Doom Murders My second novel has just been published on Amazon Kindle (December 2012) and represents an even more dramatic change of genre. This time I have written a murder mystery set in
Belfast. Echoes of ‘the Troubles’
and their lingering aftermath are never far from the surface but these echoes
are just background. The story, the themes and the plot have a much
more general appeal.
What triggered The Doom Murders? Among my various interests, I like to read about art and have many books on artists from all over the world. I was browsing through one of these books and spent some time contemplating a painting of The Last Judgement by a fifteenth century artist, Rogier van der Weyden. For some reason, a piece of advice to writers from Stephen King came into my head. King said, “Always ask ‘why?’, or ‘what if?' ". I was studying the distorted figures of the damned souls hurtling down into the abyss and wondered: “What if a Chief Inspector was faced by a series of gruesome murders and found the bodies posed in strange and grotesque shapes identical to those on this Doom?” And came the next question, “Why would anyone want to do that?”
From these two questions came the inspiration for a new story and The Doom Murderswas written. Dooms are mediaeval paintings of The Last Judgement. The killer in this novel has been inspired in his “work” by the painting of The Last Judgement by Rogier van der Weyden.
This “work” comes to the notice of Chief Inspector Jim Sheehan when a number of high profile figures in
Belfast are brutally murdered. The bodies are left
naked and oddly distorted. No clues are left at the forensically immaculate
crime scenes except seemingly pointless theatrical props and some random numbers
and letters. Sheehan is baffled. How are the victims linked? What message is the murderer trying
to send via the vaguely religious symbolism of the killings? Faced with one of the most complex
cases of his career, the Chief Inspector turns to an eminent Professor of
Psychology at Queen’s University and a senior cleric who is a biblical expert.
With their help, he begins to piece together some understanding of the killer’s
psychopathy but can he learn enough to identify the killer and put an end the
The Doom Murders is now available from Amazon Kindle Books.
Added Note: February 2nd, 2013
In January, The Doom Murders climbed to #3 in the Top 100 British Detectives. It has started to slide lately but it would never have got there if it was not a reasonably enjoyable book. If you are looking at this blog and have not yet downloaded The Doom Murders , give it a try. It costs only a little more than one pound. And please leave a comment. I would love to hear from readers.