Entertaining murder thriller of secret club committing crimes

Book: The Garden Of Evil

Book: The Garden Of Evil

Author: David Hewson

Publisher: Macmillan

Reviwer: Nthabisang Moreosele

A gruesome murder leads to the discovery of an exquisite painting that art experts had no idea existed. The murder mimics the violent scene in the painting.

The victim is a senior art expert at a local museum, who was not known to have friends. Detectives believe that if they find the painting's owner, they will have found the murderer.

A special team of detectives, aided by a nun, get cracking on the case. The lead detective's wife is killed right in front of her husband.

With virtually no clues to help them, the detectives patiently scout the neighbourhood for the murderer until clues of a secret club emerge.

The club members leave messages all over the city to confuse the detectives into thinking they are an elite ancient society.

The detectives discover early on who the members are, but have no proof of their murderous spree.

The second half of the book deals with the painstaking work to link the debauched clubbers with the crimes. The police also stumble on a lucrative art-theft ring which is used to fund the club's activities.

All the members live in hovels, except their leader who hides in an ancient castle situated in the middle of the city.

He plays cat and mouse with the police and when the threat becomes too great, starts killing the club members.

The book is entertaining, but just a trifle too long. The reader might be put off by the puff from the publishers, who openly say that they will build the writer into a best-selling author.