Cormac Reilly is about to reopen the case that took him twenty years to forget ... The stunning debut novel from your new favourite crime writer.
Responding to a call that took him to a decrepit country house, young Garda Cormac Reilly found two silent, neglected children - fifteen-year-old Maude and five-year-old Jack. Their mother lay dead upstairs.
Since then Cormac's had twenty high-flying years working as a detective in Dublin, and he's come back to Galway for reasons of his own. As he struggles to navigate the politics of a new police station, Maude and Jack return to haunt him.
What ties a recent suicide to that death from so long ago? And who among his new colleagues can Cormac really trust?
This unsettling crime debut draws us deep into the dark heart of Ireland and asks who will protect you when the authorities can't - or won't. Perfect for fans of Tana French and Jane Harper.
Review by Sarah McDuling
The Rúin is an absolutely stunning debut from a fresh new talent. Dervla McTiernan is a brilliant author who has secured a place alongside Jane Harper, Sarah Bailey and Candice Fox on my list of favourite crime writers at the moment. (And can we just take a moment to appreciate how much Australian based female crime writers are killing it right now? Eeeeeeeeeeee!)
Set in Ireland, The Rúin is a highly atmospheric and utterly chilling mystery that ties an old suicide case from twenty years earlier to a present-day murder. Our leading man is Cormac Reilly – perhaps the nicest, most likable, most normal crime-solving protagonist I have ever encountered. I’m used to reading about world-weary, weathered, deeply damaged detectives with dark pasts and boatloads of emotional baggage. And don’t get me wrong, I love them all! In fact that sentence describes most of my favourite fictional people!!
And yet, along comes Cormac Reilly – a character who doesn’t fit this mould at all. He’s not an alcoholic. He doesn’t have any anger management issues. On the contrary, he is a sensible and level headed guy and a supportive husband. He isn’t haunted by any traumatic memories. He remains calm under pressure (even when faced with bureaucratic nonsense from truly infuriating coworkers). He’s a nice, normal guy with a good heart, a happy home and a strong work ethic. Imagine that!?
The mystery at the heart of the The Rúin is intricate and multi-layered. It’s also quite dark and deeply upsetting. I won’t lie – there were moments during this book where I had to put it down, take a few deep breaths and blink away some tears. Dervla McTiernan has a deft way of creating characters that ring very true to life. Flawed, complicated and wonderfully human, I felt very deeply for the characters of this story.
The title of this book works on multiple levels. In English, the word ruin means devastation and downfall. The Irish meaning of the word rúin is “something hidden”. Both words apply to this craftily constructed mystery full of old secrets, compelling character development and riveting suspense. I’m completely blown away by the fact that this is the author’s first novel and to say that I’m looking forward to the next Cormac Reilly book would be a vast understatement. This is an author to watch and a book to grab and devour as quickly as possible!
Perfect for fans of Jane Harper, Sarah Bailey, Candice Fox, Tana French, Val McDermid and basically anyone who likes a complex, character-driven mystery virtually dripping in blood-chilling atmosphere!
About the Author
Dervla McTiernan was born in County Cork, Ireland to a family of seven. She studied corporate law at the National University of Ireland, Galway and the Law Society of Ireland, and practiced as a lawyer for twelve years. Following the global financial crisis she moved with her family to Western Australia, where she now works for the Mental Health commission. In 2015 she submitted a story for the Sisters in Crime Scarlet Stiletto competition and was shortlisted. This inspired her to complete the novel that would become The Rúin. She lives in Perth with her husband and two children.