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Monday 2 January 2023

Death of Television: The COVID Murders Mystery: Book Two of Two by Conal O'Brien


I think it's important to point out that this is not a sequel, but part two. It quite literally picks up where it left off at the end of book 1. Imagine a two-part TV drama with an ad break in between (in this case a year-long ad break!). With no recap or reminders, I confess I did struggle a bit to remember the many characters and slightly complex plot, as it's been twelve months since I read the first part, with quite a number of books in between displacing its memory!

However, everything did fall into place eventually, and I soon fell into step with Artemis Bookbinder, erstwhile member of the NYPD turned NYPD advisor. Book 1 was very prescient, as we were still in the grip of covid and its harsh restrictions: Artemis's character is a germaphobe, so he didn't fair too well in that climate; he's still assisting in the hunt for his wife's murderer and the resurgence of evidence relating to an unsolved thirty-year-old priceless-art theft, but learning to cope better in the less constrictive post-covid world.

I was reminded how much I enjoyed the first part and, importantly, of the author's writing talent. The conclusion was one I never saw coming, one which makes you utter 'wow, I'd never have guessed that!', which I always think confirms a story well written.

Whilst in all honesty I'd have preferred the two parts to have been one book, this was still a cracking read, and I hope Artemis has many more challenging cases to solve.

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