Note: I received a free copy of this book from Online Book Club in exchange for an honest review. The 11:05 Murders was selected as an OnlineBookClub.org Book of the Day. You can check out both the novel and other reviews here!
I went into this book having no idea what to expect, but I can honestly say I was pretty impressed with it!
A crime thriller, The 11:05 Murders focuses on Sergeant Denise Stewart, a woman who has recently been transferred to the Serious Crimes Unit and is trying to recover from her previous stations’ corruption. In SCU, she’s thrown into the middle of a murder investigation. Three separate people are murdered on three separate Tuesday evenings, and each of the bodies are found with watches stopped at 11:05. In this fast paced action, Stewart and the team must work together to deduce the seemingly random connections to the murders in order to find the killer, all the while keeping themselves safe from stalkers and death threats. Will they be able to solve the mystery in time to save the final victim? Or will one of their own be taken instead?
This review comes at a fitting time, as it’s International Women’s Day, but I have to say that I absolutely love that O’Hare chose to write this from a woman’s perspective. Most crime thrillers are written from the perspective of a man, and often it’s difficult for me to relate. I found Denise incredibly easy to relate to throughout the book. She’s someone who’s fairly closed off and she’s dealt with quite a bit of sexism in her field. She tends to be hesitant when accepting compliments from men because of it, which is something I feel most women have experience with. O’Hare captured this really impressively, and I wanted to specifically praise him for it.
The plot itself I also quite enjoyed. I often find that crime books have a lot of sexual scenes, and was glad that this book focused on the murders and detective work more than anything else. I do need to a put a trigger warning, however, as there is a rape scene early on in the story, and it is referenced many times throughout the book. O’Hare didn’t drag it out or romanticize it, which I really appreciated. He wrote it in a very realistic way, so just know that going into it.
There’s a variety of characters, and even though O’Hare doesn’t spend an intense amount of time developing every single one, it’s easy to note that each one is different from the next. They each have their own personalities that shine through, even if they’re only in a few scenes. Another trope that I have found among crime stories that I’ve read is that authors tend to put all their effort into one or two characters. But O’Hare manages to have us caring about characters we literally only met for a single scene.
This book was such an easy tale to get invested in. He hooks you in right from the beginning, twisting you every which way. You’re never quite sure which clue they’re going to uncover, or where it’ll lead them. And even though I saw the ending coming, that didn’t take anything away from it. I was still on the edge of my seat. As a protagonist, Denise was not only easy to relate to, but easy to like. I found myself constantly empathizing with her and thinking that this is a woman I’d get on with really well. The last few books I’ve read have featured quite unlikable protagonists, so it was a great change of pace. Especially for a crime novel.
I did find a few spelling errors, and in the end there were a few moments in the dialogue that didn’t feel natural, but overall I really enjoyed it. It’s different than most things I’ve read, and makes me think about giving the crime genre another shot. In the end, I rate this book 4/5 stars. It has a few errors, but overall is an intense and gripping ride, with characters that are sure to draw you in. My only advice to O’Hare is to re-read and edit just a little more carefully.
As always, thanks for reading! And if you want to check out the book, as well as other reviews, be sure to do so over at OnlineBookClub.org!