The Ruin

Penguin. Jul. 2018. 400p. ISBN 9780143133124. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9780525504894. M
OrangeReviewStarMaude and Jack Blake's mother died of a heroin overdose in 1993. Twenty years later, the detective who investigated the death, Cormac Reilly, is reintroduced to the siblings' case because of Jack's suicide and Maude's suspicious behavior. Aisling Conroy, a medical resident and Jack's partner, does not believe Jack killed himself; she takes it upon herself, with urging from Maude, to find out what really happened. As secrets from Jack's past are uncovered, Cormac learns that his original case is connected to a tangled web of other crimes as well. Rich characterization is revealed through the alternating points of view from Cormac, Aisling, and eventually Maude; there is also a strong sense of place as the characters weave through the often rainy Irish landscape.
VERDICT With police drama reminiscent of Tana French's "Dublin Murder Squad" series and parallels to the close-to-home, quieter suspense of Ruth Ware's The Lying Game, McTiernan pens an intricate story of impossible decisions, family bonds, and police politics. Avid mystery readers will be enthralled with this intricate, mysterious, and edgy debut.
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