Review - The Ruin, Dervla McTiernan

Reviewed By
Andrea Thompson

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. 

Year of Publication
Book Number (in series)

It's been twenty years since Cormac Reilly discovered the body of Hilaria Blake in her crumbling Georgian home. But he's never forgotten the two children she left behind...

When Aisling Conroy's boyfriend Jack is found in the freezing black waters of the river Corrib, the police tell her it was suicide. A surgical resident, she throws herself into study and work, trying to forget - until Jack's sister Maude shows up. Maude suspects foul play, and she is determined to prove it.

DI Cormac Reilly is the detective assigned with the re-investigation of an 'accidental' overdose twenty years ago - of Jack and Maude's drug- and alcohol-addled mother. Cormac is under increasing pressure to charge Maude for murder when his colleague Danny uncovers a piece of evidence that will change everything...

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