Review - The Ruin, Dervla McTiernan

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The Ruin
#1 Cormac Reilly
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Book Synopsis

Detective Sergeant Cormac Reilly has moved with his girlfriend to a new town and is once again a newbie in the ranks of the local police branch.  Tasked to cast a fresh eye over their cold cases, Cormac is diligently ploughing through the work but is keen to take on something more high profile.  It does niggle that he is not tackling anything current and that his new Galway colleagues aren’t that welcoming, but there is at least one friendly face in the office and Cormac knows he must prove his worth once again to a new audience. 

When presented with a case file from twenty years ago, Cormac is shocked to realize that as a young and fresh police officer, he was the Garda involved in the original callout.  Five year old Jack Blake was placed into foster care and as for the teenage sister Maude, that was the last anyone heard of her after the death of her mother.  It saddens Cormac to be told that the body recently found in the local river was that of the now twenty-five year old Jack Blake.  Jack’s doctor girlfriend Aisling is in shock over her partner’s death but soon has a new ally to stir things up – the newly returned Maude.

Book Review

You’ve heard a fair bit of buzz about this novel? There’s an excellent reason for that! THE RUIN is a ripper of a read and remarkably polished for a debut novel.  Additionally, it is impressive as series entries face a much harder task in engaging instantly the fickle minds of crime readers.  The series read is (happily) prolific in the crime fiction sphere. There is a huge demand for police procedurals in particular and this rides largely on the strength of that immediacy of engagement with the cast of characters.  The reader needs to be sold as quickly as possible, and this is achieved here in THE RUIN with gratifying ease.

THE RUIN is so confidently written with fully rounded characters that we are assured of some great reading from this series in the future.  Cormac Reilly is a refreshing change from the rumpled, often archaic male protagonist that we are used to seeing leading our fictional crime investigations.  It does feel like the days of encountering that kind of protagonist might be over.  The novel does seems a bit over populated perspective wise at times but the dual lead of Aisling and Cormac gives a good balance to the investigation and its corresponding impact on the bereaved left behind. 

Launching into this book you might think there had been a series predecessor as it is well threaded with lots of scope for possible future plot points to come.  Looking forward to catching up with the cast of THE RUIN soon!  Congratulations to us all, here is the newest addition to our stable of favourite crime authors. 

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