The Murder Rule

    • 4.0 • 199 Ratings
    • $12.99
    • $12.99

Publisher Description

No one is innocent in this story ...

The unmissable new standalone from the no.1 bestseller of The Good Turn

First Rule: Make them like you.

Second Rule: Make them need you.

Third Rule: Make them pay.

They think I'm a young, idealistic law student, that I'm passionate about reforming a corrupt and brutal system.

They think I'm working hard to impress them.

They think I'm here to save an innocent man on death row.

They're wrong. I'm going to bury him.

'Complex, unsettling and relentless, with a female protagonist on a journey of self-discovery that will culminate in a riveting final act, The Murder Rule is a great read' Sydney Morning Herald

'Tense and fascinating, dripping with the sort of suspense and intrigue we've come to depend on from Dervla McTiernan' Christian White

'Dervla McTiernan somehow makes the crime writing caper look effortless (spoiler: it isn't). This one's a headlong rush.' Jock Serong

'An extremely smart, thoroughly addictive, super twisty legal thriller that strikes the perfect balance between high-stakes action and real emotional depth. An absolute must-read, I guarantee you won't be able to put it down.' Anna Downes, author of The Safe Place

'Clever and compelling, Dervla McTiernan has seamlessly switched from fast-paced police procedural to original and suspenseful legal drama without missing a beat.' Sarah Bailey, author of The Housemate

'Gripping and full of tension, with twist after unexpected twist. You won't just read The Murder Rule, you'll devour it.' Karin Slaughter, no.1 bestselling author of Pieces of Her

'Diabolically clever, highly compelling and deeply moving. I loved The Murder Rule and did not want it to end.' Don Winslow, New York Times bestselling author of The Force and The Border

'Extraordinary. Haunting. An incredible thriller. I could not put this book down. Dervla McTiernan is a gifted writer with a very special way of telling a story. This is a heart stopping rollercoaster of a tale.' Adrian McKinty, New York Times bestselling author of The Chain

Crime & Thrillers
1 May
HarperCollins Australia Pty Limited

Customer Reviews

Swartz koof ,


McTiernan gets better with each book
Believable and spell binding - real people with enough ‘hype’ to keep the pages turning
Can’t wait to read the next book

Reader 010101 ,

The Murder Rule

Started off really well and interesting, but turned out to be pretty stupid. So disappointing as I had been really looking forward to this release. Boo hoo.

rhitc ,


2.5 stars

Irish lawyer who moved to Perth, Western Australia with her family following what the rest of the world calls the great recession and we call the global financial crisis, and started writing crime novels, as you do. Wildly successful ones at that. Her three previous novels are set in the west of Ireland and centre on police detective Cormac Reilly. This, her much anticipated fourth book, is a standalone effort set in the USA.

Hannah is a law student who lives in rural Maine with her “damaged” mother: an alcoholic with PTSD due to the trauma she suffered at the hands of the man she says murdered Hannah’s father back in the day. That man was subsequently convicted in Virginia for rape and murder of someone else and has served 11 years when his conviction is overturned thanks to the efforts of an “innocence project” legal team at University of Virginia. The cops and the DA decide to try him again. Our gal reads about it in Vanity Fair, travels to Virginia, fakes enrolment at law school down there, and tells a lot of stories and undertakes sundry subterfuge to hustle her way onto the team with the aim of sabotaging their defence of the dude. All is not what it seems on both sides. Yada, yada. Our gal saves the day, and herself, sort of.

Hannah’s third person narrative appears in alternating chapters with her Mom’s diary from back in the day. The pace is slow to start but builds to break neck speed towards the end, which necessitates leaving out details that are recapped briefly when our gal makes her unexpected debut cross-examining a witness in court. Character development limited compared to Ms McT’s previous efforts, which she compounds by introducing more characters than she really needs. There were unspoken asides about inconsequential matters, such as how good food tasted, which I found annoying in a third person narrative, and made me wonder whether Ms McT started out with a first person then changed her mind as she accumulated more characters. Plenty of twists and turns, albeit predictable ones. Several Goodreads reviews by US lawyers suggest Ms McT doesn’t not understand the legal system over there as well as the one in her native Ireland.

Bottom line
Disappointing. I know this author is capable of better.

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