The 'Time, Blood and Karma' and 'Children of Karma' Series
"Everything is connected. Everyone is connected. Everyone and everything is interconnected. Crime, punishment, you, me, this island, the Three Fires of Buddhism, history, the weather, elephants, the National Elections, a cola bottle, everything." ~ The Old Monk in 'Everyone Burns'
The 'Time, Blood and Karma' and 'Children of Karma' series comprises novels spanning the period from the end of the Millennium to the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century. While each book contains a complete story, the novels collectively form part of a larger narrative trajectory involving themes of relationship and the consequences of actions in an interconnected world.
The individual stories can be classified as belonging to the mystery/thriller genre (the emphasis between 'thriller' and 'mystery' varying by book). Most of the action takes place in South East Asia - although there are interludes in other parts of the world - and the imagery and philosophy of the series is essentially Buddhist in nature. The overarching narrative jumps forward and backward in time to show the planting and ripening of the seeds of karma.
In response to a question on Goodreads as to what his books were about, John wrote:
"What are my books about? Sheesh, you want me to be serious? Well, I’ll give it a go ...
The series is really about interconnection – the idea that everything is connected to everything else, and that our actions touch many people. To illustrate this, the series hops about in time and place; over a period of several years, and ranges from Europe to South East Asia (and various locations in between). Although each book contains a ‘complete’ story, there are hooks backwards and forwards in time to the other books. Just to confuse everybody thoroughly, the sequence of the books is not chronological so that, for instance ‘Everyone Burns’ is the first in the series while chronologically it is the third.
Oh gosh, that’s enough ... I will just say to wrap up that you may recognize tenets of Buddhist philosophy in my writings: for instance the notion of karma is a central theme."
What Some Reviewers Have to Say
I loved 'Everyone Burns', not just because of the content, but because of the way it was written. The sort of washed-out detective, Braddock, has the perfect rough-around-the-edges personality, where you kind of love him and kind of hate him. There's no sugar-coating to it, and that was fantastic ... The writing is witty, sharp and quick.
~ Indie Reviews
Magnificently spun, gritty, witty page-turner ... crime fiction at its best.
Unexpected and pleasurable.
~ Read, U.A.E.
John Dolan weaves a tale so real, so captivating, that I easily became immersed.
~ Writers on the Wharf
This is one read you won't put down until it is finished with you, and you will still want more when the last page has been read!
~ The Feathered Quill
This is a wonderful, adventure book that will keep readers on the edge-of-their-seats and quickly turning pages to see what comes next. Great story Mr. Dolan.
~ Readers Favorite
A gripping thriller populated by a number of well-constructed and rather nasty characters.
~ The Wishing Shelf Book Awards