4 out of 4 stars
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First, let me start by saying I really enjoy Brian O'Hare's writing and story telling skills. He is on par With George R. R. Martin, and I mean that as the highest of compliments. The editing appears to be very professional as I didn't spot any errors. I highly recommend The Dark Web Murders to lovers of mystery and gritty crime stories. Therefore, I rate it 4 out of 4 stars.
In summary, The Dark Web Murders follows Chief Inspector Jim Sheehan and his team of tight-knit detectives as they struggle to solve nearly identical murders in Northern Ireland. Sgt. Denise Stewart, his right-hand woman and the most web savvy of the group, uncovers the elusive killer's blog on the Dark Web as he gloats about his crime with eloquent writing resembling that of an 18th century novel. The team struggles to connect these gruesome deaths, linking them to a fiendish sex club for the wealthy to secretly indulge in all kinds of depravity. But, soon they discover the true motive of this killer is that he's hell-bent on vengeance and not ready to stop until everyone even remotely connected to a friend's death receives his swift justice.
What I liked most were the characters of Chief Inspector Sheehan and his team. Everyone had their own unique personalities and traits. There were no cookie cutter "cop number one and cop number two" characters. Everybody stood out in some way. I also found Jim to be a very relatable character. This story was highly suspenseful and with enough action to keep me turning pages. There were no dull scenes. As I've said, Brian O'Hare is an excellent storyteller. I liked that they mention the team's past cases which sparked an interest in other books in this series which I plan to read. (I've only read one other book, previously, which was The 11.05 Murders.) I also liked that the process of reading this made me feel like I was part of the team, solving the crime along with Sheehan and his squad. This story had plenty of twists and turns, and kept me guessing as to who the killer really was. I liked the eloquent blog posts of the murderer, and how cleverly he worded and titled each post. He even incorporated poetry. This helped to keep you guessing as to who this murderer could be? Is it a male or a female?
What I disliked most was one scene that depicted cruelty towards an animal. But, it did help to show us how cold and narcissistic the killer was.
Also, this is not for the faint of heart as the crime scenes and descriptions of sexual depravity are rather gruesome. I do not recommend it for young readers, due to this grotesque content and some profanity. I also don't recommend it for readers who like their mystery on the cozy side for those reasons. There's a certain gritty realism to it. That being said, I think fans of horror, suspense, and gritty crime dramas would also enjoy this intense mystery with grotesque elements of horror.
The Dark Web Murders
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