“Compelling, unexpected twists and a hold-your breath standoff . . . Hand this one to readers of Tana French and to police-procedural fans.” —Booklist
It's been twenty years since Detective Cormac Reilly discovered the body of Hilaria Blake in her crumbling home. But he's never forgotten the two children she left behind...
When Aisling Conroy's boyfriend Jack is found in the freezing black waters of the river Corrib in Ireland, the police tell her it was suicide. She throws herself into work, trying to forget—but Jack's sister Maude reappears in Ireland after years abroad, determined to prove Jack was murdered.
Meanwhile, Detective Cormac Reilly, who was recently transferred to Galway from his squad in Dublin, is assigned to dig into a cold case from twenty years ago—the seeming overdose of Jack and Maude's drug and alcohol addled mother. Other detectives are connecting Jack’s death to his mother’s, and pushing Reilly to arrest Maude, and fast. But instinct tells him something isn’t quite what it seems…
This unsettling small-town noir draws us deep into the dark heart of Ireland, where corruption, desperation, and crime run rife. A gritty look at trust and betrayal where the written law isn't the only one, The Ruin asks who will protect you when the authorities can't—or won't.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Ruin can mean destruction, or in Irish, rúin is a secret. There’s plenty of both in Dervla McTiernan’s assured debut. After leaving a distinguished career in Dublin, Detective Sergeant Cormac Reilly has to navigate police politics and corruption in Galway. Things get worse when he finds a link between a recent murder and his very first case, one that has haunted him for 20 years. With its fast-paced plot and bundles of twists, The Rúin is a must-read for fans of Tana French.
McTiernan's powerful first novel has the authentic feel of its Irish setting. In 1993, police detective Cormac Reilly is called to a house in Kilmore, County Mayo, where he finds 15-year-old Maude Blake and her five-year-old brother, Jack, alive; in an upstairs bedroom lies the body of their alcoholic mother, dead of a drug overdose. In 2013, Jack's body turns up in a Galway river after an anonymous caller claims he saw Jack jump in. Jack's girlfriend, Aisling Conroy, is sadly willing to accept the obvious conclusion that it was suicide. But Maude, newly back from Australia, is convinced it was murder. Based on new information, Cormac investigates the now 20-year-old death of the mother, while Maude and Aisling try to figure out what actually happened to Jack, since the police seem unwilling to. Various other threads in the tightly woven plot lead to rape, child molestation, drug dealing, police corruption, and more murders. McTiernan neatly ties them all together in the suspenseful conclusion. McTiernan, born in Ireland but now living in Australia, is a writer to watch.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Loved this book. Excellent writing. Nothing too horribly graphic. Just a very good, realistic story, with well drawn characters.
One of the best mysteries I’ve read in quite awhile. Excellent!!
This was a deeply compelling book. The plot was complex and the characterisation superb. Looking forward to your second book, Dervla McTiernan.