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The Ruin: A Novel by Dervla McTiernan

The Ruin: A Novel (edition 2018)

by Dervla McTiernan (Author)

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1911591,104 (3.8)11
Title:The Ruin: A Novel
Authors:Dervla McTiernan (Author)
Info:Penguin Books (2018), 400 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

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The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan



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This is the first book from this writer but I'll bet it won't be the last. It caught my attention from the very beginning and I was reading avidly every chance I got. It doesn't hurt (as far as I am concerned) that it takes place in the west of Ireland, in and around Galway. I've been there twice and hoping to return so the details about the town and countryside caught my attention.

Detective Cormac Reilly is now in his forties but as a raw young garda he went out on his own to a secluded house. There he found two youngsters in a freezing cold and almost falling down house with their mother dead in the bedroom on the second floor. She had a tie around her upper arm and there was a syringe on the floor. Her daughter Maude had called the police from the village after finding her mother dead in the morning. The son, Jack, was only five years old and he was hurt. Cormac Reilly took both children to the hospital but Maude disappeared as soon as she knew Jack was safe. Jack was fostered and then adopted by a couple in Galway and never saw his sister again. Twenty years later Jack's body is found in the river, an apparent suicide as the police had received an anonymous tip about someone jumping off a bridge. Jack's girlfriend/partner, Aisling Conroy, blames herself for driving him to suicide because she had just told him she was pregnant. Aisling is a doctor and wants to be a surgeon and a pregnancy would make it impossible for her to reach her dream. They were going to discuss the options further but Jack never came back. Cormac has only recently moved to Galway from Dublin with his girlfriend and all he's been doing is reviewing cold cases. When Jack's sister appears in Galway in time for Jack's funeral after a twenty-year absence she raises doubts about the suicide finding. The police are reluctant to reopen the case but Cormac is asked to look at the old case of Jack and Maude's mother. Meanwhile Maude and Aisling pursue their own investigation. When another detective uncovers new evidence that points to Maude being the person who obtained the heroin that killed her mother Maude is arrested. Some police even suggest that Maude killed Jack as well. Cormac is doubtful of this but as an outsider in the detective squad he is having trouble getting others to believe him.

I really liked the strong women characters in this book even though the lead detective is male. I also thought the plot was quite convincing. At the back of this book was a first chapter from McTiernan's next mystery which is going to be released this year. I'll be looking for it. ( )
  gypsysmom | Feb 11, 2019 |
In 2013, the police claim that 25-year-old Jack Blake committed suicide by jumping into a river in Galway, Ireland. But the young man's sister and girlfriend dispute that assumption and begin finding evidence to the contrary. Why are the police so reluctant to accept that it could be murder? Could the suspicious death of his mother 20 years earlier be connected? "The Ruin" is an intricately plotted, well-written mystery with enough red herrings to keep you guessing while still providing a satisfying ending. Unique, believable characters and realistic dialogue hold the reader's interest throughout. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series. ( )
  Gingermama | Jan 28, 2019 |
This is a well-written and tightly plotted book that I found completely engaging. I admit however, the some of what I found most appealing about the book would be aspects others might find annoying. I found Cormac and Aisling to be well-drawn. I found them both believable, even in their inconsistencies., although liking the characters is not something I find necessary in a novel. In fact their inconsistencies were part of what I liked best about the novel. The intellectual part of me wants a hard-hitting super-detective but humans aren't really like that. The people who do well and get ahead aren't always the smartest, aren't any different than you or I; they work hard and learn how to play the game. We all do that. We want our heroes to be superheroes. We also tend to think we are somehow inferior because we have to learn to play the game to succeed. McTiernan plays on that in this novel. Cormac is also in a difficult, liminal period of his career, and is not sure which steps are the right steps. He stumbles. He has a blind spot. He cannot see the true nature of an old friend. But again most of us are like that in the same way. I was rooting for him even as I was cursing his missteps. I will read the author's next novel when it is released. ( )
  dooney | Dec 3, 2018 |
Rating: 2.5

An apparently happy young man (with a very sad childhood, which he seems to have put behind him) appears to have committed suicide. His sister and his girlfriend come to believe that he was actually murdered, but the Galway Garda are strangely reluctant to investigate. Subplots aplenty are thrown into the mix, most relating to this central crime.

The author shows promise. The writing is mostly competent, and there are a few well-depicted scenes, but I found the denouement contrived and unsatisfying. I wonder, too, about a series based on a detective so blind to a supposed friend’s actual character.It’s hard to believe someone in law enforcement (and in his early 40s to boot) would be quite so dense. It all seemed slightly flat to me. ( )
  fountainoverflows | Nov 30, 2018 |
When a young man (Jack) apparently jumps off a bridge and commits suicide his girlfriend (Aisling) is heart broken as we would expect. But, his sister comes back home from Australia she insists that this is something Jack would not do. She suspects murder. As the plot unravels were hear stories of child abuse and police corruption. It takes the full extent of the book for the complex tale to come to light. This is a great novel for the mystery lover with a bevy of twists and turns. The novel was very well written I was drawn into this taut story. ( )
  muddyboy | Oct 16, 2018 |
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Galway 1993: Young Garda Cormac Reilly is called to a scene he will never forget. Two silent, neglected children - fifteen-year-old Maude and five-year-old Jack - are waiting for him at a crumbling country house. Upstairs, their mother lies dead. Twenty years later, a body surfaces in the icy black waters of the River Corrib. At first it looks like an open-and-shut case, but then doubt is cast on the investigation's findings - and the integrity of the police. Cormac is thrown back into the cold case that has haunted him his entire career - what links the two deaths, two decades apart? As he navigates his way through police politics and the ghosts of the past, Detective Reilly uncovers shocking secrets and finds he questioning who among his colleagues he can trust. What really did happen in that house where he first met Maude and Jack? The Ruin draws us deep into the dark heart of Ireland and asks who will protect you when the authorities can't - or won't.… (more)

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