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The Roomate

by Dervla McTiernan

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Cormac Reilly (0.7)

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596399,036 (3.71)6
This audio novella is a stand-alone prequel to the Cormac Reilly series.  Twenty-two-year-old Niamh Turley thought she had problems dealing with the obnoxious principal of the school she's teaching in as well as the anxious parents of her little charges, but when she wakes one morning to a missing roommate and a garda knocking on her door, her life spirals out of control fast.... … (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Dervla McTiernan once commented in an interview that her books begin not with ideas for plots, but with ideas for characters, and that seems evident in this book as in the other prequels to the Cormac Reilly series. This novella is an extended exploration of how the principal character, a 20-something woman named Niamh Turley, copes with an attack on her life circumstances and her spirit stemming from her own questionable decisions.

Niamh is actually extremely ordinary, which is what makes her story good reading. She is hard-working and circumspect, the antithesis of Teresa Dunn in the 1975 novel [b:Looking for Mr. Goodbar|166982|Looking for Mr. Goodbar|Judith Rossner|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1427008448l/166982._SY75_.jpg|161255], a character who came to my mind as I was listening to this. She just makes an error in judgment that ends up snowballing.

Although Cormac Reilly is present in this book, it's more in the role of a backdrop. He doesn't solve the crime, and though he is present at the climax of the story, he himself says that he would have bet on Niamh to have been able to save herself.

Although we may not see Niamh again in McTiernan's writing, there is a distinct possibility that one of the other characters could show up again, giving Reilly a second opportunity to put away a bad guy.

I picked this up as a freebie from Audible. I believe it's also available at no cost from the author if you subscribe to her newsletter. It's worth taking the trouble to do that! ( )
  BarbKBooks | Aug 15, 2022 |
Like The Sisters, this book is a prequel of sorts in the Cormac Reilly series. Niamh Turley gets in a bind when she loses her (first) roomate, and Cormac Reilly is a garda on the case (in Dublin, prior to his move to Galway). This was a free audio novella for subscribers to McTiernan's newsletter (although I accessed it through audible), and well...it suffers a bit for it. The condensed mystery novella isn't really McTiernan's strength, and once you start the Cormac Reilly series, these prequels unnecessary. The Sisters (review here) does give some backstory to a character who appears in the series proper, but The Roomate has less connection. We don't really get to care enough about the extremely naive Niamh to truly empathize, also her boss (the principal of the school where she teaches) seems to be hell-bent on making her life difficult. There are some overlapping strategies with McTiernan's novella The Wrong One, so I hope not to see that particular approach again. To give it a label (it is a common move in mystery and suspense) would be to offer a spoiler, so I won't, but it seems a bit clichéd.

It does, however, deserve kudos for the good old-fashioned "babysitter and the telephone" moment, which is delivered at the right time. I hope McTiernan sticks to full-length novels for the Reilly series, because her writing is more effective when she has the time and the space to develop both plot and characters. ( )
  rebcamuse | Jul 24, 2022 |
This little story was okay. The main character was a bit slow to grasp things, but was otherwise likable. It was also a decent introduction to the protagonist of the series, who played a supporting role in this one. ( )
  JorgeousJotts | Dec 3, 2021 |
A Novella, Detective Cormac Reilly (Prequel) to Ruin - the introductory to the series. A roommate is found murdered in the foyer of the apartment building. The murder turns her roommate's life upside down. Her catholic school teacher job is in jeapordy, her bank account passwords are changed, her clothes are missing and the police suspect her. ( )
  booklovers2 | Nov 28, 2021 |
Crime Novella Prequel
Review of the Audible Original audiobook (July 2020)

This is a prequel to author Dervla McTiernan's Cormac Reilly series of novels, which I haven't otherwise read except for another prequel [book:The Sisters|52757833] (Audible Original September 2019) . Similar to The Sisters, The Law of the Economy of Characters makes for a easy solution for the reader. There is a very effective shock moment during the climax.

The narration by Aiofe McMohan was excellent.

The Roommate was one of the free Audible Originals available to members in July 2020. ( )
  alanteder | Jul 8, 2020 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dervla McTiernanprimary authorall editionscalculated
McMahon, AoifeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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This audio novella is a stand-alone prequel to the Cormac Reilly series.  Twenty-two-year-old Niamh Turley thought she had problems dealing with the obnoxious principal of the school she's teaching in as well as the anxious parents of her little charges, but when she wakes one morning to a missing roommate and a garda knocking on her door, her life spirals out of control fast.... 

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This audio novella is a stand-alone prequel to the Cormac Reilly series.

Twenty-two-year-old Niamh Turley thought she had problems dealing with the obnoxious principal of the school she’s teaching in as well as the anxious parents of her little charges, but when she wakes one morning to a missing roommate and a garda knocking on her door, her life spirals out of control fast...
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