The Bomber

THE BOOK: The Bomber.


THE AUTHOR: David O’Sullivan.

THE PUBLISHER: Pen Name Publishing. A publisher committed to bold stories and bold authors.

SUMMARY: 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.

THE BADavid O'SullivanCK STORY: Two events occurred that gave birth to this novel. The first; I was driving down the highway in my hometown and I saw a billboard that read “Welcome home son, thank you for your service to this country” and then it listed the name of a soldier, a local man, who had been fighting with the army in Iraq. He was a man I had been to school with and it started me thinking about the life of soldiers and how they might fit back into society. The idea came to me of a man who can not deal with the pressure of life now he is a civilian. Another time, while I was considering this, I was working early morning shifts at an inner city railway station and that night a riot had broken out in the city streets. It was a hot summer night and I saw the desperation and sadness in the faces that morning. The two ideas combined at that moment and The Bomber was born.

WHY THIS TITLE?: I wanted an exciting novel that would sum up the event quickly. However, once you read the novel, you may find it is not what you expected and that The Bomber is as much terrorized as terrorist.

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT? This book will challenge your expectations; it is a keen insight into the mind of the forgotten people, the people that make up our cities, who suffer and create suffering, who love and fade away. This is the story of the unremarkable in exceptional situations. I think it is more for readers who like to have their thinking challenged; it is a book that should be read carefully, it is not a regular action novel, but more an insight into a rarely seen world.


By Gecko on July 22, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

David O’Sullivan is a new author with his own style that holds up among the greats. It’s difficult to  compare him to others, because of his unique style, but I do think of Hemingway and his ability to say more with fewer words. This author created a feeling and an atmosphere that seeps through the story and sticks with you long after reading. I mention this because I’ve found that the stories, books, and films that make you think later are the ones that are the closest to the true human spirit. I highly recommend this new author, and I can’t wait to read more of his writing.

By Finding Dori Book Reviews on February 28, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

I have to admit that I cannot quite compare David O’Sullivan’s writing with any author in particular. He writes descriptively without being too wordy. He writes thoroughly without overwhelming a reader with prose and bogging us down with details. He writes Point A to Point B but in a way that makes you feel like you are actually there, walking on the dark streets of the “city” or waking up to a dawn so full that you would rather just stand there and look at it than get a move on with your day. I like how you are never quite sure what actual war he is writing about or what city this is in, because really, it is not important, but you can still picture everything as if it is in the news. This book is about a young soldier named Joseph who has returned from war. He is a bit lost and more of a wandering soul at the time, like many displaced soldiers who leave the military after a challenging service period. His best friend, a female he met while in the infantry, is murdered by her husband who is a war protest organizer. The husband goes into hiding. Joseph befriends her brother, who works odd under-the-table jobs for a mysterious old man with a lot of money. Then he is manipulated by another character to become suicide bomber in order to kill the protest organizer and avenge his beloved friend’s death. Without telling the whole story, I encourage readers who are interested in delving into the complexities facing those who have returned from war and dealing with not just normal life, but also human relationships. How can a seemingly average person turn into a bomber? Great story. I hear there’s a sequel in the works and so I look forward to that someday.

By Amazon Customer on February 13, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition

An incredible story that touched me deeply. It enters the lives of people for whom I felt deeply. The shocking events that occur, the clear and purposeful story telling and the deep relationships I formed with the characters made it hard for me to put the book down. I really enjoyed seeing the terrible life and death choices the main characters have to make and the romance between the former soldier and the woman who won’t stop stealing was amazing. I really enjoyed this thrilling and insightful book. The author shows a good command of fiction and imagination. A few editing errors, but a really talented and compelling story.

AUTHOR PROFILE: My name is David Graham O’Sullivan. I was born in 1982. My next novel, to be released in August, is Anvil Soul. A novel about a young priest who travels to a small country town called Temora, where he discovers a fellow priest is sexually assaulting children in the town and he knows he must act to stop this man’s evil actions.

I grew up in a town called Wagga Wagga in Australia and I remember being involved with books and libraries all my life. As a child I took my father into a book store to buy George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-four and although it was not the first book I ever owned, it was the book that made me want to become a writer.

