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#TuesdayBookBlog The Dark Web Murders (The Inspector Sheehan Mysteries Book 4) by Brian O’Hare (@brianohare26) A first-rate challenge for those who love a bit of detecting #Bookreview

Hi all:

I bring you the review of the next book in a series that has quickly become one of my favourite police procedurals.

The Dark Web Murders by Brian O'Hare
The Dark Web Murders by Brian O’Hare

The Dark Web Murders (The Inspector Sheehan Mysteries Book 4) by Brian O’Hare


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 first thing I thought after reading this book is: Why isn’t Brian O’Hare better known in the crime writing world? This man is extremely talented, and his book a wonderful ‘whodunnit’ that left me guessing until the end.” [Joseph Sousa, Crime Writer]

“Head and shoulders above most mystery authors who are published today, Brian O’Hare deserves a wider recognition. You won’t regret purchasing his books.” [C&B Todd, Amazon Reviewer]

Author Brian O'Hare
Author Brian O’Hare

About the author:

Brian O’Hare, MA, Ph.D., is a retired assistant director of a large regional college of further and higher education. Married, three children, ten grandchildren, one great grandchild. He plays golf three times a week off a ten handicap and does a lot of voluntary work. Any writing he has previously done was academic…very much restricted to a very specific readership. Several articles in educational journals were followed by a number of book-length reports for the Dept. of Education and the University of Ulster.

He has also written an interesting biography of a man who daily performs amazing miracles of healing…The Miracle Ship. That is currently available in Amazon’s Kindle bookstore. Hopefully those who read it will spread the word and write reviews to help John’s message to reach the hearts of many, many people.

Brian had a liver disease since childhood which resulted in him taking early retirement a number of years ago. In 2002 he had a liver transplant but is strong and healthy now. He continued to do academic writing well into his retirement and followed that with a memoir about his liver transplant, dealing with the physical, emotional and spiritual experiences that came from that period in his life (A Spiritual Odyssey, published by Columba Press, Dublin).

Recently he experienced a desire to write fiction. Hence Fallen Men. It is a story about three priests…but it is religious in much the same way Thornbirds was religious. He has also finished a second book. It’s quite different from Fallen Men… a detective mystery inspired by an old 14th century painting of the Last Judgement. It’s called “The Doom Murders”, and it is available on Kindle and in print. Brian’s publisher’s liked The Doom Murders so much that they commissioned a series. The second book in the series, “The 11.05 Killings“, has now been written. Obviously it features the same detectives as in The Doom Murders. The book is now going through the editing and formatting process by Crimson Cloak Publishing, a cover is being designed, and the book will be ready for publication early in 2016. The third book in the series, The Coven Murders, is currently being written.

To launch the print version of The Doom Murders, CCP asked Brian to write a couple of short stories, featuring Inspector Sheehan. These were originally intended to be Facebook games (i.e. a kind of ‘see the clues, guess the killer’ thing) but the publisher liked them so much that she has started a new line called Crimson Shorts. Brian’s two shorts ( a third will shortly have to be written to launch The 11.05 Killings) Murder at Loftus House and Murder at the Roadside Cafe are now available on Amazon in Kindle and print versions.

Also now available on Kindle (as well as print) is the story of Brian’s liver transplant and the growth in spirit he experienced as he waited for almost a year, not knowing if he was going to live or die. See: “A Spiritual Odyssey [Diary of an Ordinary Catholic]”

My review:

I received an ARC copy of this book that I freely chose to review.

Although this is the fourth book in the Inspector Sheehan Mystery series, this is the third book I’ve read because I caught up on it in the second book, the 11:05 Murders and I have kept reading the new ones (you can check my review of The Coven Murders here, where you will also find a link to my review of the previous book). And I can confirm that I have enjoyed them all. By the way, any readers of this book who enjoy it but haven’t read the first one in the series either, I recommend you keep reading the book until the end, including the extra materials, because the author kindly offers copies of the first book to any readers who request them directly. So there’s no excuse. (And that makes me think… what am I waiting for?)

This fourth instalment in the series has all the elements fans have come to love, and any readers of police procedurals would expect to find. There are weird murders, a clever and truly twisted murderer, bizarre clues and possible motives, plenty of red herrings, twists and turns galore and a fascinating background to the story (the dark web, a pretty unique club, corruption, debauchery, blackmail… even Brexit makes an appearance!). If you love puzzles and crosswords you’ll have a slight advantage when trying to solve the case, but you need to keep your wits about you and pay close attention to even the smallest details (although I must confess that I did not guess the murderer this time, and I was derailed by a red herring. In my defence, though, I did uncover one of the major clues faster than the members of the team and even the expert, but then, although I hardly do crosswords these days, I used to be a fan).

It also has the Northern Irish setting that is always an important aspect to the stories in the series, and in this case there are no paranormal aspects, like in the last book, but we have interesting philosophical and moral debates about the nature of justice, retribution, and the risks inherent in taking the law in one’s hands.

