3 out of 4 stars
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The 11:05 Murders by Brian O'Hare is a murder mystery set in Belfast, Ireland and was a fantastic read.
The book opens with a chilling description of a man planning a sexual assault on a female college student while at a party with two of his friends. You are immediately drawn in by his cold and menacing personality and the calculated way in which he chooses his victims, always a slim, pretty and introverted girl who would be too ashamed to talk afterwards.
Twelve years later Denise Stewart is promoted to detective after she testifies against one of her superior officers when she found evidence he was running a human trafficking ring. Denise is a beautiful but jaded woman with a chip on her shoulder. She has grown tired of the sexist comments thrown at her while working in a male dominated environment. She is surprised by the warm welcome she receives when she starts working for Jim Sheehan's team and when she suspects she is being stalked she soon finds a friend and protector in fellow sergeant Tom Allen.
Soon after starting in her new role, Denise is called out to a gruesome scene where a man has been brutally murdered. The killer has left them a message by the way he killed the victim and he stopped the man's watch at exactly 11:05. Denise and the serious crimes team find themselves dealing with what looks like a lovers' revenge killing. That is until exactly one week later when another man is found murdered in exactly the same manner and with his watch stopped at 11:05 as well.
As Denise and the rest of her team continue to work on the case the number of suspects just seems to be growing and then Denise receives a masked phone call, giving her pertinent information about the murders. Unsure about what to do and still afraid that she is being stalked, Denise goes to her chief and confesses all that has been going on.
The story comes to a climax when the team realise that there is a third man at risk of being murdered and they put together a plan to catch the killer in the act using Denise as 'bait'. Unfortunately it all goes horribly wrong and they find themselves on the hunt for a killer who has now kidnapped Denise and disappeared.
This was such an exciting read. I would rate it 3 out of 4 stars. The characters were so well thought out and the plot had many unexpected twists and turns. I could engage with the characters and found myself accusing a number of suspects before speed reading the final chapters to find out who the killer was.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good murder mystery. It was so refreshing to read a murder mystery and not know who the killer was until the very end. The only reason I haven't given this book a full four out of four stars is because I managed to spot a typo or two and once, one of the characters is called by the wrong name.
All in all this was an excellent read and I would definitely read any other books written by Brian O'Hare.
The 11.05 Murders
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