The Good Turn by Dervla McTiernan

The third book in the Cormac Reilly series, The Good Turn, is an absolute cracker of a read that will hold you in thrall from beginning to end. 

In this instalment, the Cormac Reilly readers are coming to know and love shares centre stage with another character, junior Garda Peter Fisher. An admirer of Cormac (who is still at terrible odds with their boss), Peter is determined to not only do the right thing, but impress. When a young girl is abducted and the boss is more focused on a drug bust that his policeman son is involved in and which will elevate them both in the force, and Cormac is tied up interviewing the parents of the abducted girl, Peter takes matters into his own hands with devastating consequences.

What follows is a career-make or break for both Peter and Cormac – the latter being unreasonably held to account for actions beyond his control. But no matter what Cormac tries to do to save both his and Peter’s professional reputations, someone is one step ahead, determined to tear him down…

Atmospheric, brilliantly plotted and with characters whose lives and hopes and dreams unfold, The Good Turn is a gripping read. The locales are also marvellously drawn, whether it’s a small town in Ireland or individual rooms in houses. You breath the air, feel the chill of snow and the fall of night as it encompasses the landscape, the crackle of a fire in a cosy room or the bitter bite of a house with no heating. The additional characters are rich and real and as their stories are revealed, they add depth to an already enthralling tale. 

I couldn’t put this book down and am so disappointed I not only finished it, but now have to wait for Dervla’s next one. If you’re looking for a great crime fiction read that will transport you, the entire series and certainly this book, are for you.

Tags: , ,

Comments: No Comments

The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan

What a magnificent novel this is – the fact it’s a debut work makes it even more astonishing. It is at once, accomplished, tightly plotted, with beautifully crafted characters and a terrific setting – Galway, Ireland.

The book opens in 1993, when a young constable (Garda), Cormac Reilly is called out to a dilapidated mansion. There he finds the body of once-glamorous Hilaria Blake and, sadly, her two young children – the teenage Maude and little Jack, both of whom have clearly suffered years of neglect and abuse. It’s a case Cormac has never forgotten, especially when, after taking them to hospital at Maude’s insistence, she abandons her younger brother, never to be seen again.

The book them moves forward in time. In 2013, the reader meets a young, ambitious doctor, Aisling Conroy, on the cusp of a career move and faced with a huge personal choice. When her beloved boyfriend is found dead in the river, having committed suicide, and Cormac, newly transferred back to Galway and a DI, hears about the case, past and present collide.

As the investigation into the suicide proceeds,  the past and dark secrets let alone the lengths people are prepared to go to protect them are revealed, even people who, above all others, should be able to be trusted.

I don’t want to reveal any more of the plot except to say that it moves at a good, solid pace and is, at all times, plausible. Furthermore, Cormac is such a refreshing character for a plod. Filled with common sense and not one to take crap from his peers, he isn’t burdened by alcohol, nor is he a brooding loner with a string of broken relationships behind him (not that I mind those sort of cops, but they are becoming a wee bit of a cliché). Cormac is in a stable and loving relationship and, believe it or not – he actually talks to his partner and his peers about what’s bothering him! I know! I couldn’t believe it in this genre either!

The bleak Irish setting is marvellous and we move through the city and various towns with ease, guided by an expert hand.

I have to digress for a moment here and just have a bit of a rave about the quality of crime and mystery books being produced by Australian authors and publishers. From Katherine Howell, Candice Fox, Michael Robotham, to lately, Jane Harper and now Dervla McTiernan (and so many more), we are in the midst of a literary banquet and I love coming to sup at this imaginative table. Thank you.

If you enjoy crime or just an excellent read, then I cannot recommend this moody, atmospheric book with a fabulous central character and plot enough. Cannot wait for the next Cormac Reilly case.



Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments: No Comments