top of page
Top of Blog
wine patio book .jpg
  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Gatekeeper

ISBN: 978-1250805768

Publisher: ‎ Minotaur Books

Publication Date: 06/07/2022

Format: Audiobook

Narrator: John Keating

Macmillan Audio

My Rating: 5 Stars (ARC)


James Byrne's The Gatekeeper introduces Dez Limerick in the most anticipated new thriller in years.

A highly trained team of mercenaries launches a well-planned, coordinated attack on a well-guarded military contractor - but they didn't count on one thing, the right man being in the wrong place at the right time.

Desmond Aloysius Limerick (“Dez” to all) is a retired mercenary, and enthusiastic amateur musician, currently in Southern California, enjoying the sun and sitting in on the occasional gig, when the hotel he's at falls under attack. A skilled team attempts to kidnap the Chief legal counsel of Triton Expeditors, a major military contractor – in fact, Petra Alexandris is the daughter of the CEO – but their meticulously-planned, seamlessly executed scheme runs into the figurative 'spanner-in-the-works,' Dez himself.

After foiling the attack, and with nothing better to do, Dez agrees to help Alexandris with another problem she’s having – someone has embezzled more than a billion dollars from her company and left very few tracks behind. But Dez is a gatekeeper – one who opens doors and keeps them open – and this is just a door of another kind. And the door he opens leads to a dangerous conspiracy involving media manipulation, militias, an armed coup, and an attempt to fracture the United States themselves. There’s only one obstacle between the conspirators and success – and that is Dez, The Gatekeeper.


"In a genre packed with burly, think-on-your-feet heroes, Dez is something new and fresh. He leaps off the page and into our imaginations."

--Booklist (starred review)

"Gripping and compelling...this one is a true keeper."

--Library Journal (starred review)

"Fans of action-packed thrillers will enjoy getting to know this charming new hero."

--Publishers Weekly

"What a welcome blast of freshness James Byrne’s The Gatekeeper is to the world of thrillers! Great plot, great pacing, and a voice that jumps off the page. Most essentially, it’s charming as hell, which makes for a delightful read. Let’s hope we’re lucky enough to get plenty more of “Dez” Limerick’s unique brand of gritty troubleshooting."

--Gregg Hurwitz, New York Times bestselling author of the Orphan X series

"James Byrne's The Gatekeeper is a fast blast of pure fun. Dez Limerick is smart, funny, and endlessly capable, and Byrne's writing is filled with unexpected twists. Do not miss this one!"

― Nick Petrie, bestselling, award-winning author of The Breaker and other Peter Ash novels

"Dez Limerick, the smart, mysterious hero of James Byrne's fabulous debut thriller, is the most exciting new character I've read in years. The Gatekeeper is a flat-out, high speed winner. I loved it."

―Robert Crais, New York Times bestselling author of A Dangerous Man

“What a ride. With vivid characters in a pulse-pounding story, The Gatekeeper feels chillingly, thrillingly real. Grab it!”

―Meg Gardiner, author of the UNSUB series

"The Gatekeeper starts fast and moves faster. It's a taut, explosive tale with high stakes and authenticity that kept me riveted and fanning the pages. Fans of Lee Child and Vince Flynn will love the hero, Dez, and find themselves enthralled in The Gatekeeper."

―Mark Greaney #1 NYT Bestselling Author of Relentless

“Adrenaline charged! James Byrne delivers an action-packed, twist-a-minute thrill ride featuring Dez, the massively muscled, wickedly clever, tongue in cheek hero we never knew we needed...and I already can't wait to meet again.”

-- Lisa Gardner, New York Times bestselling author of When You See Me

"This one grabs hold of you tight on page one, and keeps hold of you until all is finally revealed. A stylish, entertaining romp with plenty of sizzle.”

-- Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The Kaiser's Web

"Haven't had this much fun with fistfights, breakage, and mayhem for years! The Gatekeeper gives you fast action, clever dialogue, and smartly crisp writing. Do yourself a favor--don't miss this!"

―W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear, New York Times bestselling authors

Desmond Aloysius Limerick (“Dez” to his friends) has retired at 35 from a shadowy past of military and intelligence work.

Now he’s just a bloke touring America with boyish charm, a bass guitar, and old bullet-wounds. He doesn’t go looking for trouble, but when it comes, Dez deploys his almost unique skill set: He can open any door, keep it open, and control who goes through and who doesn’t.

My Review

A highly entertaining audiobook.

A funny and refreshing new leading man!

A delicious taut nonstop hilarious action-packed suspense thriller by James Byrne, with a leading man and hero you want by your side. With a sexy British/Irish accent to die for and all the dark humor, intelligence, and wit making DEZ, Desmond Aloysius Limerick, (the ultimate) THE GATEKEEPER.

A former mercenary, a musician, and a man who can open any door— physical or digital. He is not too tall, stocky, and bowlegged and buys his black tees from the one place that makes them to accommodate fit his broad shoulders and frame.

Dez on Gatekeepers:

  • People who guard gates.

  • Not people who open them.

  • The trick is not opening doors.

  • Any half-wit can do that.

  • It is about keeping them open.

  • Closing them when needed.

  • Controlling who goes through and who doesn't.

  • Owning them for as long as needed.

He has left his old life behind and now spends his time in sunny California, playing gigs as an amateur musician. Until he finds himself breaking up a very professional attempt to kidnap the chief legal counsel (Petra, daughter of the CEO) of Triton Expediters—a prominent and influential military contractor.

Petra Alexandris and her family are grateful for the save; however, now she needs his help for more critical matters—who's embezzled billions of dollars from her company.

Dez agrees, slipping back into his old role with ease; however, he and Petra are up against rogue military operators, well-armed militia members, and white supremacists.

Dez is a gatekeeper —one who opens doors, and keeps them open—and this is just a door of another kind. And the door he opens leads to a dangerous conspiracy involving media manipulation, militias, an armed coup, and an attempt to fracture the United States.

Dez learned early during his time as a keeper there are FOUR primary methods for getting through a door:

  • Bash

  • Shoot

  • Explode

  • Burn your way through.

  • And every now and then you get invited in.

A highly entertaining refreshing new adrenaline-fueled debut thriller novel and a leading character with wit, charisma, and laugh-out-loud scenes. I hope this will be a series because DEZ is too good to end. More PLEASE!

This was an EXCEPTIONAL first-rate audiobook, and John Keating gave a superb performance. For fans of Lee Child, Greg Hurwitz, David Baldacci, Janet Evanovich, and Vince Flynn. Packed with action, clever dialogue, and some great laughs!

Thank you to #MinotaurBooks, #MacmillanAudio, and #NetGalley for the invite to read, listen, enjoy and review an advanced audio copy. #MinotaurInfluencers

Blog Review Posted @

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Pub Date: 07 June 2022

June 2022 Must-Read Books

About the Author

James Byrne lives and writes in one of the coolest cities on Earth: Portland, Oregon. Under various names, he has published nine other novels in the realm of thrillers and mysteries. Find out more about James and “The Gatekeeper” at







bottom of page