A vicious serial killer roams the Irish Midlands… with his sights set on the next victim. A successful businessman has found the perfect recipe for getting away with murder. No bodies, no evidence, no suspect. High art and low morals collide when graduate Sharona Waters discovers a multi million euro art scam in play. She delves in, unwittingly putting herself on a direct trajectory with danger as the killer accelerates his murder spree. When Sharona gets drawn into the killer’s orbit, she peels away his public persona and exposes the psychopath underneath. Suddenly, the small town has no hiding place…
Having just finished this book in two sittings, I can honestly say it’s a brilliant read for a debut novel. From page one, the opening line tell’s us that ‘The Art Dealer’ is a killer, but who is the art dealer? the beginning is gripping and fast paced as we learn that this is his seventh victim. We don’t know why, is he just bad? Who has he killed previously? Why? The next few chapters I found a little slow, but it is necessary to set up the background story, introduce the reader to all the characters, this is not just a serial killer story it’s so much more.
It’s about family, business, relationships, gambling addiction, loss of jobs, Alzheimer’s, art fraud, and a bit of #MeToo as well. Now I read crime mostly because I try to steer away from something that is going to set me off crying. But sometimes it even happens in crime stories and this one had me in tears, towards the end, but that’s just me, my emotions are easily switched on. But what that told me as a reader was I had feelings for those characters, for what they were going through. If a writer does that then it can’t be a bad thing.
The characters are all well rounded and thought out, relatable, believable, you know who you like and who you don’t like, on the whole most of them are pretty decent people, but there are a couple that are all about themselves. As in real life. I love Hugh Fallon he is a great character, he puts everyone before himself. I also like Ferdia Hardiman his and Hugh’s chats are always good. Each there for the other. Several other good ones too, but I don’t want to name them all. I’m also not going to give too much about the story out, sometimes I know I end up almost retelling the story, but I am trying to steer away from that and just give my opinion, on what I thought.
We do learn who the art dealer is, I think I guessed who he was before the name was given, but I thought it was going to be one of those stories where you get the big reveal at the end. But I liked how this was done, it worked as the narcissistic psychopath’s name is revealed, and how things then progress. The killer is meticulous, plans everything out brilliantly, maybe I shouldn’t really say that about a serial killer, but the writer in creating the killer, goes through every clever little stage, that if you want to get away with killing, you need to think about. At one part of the story I couldn’t flip the pages quick enough, my heart was pounding so fast, no that’s not an exaggeration.
My only one criticism, and it may only be because I have an ecopy of this book possibly before, it was printed, not yet the final edited copy, was occasionally the conversation would change and you weren’t 100% sure who was speaking, another bit was when the killer is reading a letter it wasn’t laid out as a letter, which would have looked better, as it took me a few minutes to realise what it was. Once I did it was fine. Other than that there is a lot going on in the story, and it keeps you engaged from start to finish. The end isn’t rushed. I would like to have seen the trial, but that would probably have made the book too long, unless the plan is to carry on into a second book somehow.
I give this book ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️out of ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and will be looking out for the next book. If you are looking to give a new writer a read grab a copy of this now it is a good read, believable, relatable characters.
I would like to thank Eoghan for letting me have an ecopy of his book in exchange for an honest, fair and unbiased opinion.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
EOGHAN EGAN is a native of Co. Roscommon, Ireland, Eoghan wrote his first story aged nine. At college, he studied Computer Programming, works in Sales Management & Marketing, but his passion for reading and writing remains.
Eoghan’s work got shortlisted for the 2018 Bridport Short Story Prize, and Listowel’s 2019 Bryan McMahon Short Story Award Competition. His novel was a contender in lieterary agent David Headley’s opening chapter Pitch Competition, and during March 2019, Eoghan’s entry won Litopia’s prestigious Pop-Up Submission.
A graduate at Maynooth University’s Creative Writing Curriculum, and Curtis Brown’s Edit &Pitch Your Novel Course, Eoghan divides his time between Roscommon, Dublin and Southern Italy.