From the author of The Ruin comes a compulsive new crime thriller set in the fiercely competitive, cutthroat world of research and academia, where the brightest minds will stop at nothing to succeed.
When Dr. Emma Sweeney stumbles across the victim of a hit-and-run outside Galway University early one morning, she calls her boyfriend, Detective Cormac Reilly, bringing him first to the scene of a murder that would otherwise never have been assigned to him. The dead girl is carrying an ID that will put this crime at the center of a scandal--her card identifies her as Carline Darcy, heir apparent to Darcy Therapeutics, Ireland's most successful pharmaceutical company. Darcy Therapeutics has a finger in every pie, from sponsoring university research facilities to funding political parties to philanthropy--it has even funded Emma's own ground-breaking research.
As the murder investigation twists in unexpected ways and Cormac's running of the case comes under scrutiny from the department and his colleagues, he is forced to question himself and the beliefs that he has long held as truths. Who really is Emma? And who is Carline Darcy?
A gripping and atmospheric follow-up to The Ruin, an "expertly plotted, complex web of secrets that refuse to stay hidden" (Karen Dionne, author of The Marsh King's Daughter), The Scholar is perfect for fans of Tana French and Flynn Berry.
In McTiernan's solid second police procedural featuring Galway's Det. Cormac Reilly (after 2018's The Ruin), Reilly's girlfriend, Emma Sweeney, a lab researcher for Darcy Therapeutics, calls him when she discovers the body of student Carline Darcy, a rising research star in the lab and the granddaughter of the company head, on the road near their workplace, the victim of a hit-and-run. In the subsequent inquiry into what develops into a murder case, departmental rivals of Emma, who suspect that she is somehow involved in Carline's death, try to push Reilly off the case. Meanwhile, the lab principals impede the investigation. Though the characters nearest to Carline are a bit too stereotyped, and the solution to the mystery is telegraphed too soon, the complexities of the relationships within the department, and the tensions between Reilly and Emma, are rich enough to carry the reader through this story and into the next one. McTiernan's cautionary tale about money, prestige, and the secretive world of pharmaceutical research will resonate with many.