4 out of 4 stars
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The Dark Web Murders is a story of several murders, all of which appear attached to a sex club. The suspects are many and the clues few. Detective Chief Inspector Jim Sheehan and his team work to solve the murder of a prominent Judge, followed by a School Headmaster, then two others. The apparent lack of a connection keeps the team guessing. A break comes when Detective Sergeant Stewart finds clues on the dark web where the murderer has amassed a following on a blog about the murders.
The Dark Web Murders is the fourth in a series by Brian O’Hare. While there are a couple of references to earlier cases the author appears to have expected the reader to have read about, my lack of having read them did not detract from or cause any issue with this story. The Dark Web Murders is genuinely a standalone story.
I liked that Detective Sheehan keeps much of what he thinks close to the vest. He has ideas but does not want to push the investigation in any particular direction. “Never speculate until all the facts are in,” is his mantra. Yet, in the end, he discovers he has not followed his own rule, and the result is interesting. I liked Sergeant Stewart standing up to her boyfriend, another member of the investigative team, over an issue of sexism. I especially liked when she does the same to Detective Chief Inspector Sheehan only to learn she had jumped to an incorrect assumption as he was trying to say something else entirely. This interplay is an excellent example of O’Hare’s understanding of people and their interactions.
O’Hare does a great job of keeping the identity of the murderer obscured until the end of the book. The story is intense, the action fast, and the murders keep happening. Characterization is excellent, as is the plot. O’Hare has done a masterful job of weaving a story around a pair of perverted judges, and several well-to-do people who have darker tastes than those in more polite society. For all the reasons above, I rate this book a solid 4 out of 4. I strongly recommend The Dark Web Murders to all who love police stories and mysteries as well as those who enjoy a fast-paced story that is difficult to put down.
What I liked least in The Dark Web Murders is the addition of the newspaper article at the end. It added nothing to the story, and for me, was an unnecessary detraction from what had otherwise been an excellent tale; better had the story ended without that addition.
The Dark Web Murders
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