Welcome BOOKDRAGONS! This week I’m back with another book review. After dwelling on Harry Potter characters I thought it’s nice to jump into a murder mystery, which is why today I am going to share with you my opinion on yet another book that I acquired from https://onlinebookclub.org/. So let’s get to it, shall we?
The 11:05 Murders is the second book of the Inspector Sheehan Mysteries, written by Brian O’Hare. As you can guess a horrific murder starts the chain of events we are going to follow through the entire book. Denise Steward is a promising young policewoman, who just got promoted to Detective in The Serious Crime Unite under Chief inspector Sheehan. Jim Sheehan is the head of the department, bright and exceptional detective, who recently got married. James Fitzpatrick is an ambitious banker, who made many enemies, so when he is found brutally murdered, police doesn’t have a hard time finding suspects. But finding the killer would not be so easy unless they figure out why his watch was stopped at 11:05 pm, how is he connected to a long life criminal and what does any of this has to do with a suicide from 12 years ago.
The whole story takes place in Ireland, which is an unfamiliar territory for me. I had never picked up an Irish author before, which made reading the book all that more interesting. Being a murder mystery buff, this book was right up my alley. The story moves quickly and the reader is not swamped with ridiculously long descriptions. I have to say that the author has put a lot of emphasis on the procedural side of a police investigation, which I think makes the story more authentic and that is why I enjoy it a lot. The chapters are presented as written by the point of view of at least 6 characters. I personally had no problem with that, because that kind of style allows the reader to get a more in-depth view of the different characters.
Even though the book is part of a series about Inspector Sheehan, his chapters are not that many. Denise is the character with the most chapters and since I’d never before heard of these books and had no idea Sheehan is the main focus, I just assume she was the main character. That was a mistake, because later on when the grand finale comes I expected to read everything from her point of view. Instead, the scenes are described by Inspector Sheehan and Detective Allen. That was a little surprising but kept me on my toes, so all was well.
Even though chapters are told by a certain character, there are many moments when the reader switches from one person’s perspective to another’s. It is done so gently, you almost don’t realize it.
Of course, there is a romantic relationship rising between the beautiful Sargent Steward and the impulsive Detective Allen. For some reason, Tom Allen is the only character I could imagine in my mind right from the start. That is before I was given a description, which wasn’t even remotely close to the one in my head. There Tom Allen looked exactly like the actor Manny Montana and that’s the image I’m sticking with.
Back to the book, the romance between the two characters is obvious from the very first time they’re introduced together. How their relationship progresses is very realistic for the most part and keeps the reader on the “will they/won’t they” wagon until the very end of the book.
The only problem that I had with the book is the fact that all the men are either young and attractive or old and unattractive. A little more diversity and a little fewer cliché images of 40 something-year-old policemen would make things better.
As I said, the story develops fast and the reader can put all the puzzle pieces alongside the detectives and even though I did figure out who the killer was before the final “action“ scene, I still didn’t expect the ending of the murder storyline. For me, there was a point where I let myself be fooled by the romantic arc and presume how the story will progress. I thought that the murder investigation will simply accompany the romantic development and be overshadowed by it. A huge mistake! The author definitely surprised me with how he chose to tell the story. The murder stayed the focus until the end, which was great.
One thing I notice and inevitably draw me is Jim Sheehan’s self-reflection on his own thoughts and his thinking process. Going a little deeper into the character like that is why I love murder mysteries’ protagonists. Think Agatha Kristi’s Poirot and Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Homes.
For all that, I’m giving this book 7 DRAGONS and recommend it to everyone out there who enjoys beautifully written, complex and yet somehow relatable murder mysteries.
The only thing I don’t understand is how come I’ve never heard of this author before? And also, where can I get all of his books?
For more delightful book thoughts check out the rest of the blog and my YouTube channel where you can also watch my video book review. Here is my bookclub review https://forums.onlinebookclub.org/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=45644 . Keep reading and I’ll see you next week!