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Tuesday, 21 April 2015

What Inspired The Doom Murders?

The Doom Murders, my second novel  represents a dramatic change of genre from my first novel, Fallen Men..  It is basically 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 Murders was 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 murders?

The Doom Murdersis now available from Amazon Kindle Books and will also be available in paperback from Crimson Cloak Publishers late in 2015.

Interesting Developments: Two Awards! The Doom Murders was awarded the IDB Award for valuable contribution to the Indie writing community in March 2014. The book was also chosen for the Official Selection Award  for the 'Mystery' category of the 2014 New Apple Book Awards for Excellence in Independent writing.

Added Note:

In January last year, The Doom Murders climbed to #3 in the Top 100 British Detectives rankings.  It would hardly have done so were it not a reasonably enjoyable book. 

If youare reading this blog and have not yet ordered your copy of The Doom Murders yet, why don’t you give it a try?  It costs only a little over £1 and less that $2. Read some of the 36 reviews (average4.4 stars) using this link:

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