The Doom Murders – a Review

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.

The Doom MurdersIn 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

Favorite Sentences:
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

pruriencean 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.

  1 comment for “The Doom Murders – a Review

  1. February 21, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    Thanks for the brilliant review, Lisa. I appreciate the compliments (even if you have my cheeks blushing furiously).


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