4 out of 4 stars
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It starts with one murder on a Tuesday afternoon. Then another, exactly a week later. Police are left scrambling to predict the next victim before a third murder can occur. Sergeant Stewart is on the case, but for some reason she is attracted to an incident that occurred 12 years earlier, with no obvious connections to her current dilemma. A secret informant, a possible stalker… The more Stewart and her team discover, the further they seem to find themselves entangled in this murderer’s devilish web.
The 11.05 Murders by Brian O’Hare is the second in the Inspector Sheehan series, but it can be read perfectly fine as a standalone novel. Each of the characters is introduced with memorable and witty commentary, leaving a lasting impression on the reader. O’Hare taunts his readers with the same problems that real police have – too little information, too much information, incorrect information, and of course, no idea how any of it fits together.
The idea that the killer could have literally been any of the suspects was what kept my eyes glued to the pages. As soon as I made up my mind to convict one character, another came by with a shaky alibi, soon outdone by another suspect’s contradictory evidence, later cast once more into suspicion by the word of an eyewitness, and so the drama went on. The engaging dialogue and fast-paced story kept me guessing up until almost the last page.
My one complaint, however, would be the contradiction of the characters’ thoughts with their actions. For example, Sergeant Stewart is the only woman on the police force – a fact which garners attention, amorous and otherwise. However, she is adamant that she be treated like one of the team. She always acts affronted by the attention she receives from her multiple love interests, but her attitude takes a complete turn by the end of the novel. In my personal opinion, it was a bit of an unfortunate character development.
Overall, I give The 11.05 Murders 4 out of 4 stars. The plot was full of twists and turns that alternatively piqued and satisfied my imagination. Although I’m not the greatest fan of romance in murder mysteries – hence my complaint above – I have to admit that Sergeant Stewart’s happy ending was just as satisfying as any other ending might have been. I would recommend this book to mystery fans, especially those who like to be kept guessing. I would not recommend it to readers who cannot handle a little bit of gore, sexual violence, or mentions of domestic abuse and rape.
The 11.05 Murders
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