The Ninth Step, by Mark Dawson: A Review

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Terrific Story!

The Ninth Step may be the hardest in the twelve step program that is part of Alcoholics Anonymous. Number nine is to make amends to those one has wronged. If any of us think into our past, it would be difficult to admit some of wrongs, let alone make amends. How much harder, if that includes murder?

The series itself is a unique twist for a former killer. John Milton, former assassin for Britain, is now living a quiet life in London. Done with that old life, he now tries to help others, preferably without killing. Still, he won’t hesitate when it is needed.

The Ninth Step

After a meeting one night, Eddie Fabian approached him, asking him for coffee. With no sponsor, he desperately needs someone to talk to. He is on the 9th step, and it’s one he has taken to heart. Ready to commit suicide or go to the police, he is guilt ridden by terrible things in his past.

The man’s confession strikes Milton, who has his own issues with the ninth step. Before he can help, Eddie Fabian is dead.

More than one crime appears to be wrapped up with Eddie and his death. When they cross, we find lots of action, danger, and shocking twists. We find Milton seeking justice for a man simply trying to do the right thing, to make amends.

Once started, it was a book I had to stay with until done. Thankfully, I was able to do just that.  Factions abound in this complex story. Wealthy men, guilty or innocent, being protected. Highly trained former military providing that protection. A mob family, most of whom have no problem taking lives. Add to that a man needing money for his wife’s cancer treatment, a few crooked cops, and a reporter, and you can see how much suspense can be found in this particular thriller.

It’s the first I’ve read from Mr Dawson, though the eighth the John Milton series. While the first chapter or two had me wondering if I had misread the book description, the mystery and the excitement quickly picked up to fast paced intrigue.

Through Audible…

I was pleased to listen to this one too. David Thorpe is the narrator for the entire series to date. The British accent is always a pleasure to hear. He provides a fine narration. You can listen to a sample here.

After listening to the 9th step, the first book in the series, The Cleaner, is now in my cart. I must go back to see where and how it began. Besides multi a popular series, he has also written novels in the Beatrix Rose series and the new Isabella Rose Thriller series. You will find many choices to start. For me, it’s lovely to have a new author whose work I can anticipate.



Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Alzheimers HQ and Simple Living Ideas

Author: Merry Citarella

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