The body of a man in his early 30s is found in the man’s home, the body mutilated and his throat slit. Chief Inspector Jim Sheehan of the Belfast Police leads the investigating team, and finds a number of unusual things – a broken cufflink that doesn’t belong to the dead man, a watch deliberately stopped at 11:05, and a laptop with information about a young woman who committed suicide 12 years earlier.
Sheehan’s team includes a new detective sergeant, Denise Stevens. She’s transferred to the detective unit from a police station where she experienced verbal and physical abuse from her fellow (male) police officers. She finds an entirely different atmosphere with Sheehan’s team, and she brings a sharp mind and a new perspective. She also unknowingly brings a stalker.
Then there’s a second murder, and the list of possible suspects grows to include bankrupt property owners and a former IRA revolutionary turned thug businessman. Stevens is convinced, however, that the solution to the deaths lies in the past, and specifically around the Queens University college student who committed suicide following a brutal rape.
The 11:05 Murders is mystery writer Brian O’Hare’s second Inspector Sheehan novel, and it’s one that’s extremely difficult to put down. It sizzles with action, suspense, and more than a few nail-biting developments as you watch Sheehan and his team move and sometimes stumble towards a solution.
O’Hare is a retired assistant director of a large regional college in Northern Ireland. The Doom Murders is the first Inspector Sheehan novel. He’s also written three Inspector Sheehan short stories, “Murder at Loftus House,” “Murder at the Roadside Café,” and “Murder at the Care Home;” a work of general fiction entitled Fallen Men; a memoir, A Spiritual Odyssey: A Diary of an Ordinary Catholic; and a non-fiction work, The Miracle Ship: Conversations with John Gillespie.
The 11:05 Murders is a fast-paced, highly entertaining, and well-written mystery. It’s good to know that a new entry in the Inspector Sheehan series, a short novel entitled The Coven Murders, will be published soon.
Top photograph: Queen’s University in Belfast, which plays a significant role in The 11:05 Murders.