The Ruin

The Ruin.jpg

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...

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 and Jane Casey.

Genre: Mystery

Author: Dervla McTiernan

Paperback, 380 pages

Published: July 3rd, 2018

Publishing House: Penguin Books

My Review

This is your classic police detective murder mystery, set in Ireland. If you enjoy those good old fashioned plots with your average underdog detective solving cases while the police department is trying to alienate him and you know that something fishy is going on, then this is your book.

The beginning of the book draws the reader right in with DI Cormac Reilly being called in to investigate an accidental overdose. Still wet behind his ears, he is going in alone w/o any back up, and finds two children in a home with their mother dead. But something is off! The kids have been mistreated, it’s dirty and health services has done nothing about the known circumstances.

20 years forward, Cormac is solving the case of a supposed suicide, but when he looks further into it, he finds out that the victim turns out to be one of the children from his case above, 20 years ago.
As timelines, alibis and other related circumstances don’t add up, Cormac finds himself lost in a corrupt system in place and players that are too good at cleaning up their trails.

But the old case is haunting him and he is relentless. As he meets with the girlfriend and sister of the victim, a whole schloo of personal regrets and a tarnished old games come to light.


A book to enjoy not only for the setting but for its old fashioned merit of “Who has done it?”
For me however, it fell somewhat flat…like a dish without the spice. A rather monotonous read without highs and lows, albeit not a bad premise and plot at all. Not sure why I did not like it better or it did not take for me.

I have read other great reviews about it, so others are enjoying it. I am definitely in the minority of opinion on this one.

Hope you enjoy it better!