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Demented

Cindy Smith is a young woman living in Washington, D.C., making a life of her own. Her present seems perfectly happy until her past hunts her down. Cindy has frequent suspicious encounters with Adan Jackson at her workplace. Adan Jackson is one of the three men who gang-raped her sixteen years before and got away with a misdemeanor assault charge. Cindy engages a private investigator, Nickey Arnold, to deal with her tormentor. But, as Nickey investigates further, a harrowing set of events lead all three men to make their way back into Cindy’s life, and she has to reopen chapters she never wished to read.

Demented by Joe Clark is a crime thriller novel that begins like a mystery and ends like an action movie. As stated by the author, it is genuinely a “story of crime, punishment and getting away with it.” Though being a crime drama, the author successfully maintains the characters’ compassionate nature. The story revolves around events that would help bring the plot forward and dwells in the great depths of its real-life characters.

The writing style is simple yet gripping. The story progresses with multiple episodic scenes, which could be translated well into a screenplay. The plot may feel like a train where we keep adding carriages to reach the end. Though this might be interesting for readers who love the suspense as a genre, it might be mind-boggling for others. The numerous characters and their names could be hard to keep in line with the story. However, the multifold narrative, strong roles, and quick pacing story wouldn’t let readers put down the book. The author effectively covers a realistic description of how law and justice play out in society.

Demented is a mystery thriller that will leave readers wondering if it is right to believe everything is either black or white or if it has been a grey area all along. It is a reviving tale of right or wrong and everything in between.

Pages: 412 | ASIN : B0872HRL57

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Public Opinion

Public Opinion’s goal is clear. Pettijohn wishes to write an expose on the seedier aspects of the Hollywood elite whilst also writing an entertaining novel. He is one hundred percent successful.

The protagonist, Melvin (or is it Herbert?) is a modern-day chameleon and con man. He claims to be an IT consultant to the Hollywood elite but in reality, he is a grifter and con-man. His specialty is acting as a go-between for blackmail, where he likes to play both sides. He is also a public opinion hit man for hire. Give him a target and he will troll anyone’s good reputation into the dirt. For enough money, he’ll get you sent straight to jail.

Despite his moral reprehensibility, Melvin is a likable protagonist, even if in any other book he would be the villain. He is charming and witty with a worldview that makes a certain amount of twisted sense. He has dirt on everyone and he’s only scamming bad people who deserve it, so what’s the harm? He is also arrogant and selfish. Totally destructive to those he claims to love. Everyone has it coming.

As Melvin’s reputation as a modern-day Mr. Fixit improves he is pulled deeper and deeper into the seedy underbelly of Hollywood. Soon he’s no longer just a petty con-man but someone who helps cover up the worst kinds of crime imaginable. Soon Melvin’s already shaky moral compass is completely lost. Maybe he’s not as good as he thinks he is.

The villains in the book are too many to count but are obviously inspired by modern-day monsters like Weinstein and Epstein. The book is an expose on the ways these powerful men stay in power and those who help them.

Public Opinion is an excellent book but it’s not for the faint of heart. It is salacious and graphic. Pettijohn pulls no punches and certain scenes may upset some readers.

I spent the entire book rooting for Melvin to succeed whilst also rooting for him to fail. He is a protagonist who appeals to our baser urges. When the ending comes, it isn’t really a surprise, but it feels well earned. Any other ending to such a story would have felt false. I enjoyed Public Opinion immensely. Pettijohn knows his stuff and makes a good guide and an even better storyteller.

Pages: 264 | ASIN : B0B1PFWP9X

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Sometimes Truth and Justice Can Seem Irrelevant

Brian O’Hare Author Interview

The Dark Web Murders follows a detective who is chasing down a serial killer that thinks he is performing social justice on those above the law. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Rather strangely, the man who cleans my car said one day, “Why don’t you write a book about a killer who writes about his murders?” I was immediately drawn to the idea and spent a time pondering the type of killer who would do this. I figured he’d have to be a narcissistic psychopath. It was an easy step from there to writing the book.

