty bearded time traveler laying incongruously on the floor. You notice that there’s a snot bubble peeking out of the time traveler’s nose each time he exhales.

The atmosphere is filled with music from an out of sync band on the stage. Their lead singer is a monkey dressed in a pink dress trimmed in tulle.

You start to walk out. But all of a sudden the monkey lets out an agitated screech that wakes up everyone. It picks up the microphone and starts to bang it onto the stage similar to the way toddlers shake a rattle. You stand still as you watch all hell break loose. A food fight happening to your right, poker chips being thrown to your left and the time traveler is running through tavern screaming: “The British are coming! The British are coming!”.

Hey, glad you can stop by. Why don’t you come take a seat?

You look all around you, and notice that your way out is blocked by a crowd of brawling dwarves. Much to your chagrin, you realize you have no other choice.

I glance around at the bar to find BoBo, my earth elemental bouncer, and gestures at the monkey. Bobo grumbles and wades his way through the crowd.

Yep, it’s definitely Monday. Always lethargic and slow.

You glance around at the rowdy tavern then back at me.

You know what I mean.

I snatch an odd green looking bottle of soda off the back shelf.

Pig breath? Sounds tasty.

Pours us both a glass.

I don’t know about you but Mondays are one of the hardest days to write. I mean… after trudging through [insert a responsible adult task here] only to have to redo it again—and write!? Bleh!

But then I remember something.

Writing is a place where I can be…well me. Which is why I’m here to tell you to fill your Monday with words (either by reading or writing). Do something different and let your imagination go crazy! Release the dogs! Fire the canons! Do this and your Monday will suddenly look like Saturday (that is…if you don’t [insert annoying adult task here] on Saturdays).

The rampaging monkey shrieks loudly as BoBo tackles it.

I raise my glass of pig breath into the air.


Drinks it, than spits it out.

Yuck! Who makes this stuff?


So, what do you like about writing? (post in comments or on your own personal space)

*Picture Credit

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