Monday, February 12, 2024

Aubrey Nye Hamilton Reviews: The Southern Killer by Peter O'Mahoney

Peter O'Mahoney independently publishes four different adult thriller series with his own name as well as children’s books under the name Peter Patrick. Interestingly, his thrillers are spread across the United States: private investigator Jack Valentine and criminal defense attorney Tex Hunter are in Chicago, attorney Bill Harvey is in Los Angeles, and Joe Hennessy’s law office is in Charleston, South Carolina.

The third book in the Hennessy series is The Southern Killer (2023). Twenty years ago Joe Hennessy’s 10-year-old son was kidnapped and killed. Overwhelmed with grief, Hennessy left Charleston and established a vineyard named after his son in the rural region of South Carolina. Successive years of drought ruined the vines and the grapes, threatening the survival of what he saw as his son’s legacy. He returned to Charleston and his law practice to generate enough revenue to re-establish the vineyard.

Hennessy is approached by a convicted felon who was suspected of being complicit in his son’s death. He promises to tell Hennessy everything he knows about Hennessy’s son if Hennessy will keep the felon’s unacknowledged daughter from being convicted of murder. The teenaged Alicia Fenton stood accused of killing her stepfather Dennis Fenton, a former cop, known drug addict, and associate of biker gangs, on the night Fenton was released from prison. Hennessy is desperate to find out what happened to his son so he agrees to help Alicia.

While she claimed self-defense, from the beginning the deck is stacked against her. Even though Fenton was a crooked cop, his former colleagues, many of them with questionable associates themselves, intend to see his killer punished and the district attorney crumbles under their pressure. Hennessy meets resistance and threats at every attempt to locate witnesses and learn more about the night Fenton died.

There are four titles in this series, each has been released around six months after its predecessor. This one demonstrates the flaws of books produced with that kind of speed. While the essential plot is sound, the story lacks the narrative detail and the depth of characterization that would elevate it from an okay book to a strong legal thriller. An easy fast read as it stands but a development editor would have been helpful. Surprisingly, both Amazon and Goodreads reviews rate it highly.


·         ASIN: B0BSWTHDWN

·         Publisher: Independently published (January 24, 2023)

·         Language: English

·         Paperback: 300 pages

·         ISBN-13: 979-8374832556


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 Aubrey Nye Hamilton ©2024 

Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal It projects by day and reads mysteries at night.

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