Crime Mystery

The Ruin – Dervla McTiernan

12 October 2018
The Ruin Book Cover The Ruin
Dervla McTiernan
September 6, 2018

***THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER*** 'Spectacularly good' MARIAN KEYES 'Heartbreaking' CAZ FREAR 'Terrific' LIZ NUGENT ***** Cormac Reilly is about to reopen a case it took him twenty years to forget 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. 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? ***** This unsettling crime debut draws us deep into the dark heart of Ireland and asks who will protect you when the authorities can't - or won't. Perfect for fans of Tana French, Jane Casey, Liz Nugent, Susie Steiner and Caz Frear. ***** Praise for THE RUIN: 'Absolutely brilliant. Wonderful characters, authentic setting, and a sublime, twisty plot' IRISH EXAMINER 'Heartbreaking and heart-stopping' CAZ FREAR 'THE RUIN is as convincing as it is multi-layered, as compelling as it is complex . . . Dervla is a future star of the genre' CHRIS BROOKMYRE 'Fans of Tana French will love McTiernan's expertly plotted, complex web of secrets that refuse to stay hidden' KAREN DIONNE There are not many books that will keep me reading from start to finish but Dervla McTiernan's THE RUIN did just that . . . An excellent story, very well written . . . this one was a winner for me! ALEX GRAY 'Loved every page . . . Cormac Reilly is a brilliant new character, so real you can hear his footsteps on the stairs. Utterly gripping, brilliantly executed story' SAM BLAKE 'Intelligent, compassionate and believable' SINEAD CROWLEY


The Ruin is a fantastic crime murder mystery with multiple fascinating plot threads that the brilliantly drawn characters get to weave in and out of. Each and every character adds intriguing suspicion, hidden agendas and background to the story. The plotting is very clever and delicate layers of deceit from suspects, family and the police, ensure this is a spellbinding read from the first page to last.

As a rookie cop in 1993, Garda Cormac Reilly attended a remote house on a call of domestic violence to find a dead mother, from an apparent drug overdose, and two children, 15-year-old Maude Blake and her 5-year-old brother Jack, both malnourished and both with bruising. Jack is so bad that Cormac takes him to the hospital in Galway along with his sister. Maude absconds and even a distressed Cormac manages to let the thoughts of her, and Jack left alone and placed into foster care, drift from his mind.

In 2013, Garda Cormac Reilly returns with his partner Emma, to Galway after a stellar Detective Sergeant career in Dublin, to a situation where his boss has placed him on cold cases. Within the police station, Dervla McTiernan creates an enthralling atmosphere of internal politics, mistrust and suspicion of police corruption everywhere. Cormac feels it difficult to navigate and even his old friends are keeping secrets. A suicide is called in on St Patrick’s Day and the person is identified as Jack Blake. Maude returns from Australia for the first time in 20 years and with Jack’s pregnant partner Aisling, they question the evidence that relates to the supposed suicide and the glaring holes in the evidence. The police seem totally disinterested in pursuing any alternatives to suicide. Shortly after Cormac is handed a cold case, to investigate the death of Jack and Maude’s mother from 1993. Cormac knows he’s a pawn in some greater game but is determined to conduct himself appropriately and not jump to decisions hastily. Dervla has written such an enthralling plot that is just mesmerising in its twisting possibilities.

I could connect with all the characters and empathise with particular ones and the dilemmas some face is deeply moving. The dialogue between them is flawless and Dervla has managed to use it sensibly where it’s needed and has kept slang out for the benefit of a wider audience. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

I first received this book from Little Brown Book Publishing and NetGalley for an ARC version of the book in return for an honest review.

Peter Donnelly

Founder of The Reading Desk, supporting readers, authors, publishers and book industry. Top Reviewer on Amazon, Goodreads, and NetGalley

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