The Ruin (Cormac Reilly #1) by @DervlaMcTiernan #Audiobook ~ Debut Crime Fiction set in Ireland #Review @LittleBrownUK

Author: Dervla McTiernan

Performed by Aoife McMahon

Published: Little, Brown Book Group and released on Audible March 2018.

Category: Crime, Murder, Mystery, Suspense, Audiobook Review

February 1993 

On his first week on the job, Garda Cormac Reilly responds to a call at a decrepit country house to find two silent, neglected children waiting for him – fifteen-year-old Maude and five-year-old Jack. Their mother lies dead upstairs.

March 2013 

Twenty years later, Cormac has left his high-flying career as a detective in Dublin and returned to Galway. As he struggles to navigate the politics of a new police station, Maude and Jack return to haunt him.

Twenty years earlier rookie Garda Cormac Reilly discovered the body of Hilaria Blake in a dilapidated old house. He was sent out on what he thought would be a minor domestic call.

When he arrived at the house he found something completely different. A teenager, a young boy and a body in the bed upstairs. Maude was afraid and wanted her little brother Jack taken to the hospital. It was obvious to Cormac the children had been badly neglected and possibly abused. At the hospital Maude made sure Jack was comfortable and disappears. That was the last time she was seen.

Fast forward to Galway, 2013. Aisling Conroy is training to be a surgeon and is living happily with her partner, Jack. Until one day she has a visit from the police. Jack has apparently taken his own life. Aisling finds this impossible to believe, especially when Maude reappears, also convinced that Jack didn’t commit suicide. She is committed to finding justice for her brother whatever it takes.

Detective Garda Cormac Reilly has returned to Galway with his partner, Emma. Despite, or perhaps because of, his illustrious career to date, Cormac is mistrusted and finds it difficult to navigate the internal politics and way of working, which is a far cry from what he was used to in Dublin. Cormac finds himself assigned to cold cases. One in particular, re-assessing the factors surrounding the death of Hilaria Blake, takes him back to that day in 1993.

She led him along the dark corridor to a room where a glimmer of light leaked under the door. She opened the door without knocking and held it for him. He stepped past her. The room was sparsely furnished, with little more than a double bed and an antique wardrobe. The floorboards were bare. The fireplace was black and empty and the room was very cold, but the woman on the bed had no need of the blankets that were pulled up past her bare feet. She was dead. Very obviously dead, her eyes open and staring at the ceiling.

Dervla McTiernan has a created a multi layered police procedural which lays bare the shocking attitude towards child care in the 1990s. Despite his frustrations and the nagging feeling something doesn’t quite add up  at the Galway station, Cormac is determined to resolve the cases he’s been assigned. The system failed Maude and Jack all those years ago—corruption and abuse was largely ignored back in those days. It wasn’t going to happen again if he had anything to do with it.

The Ruin is a well thought through multi layered plot with an atmospheric setting and well devised characters. We’re given intriguing hints about Cormac’s back story which will hopefully be developed in the next book. He’s an interesting, engaging and realistic character who I’m looking forward to meeting again.

This is a solid and well written debut novel. I listened to the audio which was narrated exceptionally well by Aoife McMahon and I’m looking forward to the next book.

The title of the book relates perfectly to the content of the story as the author’s note at the beginning explains….

‘Ní scéal rúin é más fios do thriúr é.

An Irish saying, meaning ‘it’s not a secret if a third person knows about it.’

The title of my book can be read in English, or can be given its Irish meaning. In Irish, Rúin means something hidden, a mystery or a secret, but the word also has a long history as a term of endearment.’

Book links ~ Amazon UK | Amazon US

About the Author

Internationally bestselling and critically acclaimed writer Dervla McTiernan is the author of The Ruin, her crime debut set in Ireland. The Ruin is the first in the detective Cormac Reilly series and has been published in the United States, the UK and Ireland and in New Zealand and Australia, where it was a top ten bestseller. It has been named as one of Lit Hub’s Most Anticipated Crime Mystery and Thrillers of 2018 and an Amazon Best Book of July 2018. Dervla was a New Blood Panellist at Harrogate Festival.

Dervla spent twelve years working as a lawyer. Following the global financial crisis, she moved to Australia and turned her hand to writing. An avid fan of crime and detective novels from childhood, Dervla wrote a short story, The Roommate, which was shortlisted for the Sisters in Crime Scarlet Stiletto Competition. She went on to write The Ruin, and this will be followed by The Scholar. The Ruin has been optioned for TV by Hopscotch. Dervla is a member of the Sisters in Crime and Crime Writers Association, and lives in Perth, Australia, with her husband and two children.

Author links ~ Twitter | Website | Facebook

4 thoughts on “The Ruin (Cormac Reilly #1) by @DervlaMcTiernan #Audiobook ~ Debut Crime Fiction set in Ireland #Review @LittleBrownUK

  1. Sounds like she’s got the series off to an excellent start! And as if she’s left plenty of room for further character developments in future books. Hmm… my wishlist seems to be taking a hit these days… 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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