One of my favourite aspects of the books in this series is the interaction between the members of the team, who are all unique but work together well, despite moments of tension and misunderstandings. We get to learn more about the characters, we see how even some that seemed very set in their ways have developed and play a bigger role in this novel, and I was pleased to catch up with them. That does not mean this book cannot be read as a stand-alone. In fact, the author has followed readers’ suggestions and has added a list of characters at the beginning of the book, including the members of the team and also those pertaining to the story, and he has also included terminology used by UK police, to make sure that readers not familiar with it have no difficulties following the action, making it even easier to follow. Although there are passing references to events from previous novels, these are not fundamental to the story or the development of the plot, and there is no cliff-hanger at the end either, so don’t hesitate to read the novel if you like the sound of it. My only word of caution would be that you are likely to get hooked onto the series, so, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The book is written in the third person, mostly from Sheehan’s point of view, although also from some of the other members of his team, and we also get a prologue (pay attention) and extremely intriguing blog posts interspersed in the book, that are clearly related to the action, that is narrated in chronological order. There is sufficient background provided to all the topics that come up in the story to ensure readers can enjoy it, but this does not unduly delay the action, and the writing flows well, and gathers momentum as it goes along. As I’ve said, it’s impossible to read the book without getting caught up in the intrigue and debating the clues as if you were another member of the team.

This is a strong and solid police procedural, with a fascinating and pretty dark case that will suppose a first-rate challenge for those who love a bit of detecting, and look for an interesting background and characters they can root for. Another gripping book by Brian O’Hare. I am eagerly awaiting the next one.

Thanks to the author for the book, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to like, share, comment, click, review, keep reading and smiling! ♥

By OlgaNunez

I was born in Barcelona and after living in the UK for many years have now returned home. I teach English, volunteer at Sants 3 Ràdio, a local radio station, I'm a writer, translator (English-Spanish and vice-versa) and I'm a medical doctor and worked in Forensic Psychiatry many years. I also have a BA and a PhD in American Literature and Film, and a Masters in Criminology. I've always loved books and apart from writing them I review them often.
I write a bit of everything, check my books for more information and my about page for links.
My blog is bilingual, English and Spanish.

20 replies on “#TuesdayBookBlog The Dark Web Murders (The Inspector Sheehan Mysteries Book 4) by Brian O’Hare (@brianohare26) A first-rate challenge for those who love a bit of detecting #Bookreview”

This sounds good, Olga, especially if it can be read as a ‘stand alone’ from the series.
I like the blogging aspect of course. 🙂
(I have started the book of short stories you featured. Well written, with a very different feel)
Best wishes, Pete.

Thanks, Amy. I now have a copy of the first book as well and looking forward to it. I hope you enjoy them if you get to read them. Have a great week!

Thanks for your very generous and complimentary review, Olga. it’s great that you liked the book and write so positively about it. You kind words are much appreciated. Brian

Thanks, Brian. I’m always happy to spread the word to other readers when I come across a good book. I look forward to the next one!

Your review has lured me, lol. My favorite late night TV watching – police procedurals. Sounds addictive.. I remember you reviewing another book or 2 of Brian’s and I know I bought one and will bookmark this one too. I’ll get to it. Thanks. <3

Thanks, Debby. I think you’ll enjoy the stories and the characters. I know finding the time to read everything we’d like too is complicated. Have a good rest of the week!

Hi Olga. I do love a good procedural mystery. This one sounds beautifully done. However, from the perspective of personal preference, can you tell me — how graphic is the writing about the crimes? I expect some blood and guts, but are there depictions of torture? (I was reading one (not one of your reviews) that went into detail about the torture death of a piglet, and of children. It was brilliantly written, but it was just too much for me.)
Regardless of what might be my cup of tea, I wish Brian huge success. Hugs to you both.

Well, Teagan, there are details of the murders, because the M.O. is quite important to understand the motives (let’s say a police truncheon plays a part), and although it is not the most explicit I’ve read, it isn’t a cozy mystery either. I’ve definitely read far worse, but there is plenty of discussion of not very pleasant subjects (it is not so much about the murders as about the activities of the club in question), so I’d say it is fairly realistic and leaning towards dark (not only the web, but the subject is pretty dark) but not extreme.The victims of the murderer are all grown-ups, but that cannot be said to be the case for the activities of the club, so approach with caution, I’d say.
Big hugs and thanks for asking for a clarification. I’m sure it will be very useful to other readers.

You did a lovely and mindful review, Olga. Your words don’t need clarification. I had read one that was so gruesome in the details of torture showing the victims’ reaction, that it made me cautious. I can’t remember the name of the book or the author. It’s just a personal reaction. Unfortunate, because it was a brilliant book.

Thanks, Teagan. I know what you mean. For me, a police procedural must contain fairly realistic details, including postmortem reports, descriptions of the site of the murder, but of course it depends on the kind of murder. These days most thrillers and crime books tend to go let’s say “original” murders, and in some cases pretty extreme. (Well, I’ve written some myself, so who am I to say?). This one is not extreme in violence but some of the themes that come up are far from wholesome. I am fairly difficult to shock especially if the book is well written. For me it’s erotica that I can tolerate only in small doses…
I hope you have a fabulous weekend.

Thanks, Sally. Yes, it’s good to follow the author’s career and also see how the characters evolve over time. Thanks for sharing and enjoy the rest of the week.

Thanks, Robbie. Sorry, I found your comment hiding in the spam folder, in not very good company. I wonder… I think you’d enjoy this series. I have the first one now also due to read, so I hope to review it in due course. Have a lovely week!

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