The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan

I saw this book up for review and had always wanted to read McTiernan’s first book, The Ruin. Three days ago I picked up The Ruin and I finished The Scholar tonight. Back-to-back awesomeness! If you are looking for a new thriller/police procedural, look no further!

Cormac has had another year of cold cases and castoffs in the Galway office. He finally gets a break when the another detective needs to lighten her load and a couple cases are shifted his way. But Comac adds another one and a difficult one at that when one night his partner Emma is one her way back to the lab at the university, and finds a young woman’s dead body at the entrance to the parking lot. She calls Cormac and he starts on the case. An ID leads to mistaken identity first and puts the victim as the black-sheep granddaughter of the founder of the Darcy lab. From there the plot case spins off into several different directions. Politics (departmental and otherwise), drug patents, and murder x2…

The Ruin alluded to details of Cormac and Emma’s histories that were never mentioned, yet caused tension in their relationship and his professional life. The Scholar lets fly with it all. This allows for a much deeper view of their motivations for many of the decisions they make. And I think it will really drive the series into some new and exciting places.

Another thing that I liked is that Cormac follows through on two-three cases at the same time. This is a realistic view of the case load of a police detective. The second or minor case is one that allows the reader to see a couple more scenes to show develop his colleagues. Some are becoming allies and some are definitely choosing to become enemies. His second is a young ambitious cop named Peter Fisher who Cormac takes under his wing. It’s an interesting side of the lead detective’s personality that is really starting to flesh out.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book and think it would be wise to start with The Ruin. You will not be disappointed!

5 out of 5 stars

Thank you to Edelweiss, Penguin Books, and the author for an advanced copy for review.

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