The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan

I just finished Dean Koontz’s Jane Hawk series and really liked getting back into the thriller/ mystery genre… so I thought I’d pick this one up for the weekend. I was not disappointed. Hawk is definitely more of a spy thriller, and this one is a detective/ police procedural, but after several SFF books, I was happy for a little dose of the “real” world.

Detective Cormac Reilly transferred from an elite task force in Dublin to the detective pool in Galway.  He’s not entirely feeling welcomed to his new position as office politics has forced cold cases upon him. He runs into several old friends, but he’s having a hard time figuring out his enemies and allies in the department.

After telling him she is pregnant, medical student Aisling Conroy’s boyfriend Jack is found dead in the Corrib river. The police close the case after quickly determining that it is a suicide. But Jack’s sister Maude returns after many years and argues that he was killed.

Cormac is put on a cold case that is related to the alleged suicide. Jack and Maude’s mother died of an apparent overdose 20 years before, and Cormac believes that the “powers that be” want to push this case to muddle Maude’s credibility.

McTiernan draws a good character in Cormac. I see him; he’s in the same vein as Cormoran Strike from Rowlings’s mysteries or Carl Morck from the Department Q books. They all have that same dark humor of tested veteran investigators. They have a past that the authors deal out slowly and with much success. Many have compared this series to Tana French’s novels, but I read In The Woods so long ago that I can’t remember exactly what it’s about! Ha!

My only criticism of this one is that the reveals all occur in the last 20-30 pages of the book. It seems a little too quick and wrapped up with a bow.

Recommended to those who want to start a new detective series. I liked it so much that I will be requesting the ARC of the new book, The Scholar that releases on the 14th of May. That review will come tomorrow on the blog! Stay Tuned!


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