I went to University in Sydney where the idea of being a writer was buried under immense loneliness in a new city. Taking my first English Literature class, I was introduced to the novel ‘A Clockwork Orange’. I remember during a lecture, students all around me criticising the work, many saying the language made it impenetrable. I loved the novel and it is still one of my favorites. It was in this class, where a handful of students moved against Anthony Burgess, that the idea of writing came back to me. I was certain that if I could make so many people extremely passionate, (some angry, some infatuated), about literature, that would be the greatest job in the world. I graduated with a degree in Law and Arts.

I work at Charles Sturt University as a literacy adviser, I have a dog and a number of cats, I love hiking in the woods and seeing wild animals. I keep a box under my bed full of books so I never suffer one minute of spare time without having something to read.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: My aim in writing The Bomber and my next novel Anvil Soul, is not to have any impact on the world, rather I hope to impact individual readers, giving them company and something to think about. I hope that my book is on someone’s bedside table at night and that before they went to sleep, my writing gave then some enjoyment.



The one hundred year old lane was dark; the walls were crooked and coated in slime. A wind whipped down from the busy street and chilled Joseph Starling. Although he was wrapped in a thick army coat, he shivered. Joseph ran carefully on the grey-green cobblestones trying not to slip. He found a bright red door, like an entrance to the underworld on his left and he slid across the lane and disappeared. Inside, the dark hall was lined with more doors, the place smelled of damp clothes and smoke. Joseph moved down the hall until he found room number seven. He dashed into the room and stood silently in the nearest corner.

A woman lay in bed, her body tense as every vein stood out from her ivory skin. Her name was Jessica. She pushed her head back upon the pillow so hard the bed creaked. A man with curly hair, her husband, stood next to the bed staring down. He smoked a cigarette with one hand and the other pushed deep into his pocket. A fat woman stood next to him, her ample breasts and their close neighbor, her fat guts, struggled in a united push against her white dress. Every now and again she turned away and took a drink from a small brown bottle.

“She ain’t going too well now,” the fat woman said as she pushed the bottle into her front pocket. “But, she’s a strong one and she is likely to pull through in the morning.”

The man said nothing but put the cigarette to his lips and then made a loud sucking noise until the tip turned bright red, spewing enough smoke for all four people in the room to inhale.

Jessica opened her lips, moved her head away from the smoke and Joseph could see her teeth were clenched. He pulled himself deeper into his corner, shivered again and pulled his coat around his chin. I would take good care of her, he thought.

“We should get her to the hospital,” the man said and looked at his watch.

“She was never insured,” the fat woman said. “She don’t have the money for horsepital.”

“She was in the army for three years. She fought overseas, don’t they get a special benefit for health care?”

“You know,” the woman remarked, “I think they do.”

The man who spoke was chubby and pale, he sucked on his cigarette again, touching the butt lightly to his lips. He looked up and saw Joseph standing in the corner. Joseph looked only at Jessica. The woman sweated while grinding her teeth in pain.

“You were in the army,” the man called across the room to him.

Joseph did not hear him, he watched Jessica twist in agony. The man dropped his cigarette on the ground and walked toward Joseph.

“You were in the army,” he repeated.

Joseph looked up.

“Joe, isn’t it?”

“Yes,” Joseph replied.

“You’re Jessica’s friend?”

“Yes. We were in the army together.”

“I’m Mathew Derrick, Jessie’s husband.”

Mathew held out his hand. Joseph looked down, released his grip on his jacket and quickly shook it. Joseph’s hand felt cold like ice, Mathew’s was hot and damp.

“Do you get special health care, being a war veteran? You both fought overseas didn’t you? Jessica mentioned you once or twice.”

“Yes. We get free medical treatment. You have to take her to a hospital, she looks like she is dying.”

“She is not dying,” Mathew grinned and looked back at the woman lying in bed. A soft almost inaudible groan came from her. The fat woman again turned away from them, drinking from the small brown bottle.

“Does she have her army papers? Her medical card?” Joseph asked.

“Her what?”

“Her army papers, the documents that show her service.”

“Not here, they’re not on her.”

“You’ll need them.”

“Do you have yours?”

