THE BOMBER by DAVID O’SULLIVAN

The Bomber by David O'SullivanTitle: The Bomber

Author: David O’Sullivan

Pages: 350

Publisher: Pen Name Publishing

Publication Date: 24 June 2015

Rating: ★★★

I received a review copy of this book from the author


Joseph Starling has returned from war and is trying his best to resettle into civilian life. In the midst of his struggles, anti war protests spring up around him, and in this violence he is once again forced to face his internal conflicts.

When Joseph discovers his best friend has been murdered he is offered a chance for revenge, and that revenge comes in the form of high explosive.

He doesn’t feel guilty, though, he only dialed a number. Right?

The Bomber is a journey of retribution and loss, set to the ticking of a very important countdown clock.


This book was a little bit different than I expected when I first picked it up. Having read the blurb, it sounded like it would be the same style of book that I usually read: a fast-paced, action-packed quick read. But that’s not what it is at all. It’s a much more thought-provoking read than I was expecting.

The Bomber is the debut novel of David O’Sullivan. It follows the story of Joseph Starling, a soldier who has just returned home from war and is trying to return to normal life. When his best friend is murdered during an anti-war protest, Joseph is taken advantage of by an acquaintance who convinces him to take revenge on her killer by planting a bomb. When the bomb is more powerful than he expected, Joseph is left to battle his guilt for what he’s done.

For me, the most enjoyable piece of this book was the characters. The main character Joseph was especially interesting to read about because I found him very easy to relate with. While reading the book, I felt like it could have been me in his position, which is not something I can ever really say about the books I read, and that make for an engaging reading experience. I also found the element of Joseph’s PTSD interesting to read about because I felt it gave me a better understanding of the type of struggles people face when they return home from warzones.

My main reason for picking up the book was the general plot idea. Revenge and explosions are two things that I look for in stories and while O’Sullivan used them a little bit differently to what I am used to, it was still an interesting story. The book is a bit slower than I expected from the blurb, but O’Sullivan has a very nice writing style. He is very good at providing vivid descriptions without making it too wordy. My only problem with his writing is that he seemed to define every character by their body shape and that got confusing after a while when everyone was either “the fat man” or “the thin man”.

I definitely wouldn’t call this book a page turner, at least for me, but it is an interesting read. It took a while for me to get sucked into it and it made me think a lot more than I am used to, but once it got going I liked it. Overall it’s a good book, as shown by the other reviews and the 4+ rating on Goodreads, but it just wasn’t quite for me.

Worth a read? If you are looking for a book that is a deeper exploration of elements such as revenge, guilt, suffering and relationships while still having a story packed with murders, war and explosions then The Bomber is definitely worth a read.

★★★☆☆

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