Did you create an outline for the characters in the story before you started writing or did the character’s personalities grow organically as you were writing?

This is the fourth book in a series, so the key characters have all been around for a while. I have been living a long time and have always been a keen observer of people and their idiosyncrasies. When I need a new character, he or she pops into my head, already fully developed with their own general personality. For some reason I immediately know them intimately. I don’t know why. It has always been like that for me since I started writing fiction.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

I have often been struck by the extent to which trial outcomes can depend on the skills of barristers. Sometimes truth and justice can seem irrelevant. Insane as my killer is, I allowed him to play around with that theme in his blogs.

I have also been constantly conscious of the arrogance of people with money and power, how they can be impervious to the needs of others, and indeed, how corrosive to the spirit power can be. The ‘Club’ allowed me to explore that theme as well.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

The next book in The Inspector Sheehan Mysteries series is called The Trafficking Murders. It has recently been published and is currently available from Amazon and other outlets.

I AM NEMEIN. I AM EMOTIONALLY DETACHED FROM MY KILLINGS. I AM NOT, THEREFORE, A MURDERER. I AM AN INSTRUMENT OF NEMESIS, A PUNISHER.


This is a theme running through a number of blogs on the Dark Web, written by a serial killer. He is highly intelligent and employs philosophical argument to justify a series of gruesome murders.  However, he describes the killings in lurid detail, and with such gloating relish, that he utterly negates his delusion of detachment and reveals himself to be a cold-blooded, narcissistic psychopath.

Sheehan and his team rush headlong down a series of blind alleys in the pursuit of the psychopath, who continues to murder his victims with impunity. He is fiendishly clever, utterly ruthless, and tests Sheehan’s famed intuition to the limit.  Indeed, Sheehan only learns the truth during a horrific climax when some members of his team experience a most harrowing ‘laceration of the soul’ that they will never be able to forget. It is unlikely that the reader will either.

The Dark Web Murders

As Judge Neeson holds a party with well-established millionaires, other judges, and famous revelers, his judge’s judicial assistant is said to have been tasked with meeting someone claiming to carry incriminating files on him. The following day the assistant finds the judge’s house vacant with only Neeson’s dead body left on the floor. Head bashed in and body assaulted beyond belief, Detective Chief Inspector Sheehan is put to the task of solving the murder of Judge Neeson.

Over the following weeks, Sheehan discovers that they are dealing with a provenly deranged serial killer as more bodies are uncovered. And as fate would have it, each murder is documented and justified by the killer on a blog posted to the Dark Web called “Niemen,” which launched the same day Judge Neeson was discovered. Each post proceeds with decoding the meaning of old philosophies surrounding vigilante work and justice of the people and the fate of the victim the author decided to unleash these philosophies on.

Author Brian O’Hare’s gripping book The Dark Web Murders is filled with impressive realism and has been well researched. Rarely seen these days in a lot of fictional crime, the attention to detail truly makes this enthralling book stand out against the crowd. Using a slow-burn approach, the author introduces small details about the setting and crime scenes to the reader. This attention to detail continues throughout, creating a complex plotline. In the style of a hard-boiled mystery, O’Hare gives extensive and often gruesome details to his murder scenes. This reminded me of Dan Brown’s works, which would leave readers with no doubt about the suffering the victims endured.

One characteristic that makes this unique novel stand out is the character development. Each character is distinct and memorable. The side characters are lovable and realistic, giving readers someone to relate to as they progress through some of the darker moments. The crimes have a poetic justice feel to them with the killer’s use of philosophical ideas that presents a calculated series of killings.

The Dark Web Murders is a riveting crime thriller that will have readers on edge till the end. The mystery behind the murders is engrossing as clues will lead readers down false trails and keep them guessing until the reveal.

