No Evil Shall I Fear, Part 1 by Joseph Sweeney

Young artist, seeking answers to father’s suicide and mother's identity, finds disturbing diaries revealing murders in Nazi Germany and a village in 1950's Ireland.

Boston, 1990 - A reclusive writer is found dead in his study - branded on his body what appear to be the initials of his daughter, Maurie Cairns. Plagued with nightmares from early childhood, Maurie embarks on a search that will lead her to an unspeakable discovery.

By means of diaries, some by a woman she fears may have been her mother, Maurie uncovers a series of horrific murders, from Norway in the 1930s, to Nazi Germany, to a remote island off the Donegal coast in the late fifties.

A clairvoyant from Uzbekistan, a miraculous escape from the Nazis on the old gypsy trails across Europe, refuge in a monastery in Tibet, a castle in Westphalia where women were burnt as witches in the 17th century, a former convent used by a commune of female war refugees off the Irish coast, a set of strange paintings and artefacts…

Extraordinary encounters, characters, places and stories lead Maurie in the end to appalling revelation - the truth about her mother, her father's guilt-ridden past, and the discovery that the nightmares that have terrified her since her childhood are not simply horrors created by her imagination, but based on real events.

  • Classification: Moderate
  • Work is: Extract only on Authonomy
  • First submitted May 29, 2010
  • Last updated May 29, 2010
 No Evil Shall I Fear, Part 1
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  • Tom Bye's avatar
    Tom Bye wrote 4 years, 7 months ago
    HI JOSEPH 'NO EVIL SHALL I FEAR' Have read chunks of this book. It is a very well written and very detailed book, researched for detail which makes it all the more enjoyable. that it mentioned Ireland in the pitch, brought me in for the read' good man yerself' and ' a pint of guinness for the prodigal son from Inishowen' The dialogue certainly brings it along at a nice pace throughout' had me glued to the pages' backed with ...
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  • John Connor's avatar
    John Connor wrote 4 years, 8 months ago
    Joseph, having now finished reading the whole of the MS here, my initial comments are:- Up Side Good story, nice twists, and strong characters to a degree, though I felt the pace was a little bumpy in places (some fo the descriptive breakaways making the flow pause a little too much for my tastes.) It's also complete which is another added advantage, but having said that, there are also hooks within that are excellent for pulling the reader's curiosity and ...
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  • Retired user
    Mark Engineer wrote 4 years, 8 months ago
    OK, Joseph, here's my two cents, for what it's worth. Firstly, while I'm still not sure exactly what literary fiction is (ironic, as I aspire to writing it!), I don't reckon this is it. I reckon this is a well-written thriller. So, if I were you, I'd ditch the literary tag. It will stand you in good stead, as many people who love thrillers could be put off by it before they've even looked at the book. You have two ...
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  • Retired user
    briantodd [Retired] wrote 4 years, 9 months ago
    Dear Joseph Continuing from my previous comment on 'No Evil Shall I Fear' I am happy to report that the plot kept me rivetted and guessing until the last line of the text you have uploaded. Clairvoyant Madame Tolle couldn't help Maurie much and seems to have been scared off rather in the same way that the priest in the 'Exorcist' was scared away by the realisation that real evil was present.Other questions keep on coming. The '?' key on ...
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  • Retired user
    marc henri [Retired] wrote 4 years, 9 months ago

    I like the line 'Her lips sealed forever' - very dramatic.

  • Retired user
    briantodd [Retired] wrote 4 years, 10 months ago
    Dear Joseph Am breaking a rule I set for myself when I joined this site by commenting before I have finished a book. I've read 10 chapters only of 'No evil shall I fear.' Ill be reading the rest over the weekend. One question Ive been asking myself repeatedly since joining the site is why 5*/6* books such as this languish at 450 after many months when others, vastly inferior in every way ,achieve rapid success. The pitch of this ...
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  • Retired user
    Sandra Davidson [Retired] wrote 4 years, 10 months ago
    Joseph, I have backed your book with great pleasure. Your story is compelling, the beginning reminding me of telling ghost stories around a camp fire. I've only gotten as far as chapter 8, but will read it until the end. Something I rarely do here on authonomy. I do have a couple of suggestions for you, if you don't mind. Try not to mix your dialogue from one character, with action or dialogue from another character in the same paragraph. ...
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  • Retired user
    marc henri [Retired] wrote 4 years, 10 months ago

    Like the first chapter. Will save to read more for later.

