3 out of 4 stars
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I give The Dark Web Murders( by Brian O’Hare three stars out of four. Why three? Because I enjoyed reading it, I kept trying to solve the mystery myself and did not guess who the murderer was until way towards the end of the book. Why not four stars? Because some of the Dramatis Personae so emphatically presented in the beginning, remained hanging at the end, we just vaguely deducing that they were to receive the well-deserved punishment. However, as this is the fourth book in a series of Inspector Sheehan Mysteries, we may presume that some of the characters briefly dealt with here will emerge in another book.
So, a shocking murder occurs in the fashionable residential quarter of Belfast, of a distinguished (or not) judge of the High Court of Justice. Plenty of clues, and, while the investigation is taking place, murders keeping piling up, all bearing the signature of the same MO. And, of course, the murders are described in a blog on the Dark Web. The brave and clever Inspector Sheehan needs to make use of all the skills of his bright and competent team in order to find the perpetrator. I am not telling if he finds him or not, not to spoil the pleasure of reading the novel.
While following the thread of the action, we are introduced into environments as far away from one another as a prison, getting imprisoned and experiencing fear and terror, the judiciary, roles and actions and consequences, a criminal kind of underground life of the rich and vicious, all in Belfast, whose scenery and streets and language of the various trades of life we get to be introduced to. The writer makes use of a multitude of registers, learned argumentation, philosophy, Greek and other, psychology, administration, judiciary and law enforcement.
Also, the book is the most recent that I have ever read, events happening in August last year, and the author making use of all the worries and topics of the day: Brexit, political correctness, dealing with indecisive gender assertion by children.
As a consumer of mysteries, mostly as TV series, I recognized the so well described psychology of the psychopath, whose reason for killing yet denies the very definition of one. By far the character getting the most attention in the book, the descriptions of his murders are a way of defining him but still hard to follow, the literary style of past centuries adopted by the author of the crimes clashing at times with the rather alert rhythm of the narration in the rest of the book. I confess that it took me a lot of patience to thoroughly read especially (i)Satisfaction(/i), the last entry in the blog.
Otherwise, the book seems to have been proofread by a professional, there are few discrepancies, like Kennedy, who is a woman, being referred to as “he”, “a room’s intention” instead of, I believe, “the room’s attention”, “armed offices” instead of “armed officers”, “Sheehan” instead of “Stewart”.
In a nutshell, I believe The Dark Web Murders is easy to read, probably easy to be made into a TV series, a book for holidays or for relieving stress – for those who favour the crime mystery genre.
The Dark Web Murders
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