4 out of 4 stars
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Woman Detective Sergeant Denise Stewart is on her first case after being transferred to the Serious Crimes Division with the Strandtown Police Station in Belfast. Successful loan officer James Fitzpatrick was found mutilated and murdered in his home. The killer left behind tantalizing clues for the police to investigate. The victim’s watch had been deliberately stopped at 11:05 and a single cufflink was placed at the crime scene. A photograph and an obituary notice have Sergeant Stewart looking for a connection between the victim, the murderer, and a 12-year-old unreported crime. Steward little suspects that her life is in danger as she diligently tries to bring the criminal to justice.
The numerous characters in The 11:05 Murders by Brian O’Hare were extremely well-developed. Quite believably, Steward is not portrayed as a heroine, but rather as a prickly, almost reticent woman trying to do her job in a man’s world. The other officers, witnesses, suspects, court officials, victims, and related family members, were easy to keep track of because of the details and characteristics presented by the author. I felt like I had stepped into a three-dimensional world for a time. The diverse characters and complicated plot could have been overwhelming, but the author did a masterful job.
As The 11:05 Murders by Brian O’Hare was set in a country that I have not visited, I appreciated the complete scene descriptions. I was able to visualize the crime scenes, police station and towns just as if I were watching it on television. In fact, I’d love to see this book as television series.
Because the book focused on the 11:05 murders, the reader wasn’t given closure concerning the other incidents related, and not related, to the main storyline. Of course, that would only be natural considering some of the cases are continued months or even years from the end of the period covered in the book. However, I was left wanting to revisit Strandtown and its crimes.
There is no doubt that crime story readers will adore this book. The crime scene descriptions are a bit graphic, so perhaps someone with a weak stomach would not find this book as pleasant a read as those less sensitive.
The 11:05 Murders by Brian O’Hare was a book I rushed home to read. There were no typographical or grammatical errors that I noticed. The unfamiliar Irish and British terminologies were explained enough through the context for my poor American sensibilities. The dialogues were full of regional expressions and mannerisms making them incredibly entertaining. The storyline progressed rapidly. The conclusion was complete, if not entirely surprising. After all, the reader was given access to all the clues while the characters had to piece together the situation on their own. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars for extreme excellence. I highly recommend The 11:05 Murders by Brian O’Hare. You won’t be disappointed.
The 11.05 Murders
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