Pages: 322 | ASIN : B07NYH1FK4

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FETCH ME A HANGMAN

Fetch Me a Hangman by R. G. Ashcroft is a legal thriller that presents readers with an eerie, vicious crime, a slew of intriguingly suspicious characters, and a wholesome lawyer that has been given the unpleasant task of representing the lead suspect. This legal thriller opens with a bang, giving readers a teaser of the crime. As a non-lawyer reading this gripping novel, I particularly enjoyed the moral challenge that Ashcroft presents – what is a lawyer obligated to do if there is reason to believe his client is guilty, or, at a minimum, not telling the whole truth? I believe that both lawyers and non-lawyers alike will enjoy this legal thriller which contains a creative and multifaceted story.

The novel centers on Brandeis Fields, an upstanding lawyer in the small village of Clifton Springs. Brandeis lives a relatively simple and pleasant life, one that many would dream of. A well-paying and consistent career, a doting wife, and two teenage children who are exceptionally pleasant. Brandeis’s peaceful life is turned upside down when he is selected to represent Aaron Tait, the young man accused of committing a brutal murder in this otherwise idyllic town. Aaron, resentful of Brandeis for thinking he might be guilty, is less than a forthcoming client and seems hellbent on doing everything he can to not help Brandeis defend him. As Brandeis and Aaron move through the legal process together, other intriguing characters are introduced to the mix, including fellow lawyer Bill Williams, whose methods are questionable, to say the least; the seductive and mysterious lawyer Jenna Hines, whose surprise appearances are not entirely welcome; and the tight-lipped Maria St. Rosa, nurse to one of Brandeis’s clients who may know more than she lets on.

Ashcroft excels in his presentation of the legal process and the intricacies that it involves. Readers will learn so many interesting facts about different components of the law in this book – from the rules surrounding bail to jury selection to sentencing. Ashcroft explains these concepts in relatively simple terms through the eyes and voice of his protagonist, Brandeis, whose fatherly and lawyerly characteristics make him a good teacher.

Fetch Me a Hangman is a fast-paced legal thriller. There were a number of loose ends that were not tied up by the end of the book, possibly setting readers up for a sequel. Ashcroft has created an intriguing cast of characters and the plot had many twists and turns. This is a brilliant crime novel filled with suspense.

Pages: 316 | ASIN : B09MZKBFC9

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The Knife Thrower’s Wife

Picture the setting of a peaceful suburban neighborhood with the perfect family, the perfect house with the perfect neighbors. A mirage for the American dream. Julia Green is in a marital rut. As she struggles to put the pieces of her happy life back together, she finds things are not as picture-perfect as they may seem. Oblivious to her husband’s true nature, she starts to unintendingly dig up the dirt on a life she thought was full of love and bliss. To cope with her failed marriage, Julia starts painting scenes from her daydreams that unexpectedly turn her into the prime suspect in her husband’s death.

Author Sheila McGraw takes us through an unconventional murder mystery in The Knife Thrower’s Wife. We follow an average American family whose life turns upside-down when plots of murderous intent and scandalous affairs come to light. This inventive story takes off when Julia is arrested, and her trial begins. This twist in the plot is a beautiful example of the nail-biting anticipation McGraw expertly executes all the way to the climax of this mystery. The author builds suspense for readers as the story races towards the finale. McGraw leaves readers second-guessing Julia’s innocence, and the much-anticipated climax reveals who the killer really is. The story’s rising action created an opportunity for the author to completely surprise her readers.

This psychological thriller is a character study in Julia’s personality. Who she is at the beginning of this complex novel is a complete 180 from where she ends up. Readers will cheer for her as she finds her voice and stops being overlooked and walked over.

The Knife Thrower’s Wife is a riveting murder mystery that will keep you on your toes and have you wondering just what will happen next. The action and suspense are thrilling and make for a page-turning experience readers can not put down till the end.

Pages: 346 | ASIN : B08FHBKPH9

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