Religious hatred is real, and non-believers aren’t always the guilty ones. In Northern Ireland, there is a killer on the loose, and the mind of this killer has more than a few screws loose.
In the Catholic Church, some who hold high positions are going against their core beliefs. This causes unrest in many, but in one disturbed individual, it leads to murder.
The first one brutally murdered is a bishop. His dead, naked body is displayed in a bizarre way. Did the killer pose him this way on purpose? No matter how staged this murder appears, it is thought that to be a random murder.
Then there is a second murder. A young lady is found brutally murdered. She is also naked and posed in a strange way. The significance of something the inspector finds at the scene tells him that not only are the two murders connected, but they are far from over.
After the next few murders, it is obvious that this killer has definite targets in mind. And the brutal ways they are murdered are based on a painting.
In this first-rate police procedural, red herrings are thrown around like crazy. Several different times I was convinced that I knew the identity of the murderer, but I was wrong. Until the identity of the killer was revealed, I had no clue who it was.
The Catholic Church plays a huge part in this book. Many were pulling away from the teachings of the Church, but at the same time, Inspector Sheehan was being pulled back to his Catholic upbringing.
This was a very satisfying book to read. My first love in books were the Agatha Christie mysteries. Since I read all of them, it has been hard to find mysteries that are as satisfying as the ones that she wrote. The Doom Murders proved to be as enjoyable to me as any of Agatha Christie’s whodunits. I look forward to reading more by Brian O’Hare.
A free copy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. If you would like your own copy of this book, I have provided an Amazon link below.
Amazon Link: The Doom Murders
Are we naturally a hostile and intolerant people or have we been driven to that by politics?
Police profiling was nowhere nearly so informative or as functional as its fictional counterpart on television.
Random nearly always disappeared in the hindsight of any case.
But tendrils of his childhood faith, buried for so long in the hard crust of cynicism that had smothered his spirit, were beginning to pull again on his soul.
New Words Learned:
ACC – Assistant Chief Constable
affray – an instance of group fighting in a public place that disturbs the peace
alacrity – brisk and cheerful readiness
androcentric – focused or centered on men
appellative – relating to or denoting the giving of a name
atavistic – relating to or characterized by reversion to something ancient or ancestral
autocratic – of or relating to a ruler who has absolute power
avant-garde – new and unusual or experimental ideas
bises – (French) kisses
breviary – a book containing the service for each day, to be recited by those in orders in the Roman Catholic Church
breeze block – a cinder block
catholic – broad or wide-ranging in tastes, interests, or the like; having sympathies with all; broad-minded; liberal
céad mile fáilte – an Irish phrase that means “a hundred thousand welcomes”
chattel – a personal possession
concelebrants – those who officiate jointly at Mass
coterie – a group of people with shared interests or tastes
cretinous – stupid
crozier – a hooked staff carried by a bishop as a symbol of pastoral office
desultory – lacking a plan, purpose, or enthusiasm
divest – deprive (someone) of power, rights, or possessions
DUP – Democratic Unionist Party
eejit – This has to be one of my favorite words. This is the Irish and Scottish way of calling someone an idiot.
effusive – expressing feelings of gratitude, pleasure, or approval in an unrestrained or heartfelt manner
ethos – the characteristic spirit of a culture, era, or community as manifested in its beliefs and aspirations
fob – deceitfully attempt to satisfy someone by making excuses or giving them something inferior
frisson – a sudden strong feeling of excitement or fear; a thrill
furore – an outbreak of public anger or excitement
gauche – lacking ease or grace; unsophisticated and socially awkward
germane – relevant to a subject under consideration
Holy See – the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, the episcopal see of the Pope, and an independent sovereign entity
homilies – sermons
hypostasis– the accumulation of fluid or blood in the lower parts of the body or organs under the influence of gravity, as occur in cases of poor circulation or after death
inured – accustomed to something unpleasant
lassitude – a state of physical or mental weariness; lack of energy
Magisterium – the teaching authority of the Roman Catholic Church, esp. as exercised by the bishops or the pope
miasma – a highly unpleasant or unhealthy smell or vapor
mitre – a tall headdress worn by bishops and senior abbots
mortice lock – a lock that is set within the body of a door in a recess or mortise, as opposed to one attached to the door surface
NIE – Northern Ireland Electricity
obsequies – funeral rites
offertory – the offering of the bread and wine at the Eucharist
on tenterhooks – in a state of suspense or agitation because of uncertainty about a future event
pedagogical – (adj) teaching
plaudits – praises
prandial – (often humorous) during or relating to dinner or lunch
propensity – an inclination or natural tendency to behave in a particular way
prelate – a bishop or other high ecclesiastical dignitary
profligate – recklessly extravagant or wasteful in the use of resources
prurience – an excessive interest in sexual matters
PSNI – Police Service of Northern Ireland
psychogenic – having a psychological origin or cause rather than a physical one
sacristan – a person in charge of a sacristy and its contents
sectarian– denoting a certain sect or sects
sláinte – an Irish phrase that means “good health”
soutane – a type of cassock worn by Roman Catholic priests
surplices – loose white linen vestments varying from hip-length to calf-length, worn over a cassock by clergy, acolytes, and choristers at Christian church services
suss – realize, grasp
the troubles – a violent thirty-year conflict framed by a civil rights march in Londonderry on 5 October 1968 and the Good Friday Agreement on 10 April 1998. At the heart of the conflict lay the constitutional status of Northern Ireland.
Tridentine Mass – the Latin Eucharistic liturgy used by the Roman Catholic Church from 1570 to 1964
Tyvek – is a brand of flashspun high-density polyethylene fibers, a synthetic material; the name is a registered trademark of DuPont. It is often seen used as housewrap, a synthetic material used to protect buildings during construction. The material is very strong; it is difficult to tear but can easily be cut with scissors or a knife. Water vapor can pass through Tyvek, but liquid water cannot. All of these properties make Tyvek useful in a variety of applications.
vagaries – unexpected and inexplicable changes in situations or in a person’s behavior
yobs – rude, noisy, and aggressive young men
About the Author:
Brian O’Hare, MA, Ph.D., is a retired assistant director of a large regional college of further and higher education. He is married, and he has three children, ten grandchildren, and 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.