Penance by Dan O'Shea, May 2013Born and raised in Chicago, Detective John Lynch might just be about to die there too.

A pious old woman steps out of the Sacred Heart confessional and is shot through the heart by a sniper with what at first appears to be a miraculous and impossible shot.

Colonel Tech Weaver dispatches a team from Langley to put the shooter – and anyone else who gets in the way – in a body bag before a half-century of national secrets are revealed.

But soon the sniper strikes again. And Detective Lynch, the son of a murdered Chicago cop, finds himself cast into an underworld of political corruption, as he tries to discover the truth about what’s really going on –
before another innocent citizen gets killed.

The First Detective John Lynch Chicago Thriller

Book Info:

UK Print
Date: 2nd May 2013
ISBN: 9781909223127
Format: Medium (B-Format) Paperback
R.R.P.: £8.99

US/CAN Print
Date: 30th April 2013
ISBN: 9781909223134
Format: Large (Trade) Paperback
R.R.P.: $14.99

Date: 30th April 2013
ISBN: 9781909223141
Format: Epub & Mobi
R.R.P.: £5.49 / $6.99

Other Books in This Series:

2. Greed (December 2013)

Buying Info:

UK Print & Ebook | Book Depository | Waterstones | WHSmith

North American Print & Ebook | | |

Global DRM-Free Epub Ebook
Robot Trading Company

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Author Info:

Dan O’Shea: WWW | @dboshea on Twitter

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Praise and Reviews for Penance:

“Take out your blender, toss in a dash of perfect setting,  a pinch of deadly antagonist, a smattering  of conflict worth killing for, and top it all off with a smooth talking detective. I’ll take my Penance ‘…shaken, not stirred.’ With most novels you can get close to guessing the outcome. Penance had my head scheming up a whirlwind of different conclusions and even in the final few pages I felt the novel could turn down so many different alleyways with a single gunshot. Pour out yourself a strong glass of Penance, add a couple more fingers worth, and shoot it straight. You might get a fierce burn in the back of your throat and by the time you’ve finally run out, you will be thanking O’Shea for crafting such a rare piece of fine art. Penance is my second novel from Exhibit A; Wounded Prey was the first, and I have Lawless & The Devil of Euston Square up next. Exhibit A has stepped up to the plate with some killer books. Watch your back.”

“To classify Penance as a mere police procedural would be to do it a serious injustice. Because, you see, like all good crime fiction, this book is about so much more than its back cover copy might suggest. The author, Dan O’Shea, calls Penance a “multi-generational tale of what happens when family secrets and dirty politics are blown into the light of day by a madman with a gun, all set against Chicago’s history and culture of corruption.” That’s certainly an accurate—and eloquent—description, but it offers only the subtlest of hints at the depth that lies within; when you crack the cover of this novel, you’ll discover there’s a whole lot more there, lurking just below the surface. Buy yourself a copy of Penance, and prepare to dive in.”
– Katrina Niidas Holm, Criminal Element.

Penance is part detective novel and part thriller – like Michael Connelly crossed with Robert Ludlum (think Harry Bosch with extra fire power and added international intrigue). Penance is also aided by being a novel of ideas with strong themes – past sins returning; the importance of redemption – which prevent it from turning into a shoot-em-up.”
Killing Time.

“Truth to be told, I had a wicked good time reading Penance. It’s epic, ambitious,complex and yet the prose is humble and understated, just the way I like it. The characters’ nature filters through dialog, rather than exposition, which is I think one of the greatest thing literature can achieve. It’s the most seamless form of mimesis, I find. The most exhilarating too, because it doesn’t feed the reader everything. In Penance, Dan O’Shea works WITH the reader to create great characters and a paranoid atmosphere. I believe in this novel and it makes me all giddy to talk about it. Dan O’Shea reveals himself to be one of the most talented dudes who flew under everybody’s radar so far. Expect Penance  to shake things up and conquer conspiracy enthusiasts as well as hardboiled literature fans. It’s a tremendous novel. The kind you experience, rather than read. FIVE STARS.”
– Dead End Follies.

“Immediately gripping and immensely compelling, Dan O’Shea’s debut novel moves from gritty Chicago streets to the corridors of power with the sure-footedness of a master storyteller. PENANCE is many things — a thriller, a spy story, a complex tale of betrayal and atonement — but it is always a heart-pounding ride that leaves you breathless, and yet allows for unforgettable moments of grace. A must-read.”
Hilary Davidson, author of Evil in All its Disguises.

“Wonder how Harry Bosch would read walking the streets of Michael Mann’s Chicago? Look no further than Detective John Lynch. Smart, sophisticated and as serious as a .45 in full battery, Penance makes the bulk of cliche-riddled crime fiction sound flat-footed by comparison.”
Peter Farris, author of Last Call for the Living.

Penance is a rare novel, at once staggering in scope and achingly human. A brutal, white-knuckled tale of betrayal and redemption in which the sins of the fathers are laid upon their children tenfold, O’Shea’s astonishing debut delivers pulse-pounding thrills and the beating heart to match. Fans of Le Carré and Lehane had best take note.”
Chris F. Holm, author of Dead Harvest and The Wrong Goodbye.

