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The Last Judgement

Brian O'Hare
Brian O’Hare Author Interview

The Doom Murders follows Inspector Sheehan as he pieces together clues from a string of murders connected to the church. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?

I was reading a book about mediaeval art and came across a fifteenth century painting of The Last Judgement by Rogier van der Weyden. One segment of the painting showed the lost souls being tossed into the pit, their bodies twisted into grotesque shapes as they were falling. I suddenly visualised a situation in which a detective comes across a series of killings where each dead body is twisted into one of these shapes. What would have caused the killer to do that? This thought led to the writing of The Doom Murders.

Sheehan is an interesting and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character development?

Many years ago, before I moved into management myself, I used to lecture on Organisation Theory and The Psychology of Management. I was particularly convinced that the best manager, one who could motivate staff, was one who operated from a human-relations approach. He would have no ego. He would be concerned for his workers’ feelings, and would respect them enough to consult with them about how the organisation should be run. Sheehan’s character came out of this kind of thinking. He can be still grumpy and there is no doubt that he is the boss, but he never acts in a way that would create animosity or cause bad feelings.

I enjoyed the mystery at the heart of this story. Did you plan the mystery before writing or did it develop organically while writing?

The motive behind the killings, and the killer, were apparent to me from the beginning. The ‘fundamentalist’ element stemmed from experiences I have had with people of extreme religious conviction who constantly criticize other people’s ways of life without ever considering their own darkness. What did emerge organically were the biblical clues that were found at each crime scene. Actually, they were not there in the early draft. I had to go back and write those extra clues in, because I felt that the story didn’t have enough of the bizarre to go along with the underpinning concept of The Last Judgement and the psychotic nature of the killings. Similarly with the victims. … I had no idea who would be murdered next. Each victim was created only as I needed another high-profile representative of some significant stratum of society that my killer could set his sights on.

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

The Doom Murders is the first volume of an award-winning series called The Inspector Sheehan Mysteries. There are four other volumes, three of them already published. The last one is currently going through the editing process with my publisher. This latest book is called The Trafficking Murders and it should be published in the late Autumn of 2020. Details of the other volumes, The 11.05 Murders, The Coven Murders, and The Dark Web Murders, can be found on my Amazon Author Page [link below]. And maybe I should mention that The Dark Web Murders, [which, like each of the other volumes, has won The New Apple Literary Award for excellence] has almost 500 ratings on Goodreads (average 4.5 stars.)

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads | Facebook | Website | Twitter

Prominent figures in Belfast are being murdered. The bodies are left naked and posed in grotesquely distorted shapes. No clues are left at the forensically immaculate crime scenes except odd theatrical props and some random numbers and letters concealed at each scene by the killer. How are the victims linked? What is the connection between these killings, the bible, and a famous mediaeval painting of The Last Judgement?

The Doom Murders

The Doom Murders (The Inspector Sheehan Mysteries Book 1) by [Brian O'Hare]

The Doom Murder’s book by Brian O’Hare is a novel that is engaging from the beginning to the end, with a lot of suspense. This book amazed me with all that was tightly packed in a murder mystery, police drama, a little love story, and ending with a redemption. In this book, Mr. O’Hare’s writing is engaging and on point, helping to keep the reader engaged in the story. O’ Hare puts a vivid picture in the readers’ minds about the detectives who are working on the cases to help the reader understand the senseless murders’ that have taken place.

The Doom Murder’s is an interesting novel about a serial killer, who had a religious motive. This story is based in Ireland and follows a series of gruesome murders’ involving the Catholic  church. The author does well to ensure the murders’ are sensational, even detailing the killer’s habit of numbering the bodies. These types of chilling details, coupled with religious undertones, gives the story a uniquely horrifying perspective.

The novel begins to unfold as the main character (DCI Jim Sheehan) discovers new clues and information from witnesses. The story for the most part is told from his point of view. This allows the reader to learn new things and uncover shocking truths right along side him. As the suspense continues, a Catholic Bishop was found beaten, naked, and even oddly posed in his Belfast study.

All of the victims are Catholic, hold different positions of leadership and all seem to have not followed the killers’ notion of what God wants in those entrusted to uphold the faith. Each victim is killed and posed in ways that reflect their sins. The exceptional story telling and and dark mystery remind me of the first season of the TV show True Detective. Another aspect that adds to the enjoyment of the book for me is the budding romance of the cathedral organist Margret Sands and Inspector Sheehan. This happy relationship, provides a needed counterpoint to the ugliness of the murders in this novel. The main characters are generally well written and realistic, though I did feel like there was an excessive amount of characters, especially when it came to Sheehan’s immediate team of detectives.

I enjoyed this book as a whole, from the Police procedural, Northern Ireland, the Murder, and the mystery at the heart of this story all came together to deliver and unique and gripping story. I found that the investigations, interviews, the characters, and the scenes all played a significant role in this book, and I found I was just as desperate to find the killer as the detectives were. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes detailed murder mysteries that are grounded but thrilling. Fast paced and intriguing, The Doom Murders is consistently entertaining.

Pages: 374 | ASIN: B0176IW9B6

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