The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan

The Ruin

My grateful thanks to Millie Seaward at Little Brown for a surprise copy of The Ruin by Dervla Mc Tiernan in return for an honest review.

Published by Sphere, an imprint of Little Brown, The Ruin is available for purchase here.

The Ruin

The Ruin

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.

What ties a recent suicide to the woman’s death so long ago? And who among his new colleagues can Cormac really trust?

My Review of The Ruin

Rookie police officer Cormac Reilly little realises how far into the future his first case will reverberate.

I really enjoyed The Ruin and feel the explanation of the title given by the author fits the smashing contents of this book perfectly, but I don’t want to spoil the story by saying too much about why!

Cormac Reilly is a fabulously well developed and interesting character whom the reader warms to instantly. Dervla McTiernan has such a sophisticated and easy style to read and I loved the way Cormac’s back story is drip fed into The Ruin but isn’t entirely revealed so that there will be so much to enjoy in any future book with him at the centre. I felt I was meeting someone who will become a firm friend and I already care about what happens to him because he didn’t feel like a character in a book, but rather someone I knew personally.

Both plot and sub plot in The Ruin are elegantly constructed and weave together in a beautifully orchestrated dance. The themes of abuse and corruption, sadly only too familiar in recent history, provide a depth that adds extra dimensions that elevate The Ruin above just another police procedural story into a satisfying and layered read that really attracts the reader’s attention. I frequently felt an emotional response as I read. I love it when a book makes me exclaim ‘No! Don’t do that’ as I become so engrossed in what is happening. Dervla Mc Tiernan has the ability to do that to her readers in spades. The variety of sentence construction and the overall quality of the writing makes for spell binding reading. Again, I’m not going to spoil the plot for other readers by saying much about it. Just believe me when I say it’s a cracker!

The Ruin may be a debut novel, but it is so assured, so interesting and so entertaining that I may just have found a new favourite author in Dervla McTiernan. I urge you to discover her too!

About Dervla McTiernan


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. She lives in Perth with her husband and two children.

Find out more about Dervla by following her on Twitter @DervlaMcTiernan and visiting her website. You’ll also find her on Facebook.

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