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Reviewed by Lucinda E Clarke for Readers' Favorite
The Coven Murders: The Inspector Sheehan Mysteries Book 3 by Brian O’Hare is another murder mystery with a twist in the DCI Sheehan series set in Northern Ireland. The bodies begin to pile up and all of them are connected although no one is admitting anything. The book opens with the description of a ritual killing some 25 years earlier when the skeletal remains of a young woman who’d recently given birth are discovered. But this is only the first case and both the police and the pathology lab are hard put to keep up with the deaths, all killed in the same way and all high-profile members of the Belfast community.
I really enjoyed The Coven murders by Brian O’Hare, not the first book I’ve read in this series so I knew I was in for a treat. From the first page, I was hooked and read it in one day, eager to find out ‘whodunit’ and how DCI Sheehan solves the case. I liked learning about the city of Belfast and its environs, and as before, the subject of religion comes into the equation, the simmering differences between Catholic and Protestant which you can only understand if you have lived in Ireland. However, O’Hare handles this with tact and wry humour, unlikely to offend anyone.
Despite the gruesome murders, the author does not resort to blood and gore and the use of swear words. His characters are real people, the ambient descriptions of places are so vivid you feel you are in the squad room, or out on patrol with the police. I particularly enjoyed Jim Sheehan’s Shakespearean quotes and use of literary epithets which leave most of his team bemused. The latter parts of the book reminded me of the Denis Wheatley novels where the good take on Satan in a life or death battle. A really good read, a well-deserved 5 stars, and I hope there will be more books in the series.