Author: Brian O’Hare

Series: The Inspector Sheehan Mysteries, Book 1

Publisher: Crimson Cloak Publishing

Released: October 25, 2015

Genre: Mystery, Crime Fiction, Police Procedural, Modern Detective

Prominent figures in Belfast are being murdered. The bodies are left naked and posed in grotesquely distorted shapes. No clues are left at the forensically immaculate crime scenes except odd theatrical props and some random numbers and letters concealed at each scene by the killer. How are the victims linked? What is the connection between these killings, the bible, and a famous mediaeval painting of The Last Judgement?

The Doom Murders has been the recipient of three literary awards – The IDB Award in 2014; The New Apple Award, 2014, for Excellence in Independent Publishing; and the 2015 Readers’ Favourite International Book Awards (Bronze Medal Winner).

Brian O’Hare, MA, Ph.D., is a retired assistant director of a large regional college of further and higher education. Married, three children, ten grandchildren, one great grandchild. He plays golf three times a week off a ten handicap and does a lot of voluntary work. Any writing he has previously done was academic…very much restricted to a very specific readership. Several articles in educational journals were followed by a number of book-length reports for the Dept. of Education and the University of Ulster.

He has also written an interesting biography of a man who daily performs amazing miracles of healing…The Miracle Ship. That is currently available in Amazon’s Kindle bookstore. Hopefully those who read it will spread the word and write reviews to help John’s message to reach the hearts of many, many people. The Miracle Ship has won top medallist honours in the New Apple 2015 Awards for literary excellence.

Brian had a liver disease since childhood which resulted in him taking early retirement a number of years ago. In 2002 he had a liver transplant but is strong and healthy now. He continued to do academic writing well into his retirement and followed that with a memoir about his liver transplant, dealing with the physical, emotional and spiritual experiences that came from that period in his life (A Spiritual Odyssey, published by Columba Press, Dublin).

Recently he experienced a desire to write fiction. Hence Fallen Men. It is a story about three priests…but it is religious in much the same way Thornbirds was religious. Fallen Men has won two awards, including top medallist honours in the contemporary fiction category of the 2015 New Apple Awards.

He has also finished two further novels, both part of a new series commissioned by Crimson Cloak publishing, The Inspector Sheehan Mysteries.. The first is a murder mystery inspired by an old 14th century painting of the Last Judgement. It’s called “The Doom Murders”, and it is available on Kindle and in print. The Doom Murders has to date won three prestigious awards.

The second book in the series, “The 11.05 Killings”, has now been written. Obviously it features the same detectives as in The Doom Murders but since it was published only a few weeks ago it has not yet had time to collect any awards. The third book in the series, The Coven Murders, is currently being written.

To launch the print version of The Doom Murders, CCP asked Brian to write a couple of short stories, featuring Inspector Sheehan. These were originally intended to be Facebook games (i.e. a kind of ‘see the clues, guess the killer’ thing) but the publisher liked them so much that she has started a new line called Crimson Shorts. Brian’s two shorts ( a third was written to launch The 11.05 Killings) Murder at Loftus House and Murder at the Roadside Cafe are now available on Amazon in Kindle and print versions. So, too, is the third, Murder at the Wooodlands Care Home.

Also now available on Kindle (as well as print) is the story of Brian’s liver transplant and the growth in spirit he experienced as he waited for almost a year, not knowing if he was going to live or die. See: “A Spiritual Odyssey [Diary of an Ordinary Catholic]”

 

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When Inspector Robert Williams arrived at the scene, the Deputy State Forensic Pathologist was already in the house examining the body. The Forensics team was still standing-by outside the house, waiting permission to enter. Two paramedics, one leaning against their ambulance smoking, were chatting quietly while they waited to take the body away. As Williams got out of his car, he noticed Sergeant Mulholland arriving. The sergeant, braking and parking somewhat flashily, jumped out of his vehicle and joined his superior. He was wearing a duffel coat slung over jeans and a polo shirt. Williams fixed his eyes on his sergeant’s attire.  

When you think of the word Doom, what do you generally think of? It was a shocking discovery, to find out exactly what this reference was to! We had to research the terminology to find out more after reading this first installment of The Inspector Sheehan Mysteries. We won’t say anymore because it is a fascinating concept and O’Hare really draws readers into his first book, called The Doom Murders, with the magnitude of this mystery!

Inspector Sheehan has been tasked with solving the case of a murdered Belfast Bishop who has been left naked and mutilated. At first, what appears to be somewhat of a dead end, Sheehan begins to find little clues like a series of letters and numbers etched into the Bishop’s desk and unnecessary objects staged around the body that didn’t contribute to the Bishop’s death in any way. Full understanding dawns on Sheehan as another body with the same pattern, naked and bodily distortion, appears within the next week. Inspector Sheehan is dealing with a killer who has something to say; this killer is very methodical in the way these bodies are laid out and when the third prominent figure makes headway in the news with the same motive apparent, not only is the press breathing down his neck but so too are his superiors. With suspicion rising in the back of Sheehan’s subconscious, he is forced to step back and look at everyone as a suspect, even those who he trusts the most may have something to hide.

O’Hare has a superb story-line, filled with creativity, historical elements, and originality. The Doom Murders has been the recipient of three literary awards and we now know why! The concepts and the plotting are fantastic and will leave the reader with the urge to dive into the next in the series. The pace is quick and steady from the beginning and carries through the entirety of the story. O’Hare provides an urgency to solve the case as every week finds a new disturbingly grotesque body awaiting the Inspector’s eyes. The scenes are vivid for the imagination and characters are credible. This is the first installment in the Inspector Sheehan Mysteries, so readers can jump right in. If you are interested in mysteries, crime fiction, and police procedure, this may be a perfect fit. Fair warning, once you plunge into this novel, you may find yourself picking up the rest of the series soon after.

An older version of this book was provided to Turning Another Page by the author and in no way affects the honesty of this review. We provide a five-star rating for The Doom Murders by Brian O’Hare.