The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan – A Review

The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan is one of a number of thrillers I have read this year as part of my commitment to read 25 books in 2019. This book was not on my “to-read” list. In fact, I hadn’t even heard of it before my boyfriend’s mam mentioned it to me. She subsequently loaned me the book and I devoured it in two weeks. A gripping read from start to find.

Before I even opened the book, the illustration on the front cover caught my attention. Two children, a boy and a girl, who appear to be running. Where are the running from? Are they running towards something? Coupled with the front page caption, “The secrets of the past will expose the crimes of the present,” this book is one that can’t be passed.

The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan
The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan

The Ruin is set between Galway and Dublin, over a twenty year period, beginning in 1993. Cormac Reilly is a young garda called to a home out in the country. What was thought to be a domestic call, turned out to be much worse, when Cormac is greeted by two fragile children and their dead mother in a cold, dark and dreary house. Twenty years later, the body of a young man surfaces in the River Corrib. Initially described as a suicide case soon becomes a murder investigation and Detective Reilly must dig deep into a case from the past.

There are plenty of interesting characters in The Ruin, all with their own voice and their own impact to make in the story. Dervla McTiernan shows her skill as an author by creating these unique individuals that resonate long after the book has been read. “Spectacularly good” and “terrific”. These are the words to Marian Keyes and Liz Nugent, two of Ireland’s leading ladies in the fictional writing industry. I agree one-hundred percent with both of them.

While I thoroughly enjoyed the mysterious nature of the story, I praise and respect Dervla McTiernan for her ability to intertwine modern-day themes into the exciting storyline. Abortion, suicide and child-neglect are all issues that are topical in today’s society. Issues that are often not spoken about freely and openly. Through the medium of story-telling, McTiernan brings these matters to the forefront and into the minds of her readers.

The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan - The secrets of the past will expose the crimes of the present.
The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan

This book was the ninth book I read in 2019 – the year in which I have committed to reading 25 books. You can keep up-to-date with my “to-read” list and book reviews here. Having now been introduced to Dervla McTiernan’s writing, I am eager to read her other book, The Scholar.