Penance is a rich, gritty, terrific novel. O’Shea can throw a punch and turn a phrase with the very best of them. Even better, he knows the human heart inside out.”
– Lou Berney, author of Gutshot Straight and Whiplash River.

“A non-stop adrenaline rush, beginning, middle and end; half Stephen Hunter, half American Tabloid, Daniel O’Shea’s Penance is a bona fide blockbuster.”
Owen Laukkanen, author of The Professionals.

Penance has one foot in Bourne and the other in The Untouchables, but tells a very human story of loss and atonement. A great thriller that ranges from the streets of 1970’s Chicago to the highest levels of modern power, with tight dialogue and righteuous violence. One for fans of crime, espionage and mayhem.”
Jay Stringer, author of Old Gold.

“Lynch and his investigation serves as a solid base for the book but it is so much more than that. What I thought was going to be a very competent throwback to early Ellroy turns out to be a very competent hi-tech thriller as well with neither part losing out to the other. I thoroughly enjoyed Dan O’Shea’s short story collection Old School last year and Penance cements my belief that he is one to watch. Head over to for links to stories involving characters in Penance to get a taste of this mans’ talent. Recommended.”– GoodReads.

“Gritty, intense and exciting.”
Cayocosta72 Book Reviews

Fans of Jason Bourne will love this high-paced, high-tech mixture of procedural, political whodunnit and black ops tale as Dan O’Shea bursts onto the crime scene with this ambitious and tautly written tale of two generations of Chicago life. It’s got everything – enough bloody action, enough double crosses and plot twists to baffle, enough hot sex and enough reality to remind you it is set in a city which under its Irish-American Democratic mayor Richard Joseph Daly became a byword for corruption during his 21 years in office until his death in 1976. ” – Crime Review

Praise and Reviews for Dan O’Shea:

“Sometimes O’Shea writes with this savage and wild masculine abandon – guns and broken fucking bones and toothbrushes jammed into the backs of skulls and a muscular but jaded outlook on the vagaries of mankind and the cruelty of fate. And other times, he writes with such poise, such perfect emotional rapport that you feel a horror of intimacy – he makes monstrous criminals human and understandable and the average everyday schmucks seem like demons in human skin. He can swing from erudite to profane, from the sublime to the perverted, like it ain’t no thing. I’ve read thousands of books, no one writes like Dan O’Shea. He’s a major fucking talent. The world will know.”
John Hornor Jacobs, author of Southern Gods and This Dark Earth

“Dan O’Shea is a madman and Old School is a collection of stories marked by twisted, violent beauty, the best fiction by an ex-boxer since FX Toole’s Rope Burns. I’m buying several so that he doesn’t have to get back into the ring.”
Scott Philips, author of The Ice Harvest, The Walkaway, Cottonwood and The Adjustment.

“Dan O’Shea’s writing hits hard. The characters in Old School are mad, bad, and dangerous to know. But they are also filled with genuine longing, desperation, and sorrow, making them resonate off the page. No matter how far they’ve fallen, there’s always something more to lose.”
Hilary Davidson, author of The Damage Done and The Next One to Fall

“Dan O’Shea’s Old School gets under your skin like a meth itch. From the heart-breaking (‘Shackleton’s Hootch,’ ‘Absalom’ and ‘Sheepshank’) to the ball-breaking (‘Hilary’s Scars’, ‘Thin Mints’) and everything in-between, this outstanding collection brings it. Like the dinner buffet at the Sizzler around 4 p.m., this selection of stories offers a range of choices and leaves you feeling tired, beaten, and well satisfied. In a world of shelves filled with lesser talent, reading O’Shea’s work is both a comfort and a concern – like that quick moment just after you’ve soiled yourself.”
Steve Weddle, Editor-in-Chief of Needle, a Magazine of Noir

“Dan O’Shea’s short stories are proof that not only can an old dog learn new tricks, but that he’ll rip off your fiddly bits if you give him a dirty look. This collection — which features stolen organs, Shakespeare-as-shamus, and the secret Scotch of Ernest F**king Shackleton — demonstrates O’Shea’s ability to a pen a keenly cruel crime-flavored yarn.”
Chuck Wendig, author of Blackbirds and Double Dead

Old School is a literary oh-shit moment, the kind of writing that demands you sit up and take notice. In story after story, O’Shea disappears into his characters, so vividly do they come to life — and so brutally do they kill. The stories in Old School ain’t the kind to feature sexy, badass twentysomethings, who — for all their bitching — could fit their worries and belongings both into a backpack and still leave room for a sixer of PBR. Old School is full of folks with jobs, with debt, with families, with regret; folks with shit to lose, and heights from which to fall. That makes them real. That makes them desperate. Old School is tough and funny and honest and brutal — and on occasion, all at once. In short, it’s not to be missed.”
Chris F. Holm, author of Dead Harvest and 8 Pounds


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