Joseph reached into one of the huge pockets in his jacket and pulled out some dirty well-folded papers. Mathew looked at them and then looked at Joseph.

“You don’t look too well yourself. You look like you have what she has.” Mathew waved a hand at Jessica. “Come over to the bed and look at her.”

Joseph came forward slowly, trying to suppress a painful cough that sat in his chest. Mathew went to the side of the bed. “She’s cold and she is so stiff, all her muscles seem jarred. She is really pale, too, look at her.” Joseph looked at her, he looked at her golden blonde hair that spread across the pillow, he looked at her beautiful face. She was such a beautiful woman, such a sweet woman. It disgusted him they had not taken her to the hospital. Mathew reached out his hand and roughly pulled her sheet back. He began to unbutton her shirt, exposing her throat and chest.

“What are you doing?” Joseph asked.

“She has a red mark on her chest.” He pointed at a red rash below her throat.

“I gotta go to work,” Mathew repeated angrily and as he sucked hard on the cigarette, he made a whistling noise on the end of the butt.

“I’ll take her,” Joseph offered.

“There’s a good pal.” Mathew slapped him hard on the back. “And while you are there get them to take a look at you.” Mathew began to laugh and walked out. The nurse watched him go and looked with disdain at the thin man in the big coat.

“How you gonna get her to horspital? I hope you don’t think she’ll walk?” The fat woman declared.

“I’ll get a taxi.”

“What is she to you anyway? I ain’t seen you before.”

“She’s my friend.” Joseph began to cough and turned away. The pain in his chest throbbed. Joseph calmed down, slowed his heavy breathing, went to the bed and bent down to Jessica. “Jessica, can you hear me?” He touched her face. It felt neither cold nor warm.

“She carn’t hear you,” the fat nurse said. “Otherwise I’d have been talking to her.”

“Shut up, will you!” Joseph yelled at her.

“Well I cannot believe the rudeness of you,” the fat woman grunted. She stood back and clutched for the bottle in her pocket. She kept slinging insults in between drinks, but Joseph no longer listened to her.

“Jessica, I’m going to take you to the hospital. We have to make it out to the road so I can get a taxi. Can you move?”

Jessica rolled her head slightly toward him. Her arms were stiff and hard. Joseph tried to hold her hands but they were clenched like little stones.

Joseph put his arm around her and moved her from the bed. She was light and thin like some beautiful fairy. The nurse stood by and watched. Jessica groaned. She wore a white shirt, grey singlet and white shorts, not enough to keep her warm. Joe held her in his arms; he struggled to hold her steady. “Give me a blanket to wrap her in.”

The nurse stood aside folding her arms, refusing to help. Joe held Jessica across his right arm and whipped a blanket from the bed with such vigor the bed moved. He wrapped the grey blanket around her and carried her from the bright room into the dark hall and out into the filthy alley. He turned left and stood on the busy main road where he watched a number of taxicabs pass by. He almost became hysterical waving at the passing cabs . The nurse, having followed to watched them leave, went back into the room and lay down on the bed Jessica had been in, put the brown glass bottle to her lips and began to slowly suck at the contents. Joseph held Jessica by the side of the road. A bus flew by and whipped grit into Joseph’s eye.

Finally a taxi stopped. The driver looked at the passengers when they climbed in, Jessica lay across the back seat uncomfortably, Joseph watched him. The driver’s skin gleamed a beautiful honey brown, his dark hair was brushed across his head so that it stood up, his eyes were clear and he spoke extremely good English but with a hard foreign accent.

“Where would you like to go?” he asked.

“To the hospital please, the nearest one, I think it is the Green Bay Medical.”

“That one is the closest,” the driver said.

The taxi pulled hard into traffic and drove toward the harbor. Joseph pulled his coat tight around him and tried to hold Jessica so her head did not shake with the motion of the car.

LOCAL OUTLETS: The Bomber is available through any good book store. If you do not see it, please order it, simply ask a staff member.

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon, Barnes & noble CONTACT THE AUTHOR: If you want to talk to me look for @1DavidOSullivan on Twitter and Tumblr, my web page can be found at and my email address is

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: If you want to talk to me look for @1DavidOSullivan on Twitter and Tumblr, my web page can be found at and my email address is

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Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

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