  • rleonard's avatar
    rleonard wrote 4 years, 10 months ago
    Dear Joseph, I love a good crime thriller. The premise of your story caught my eye, and I liked the opening. the story seems goo, but could use some additional editing. I noticed several places where the same word or sounding word is used within the same sentence. Example: "She turned to the window and pressed her forhead to the ice-cold window. She gripped the window catch and jerked it open." Perhaps the second 'window' could be replaced with the ...
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  • Colin Eston's avatar
    Colin Eston wrote 4 years, 10 months ago
    Dear Joseph I contacted you a while ago, suggesting a swap read, so here I am going first. Your opening description is very atmospheric. Then the dialogue about the paintings - convincing, revealing, but a touch too long, I felt. Prioritise parts of the dialogue that are essential to Maurie's state of mind. You write with flair and authority. Occasional typos need proof-reading (various mentioned by previous readers) and wolve's - should be wolves'. But overall, a satisfying read that ...
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  • Laurence Howard's avatar
    Laurence Howard wrote 4 years, 10 months ago

    Drawn in by the pitch and intriguing first chapter. Skilfully written, vivid descriptions and well contived dialogue. This deserves to be successful.Backed.
    Laurence Winchester,
    The Cross of Goa

  • shornexe's avatar
    shornexe wrote 4 years, 11 months ago

    Backed this. Very strong synopsis and a compelling opening. One observation - watch the repeated words in same sentence / paragraph. E.g. in the prologue - woke / woken, window, sound.
    Best of luck with your writing
    The Six Acts

  • marywood18's avatar
    marywood18 wrote 4 years, 11 months ago
    The support I have had during my illness has meant so much to me and has kept my book afloat whilst I was unable to attend to reviewing and backing. I am now feeling a lot better and will be visiting the site and playing my part once more, though for a while I cannot fully participate by writing out my comments for each one, so, I am backing without comment, other than this note, which I have cut and ...
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  • Retired user
    Jaye Hill wrote 4 years, 11 months ago
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  • Retired user
    Jaye Hill wrote 4 years, 11 months ago
    Wonderful hook start, but then more goodies to follow - the anguished inhuman, cowled figures, leaping animals in the waves, the black dogs. And at the same time we are introduced via some clever dialogue to Maurie's father, her agent and to some extent herself - the very fact that she disowns the paintings tells us something about her. So well drawn characters, functional as well as accurate dialogue, a wonderful setting to start with, very assured writing I loved ...
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  • JD Revene's avatar
    JD Revene wrote 4 years, 11 months ago


    Good prologue. First chapter opens well.

    An observation on the dialogue, at times you have one character's words in a line with another character's action, which can be confusing, especially with few tags employed. An example is:

    'Are these really your?' She made no reply.

    Quincey's words, but Maurie's reaction.

    It's a fascinating opening chapter, though, dark and foreboding.

    And a lot is revealed in that dialogue, beyond what is said.


  • Walden Carrington's avatar
    Walden Carrington wrote 4 years, 11 months ago

    No Evil Shall I Fear is a gripping and engaging novel. Your descriptive detail create vivid images and the reader easily escapes into the enthralling narrative. Backed with enthusiasm.

  • Retired user
    corichaffee [Retired] wrote 4 years, 11 months ago

    I have read the first two chapters and am completely engrossed in it. You have a compelling writing style with natural dialogue. I am backing this with pleasure and can't wait until I have some more free time to read more!


  • OliverJai's avatar
    OliverJai wrote 4 years, 11 months ago

    Hi There
    Love the pitch. Will read once I've finished current books. On my WL

  • Retired user
    Frank James wrote 4 years, 11 months ago

    Hi Joseph (No Evil Shall I Fear),
    This is my first time to read anything you have written. Very polished piece of work, something you should be proud of. I'm BACKING it and you have my best wishes for the future.

    Frank James (The Contractor)