The Scholar

Penguin. May 2019. 384p. ISBN 9780143133698. pap. $16ebk. ISBN 9780525505495. M
Carline Darcy is a wunderkind. The granddaughter of a man who’s made it big in the pharmaceutical business, she’s following in his footsteps, taking a four-year degree in two years at a Galway, Ireland, university while dazzling at her grandfather’s lab and living a quietly opulent existence off campus. Then the university community is shocked when the victim of a gruesome hit-and-run is found with Carline’s ID in her pocket. Who could have killed this promising talent and why? As in McTiernan’s excellent The Ruin, the police side of the story follows detectives Cormac Reilly and Carrie O’Halloran, whose day-to-day is as filled with gripping office politics as it is a crime investigation. Delving into a rich family’s business drags more politics into the fray, an aspect of the book that McTiernan weaves well into the human stories that stay at the forefront.
VERDICT The competition rife in academia is a major theme of this delightful and unexpected tale, making it one to suggest to fans of M.D. Lake and Susan Holzer.
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