Category Archives: The Murals

Review: The Murals by William Bayer

Title: The Murals by William Bayer
Publisher: Severn House Publishers
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 224 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


In this multi-layered psychological mystery, photographer Jason Poe is transfixed by a disturbing set of murals he encounters in the attic of an abandoned house, and resolves to uncover the secret behind them.

“The murals hit me hard. First came terror, then awe. It was only after I’d taken them in that I began to feel their immense power.”

Jason Poe, a former war photographer, has been breaking into abandoned houses for an art project to document what previous tenants have left behind. One night he finds more than expected when he ascends to an attic and is confronted by a haunting set of murals.

The murals cover all four walls of the cramped space and hypnotise Jason. Convinced there’s an important story behind them, he embarks upon a quest to identify their creator and uncover their meaning. To do so Jason recruits several friends, including Joan Nguyen, a reporter for Calista Times-Dispatch. As the team delve deeper they uncover a mystery involving accusations of satanism, police corruption, a scandal involving a wealthy Calista family, a series of contemporary arson attacks . . . and an enigmatic patient in a Swiss psychiatric clinic.


The Murals by William Bayer is a puzzling mystery.

Photography instructor Jason Poe is immediately obsessed with finding out more information about a series of murals painted on the walls of an empty house. He cannot quite put his finger on why the murals affect him so deeply so he enlists the help of his assistant Tally Vaughan, colleague and sometimes girlfriend Hannah Sachs and newspaper report Joan Nguyen to try to find the artist. The house has a troubled past and they quickly discover the possible identity of the artist(s). But with their questions rebuffed at every turn, Jason and his friends quickly deduce that something was quite amiss with the artists and quite possibly, their time in the house. Will their persistence and amateur sleuthing provide them with the answers they are searching for?

Written in first person with the chapters alternating between different characters, The Murals is an engrossing mystery. The characters are likable and vibrantly developed. The house is creepy but can they trust the reports of what occurred within the walls? The murals completely captivate anyone who views them and everyone is affected in different ways. Will uncovering the truth about the artists and their reason for painting the murals provide answers for why Jason, Tally, Hannah and Joan are so disturbed by them?  With a few twists and turns, William Bayer provides answers to these questions with a satisfying conclusion. I enjoyed this clever and unique mystery and recommend it to readers of the genre.

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Filed under Contemporary, Mystery, Rated B, Review, Severn House Publishers, The Murals, William Bayer