Conal O'Brien is an award-winning television director, graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, and a long-time resident of New York, Los Angeles, and most recently, Vermont.
Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Birth of the Angel: The COVID Murders Mystery is a work of fiction in the murder mystery, suspense, and interpersonal drama subgenres. It is best suited to mature readers owing to some explicit language and sexual situations. Penned by author Conal O'Brien, this gripping novel follows Artemis Bookbinder, an academic with an NYPD background, as he becomes obsessed with solving the unsolved robbery of the Gardner Museum in Boston. It's February 2020, and a famous painting is found, along with a dead body. Artemis must navigate the COVID-19 outbreak while uncovering a dark world of cults, drugs, and a powerful TV news outlet. The discoveries he makes challenge his beliefs, and salvation lies with a woman trying to break free from a vengeful world controlled by men. The novel weaves together mystery, pandemic realities, and unexpected twists.
Author Conal O'Brien has crafted an enthralling experience that kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. The author's talented blending of an unsolved art robbery, the COVID-19 pandemic, and a suspenseful murder mystery created a unique and captivating narrative. The realism and characterization around Artemis Bookbinder's quirky character and background as an academic with an NYPD past added depth to the story. The novel also achieved a skillful navigation of the complexities of the pandemic, using it as a backdrop to a dark and thrilling tale filled with cults, drugs, and secrets. The suspenseful twists and turns kept me guessing until the end, and the well-crafted plot highlighted the harsh realities of living during a pandemic without overdoing the drama. Overall, Birth of the Angel is a must-read for mystery enthusiasts seeking a captivating blend of crime-solving, pandemic struggles, and unexpected revelations.