The Good Turn by Dervla McTiernan

x293A rich and compelling mystery that will hook new readers, while its subplots and provocative, sharply delineated characters will keep established fans glued to the page. Somehow, Dervla McTiernan keeps topping her own best work. Her third novel is a triumph. 

Detective Cormac Reilly and Garda Peter Fisher face the possible ruin of their careers in The Good Turn. With Reilly’s team fractured by their involvement in a special task force, Fisher makes a cataclysmic error of judgement during an investigation into the abduction of a young girl. He is consequently sequestered to Roundstone, a village on the west coast of Ireland, and the place he grew up, where Fisher’s estranged father remains the top cop of his own personal fiefdom. Relegated to the wearisome duties of a small-town police officer, Fisher distracts himself by digging into a closed murder case, where the pieces don’t quite fit. Meanwhile, while Reilly attempts to clear Fisher’s name in Galway, he unearths a corrupt cabal within his own department, which threatens his own place within it.

The Good Turn features the strong writing and intelligent plotting we’ve come to expect from McTiernan; but best of all are her characters: edgy, complex, interesting to a one. Edgar and Gold Dagger-winner worthy; nailed on for one of them, surely; deserving of both. As we close on the door on Cormac Reilly — at least as the centrepiece of McTiernan’s lengthening tapestry of crime novels — it’s safe to assume DS Carrie O’Halloran will be just as endearing.

ISBN: 9781460756799
Imprint: HarperCollins – AU
On Sale: 01/03/2020
Pages: 384
List Price: 32.99 AUD

Review: The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan

ScholarDervla McTiernan came out swinging with The Ruin (2018), but The Scholar is a knockout. A relentlessly paced, bombshell-laden plot combined with sharply-drawn, empathetic characters make this is the whodunit that should put McTiernan in the same league as Ian Rankin, Peter Robinson, Denise Mina and Tana French.

Doctor Emma Sweeney’s discovery of a young female hit and run victim outside Galway University late one evening is the starting point for the second mystery featuring Detective Cormac Reilly —  although it’s a slight misnomer to label this singularly as a ‘Cormac Reilly’ novel; McTiernan has concocted a brilliant ensemble cast featuring the likes of Callie O’Halloran and Peter Fisher, whose interactions and banter are a real draw. Emma Sweeney works at Irish pharmaceutical giant Darcy Therapeutics, and her partner just so happens to be Cormac Reilly, who she calls immediately upon discovering the body, thereby compelling him to lead an investigation that otherwise would never have been assigned to him.

Even without his personal connection to the case, Reilly knows the case is going to be complicated and — worse — political when the victim is identified as Carline Darcy. As in, heir to Darcy Therapeutics Carline Darcy, whose grandfather is an incredibly influential figure, not just in Galway, but in all of Ireland. So the pressure for Reilly to close this investigation quickly, and if at all quietly, is extreme. But just as the case seems destined towards one conclusion, further evidence puts Emma Sweeney firmly in the investigator’s headlights.

McTiernan keeps every stage of the investigation clear, compelling and compulsive. Strong on atmosphere and suspense, with a vivid cast of major and minor characters, The Scholar is one hell of a read, and it’s going to take something very special indeed to deny it being my favourite crime novel of 2019. And I know, I know — I’m saying this in November 2018.

ISBN: 9781460754221
ISBN 10: 1460754220
Imprint: HarperCollins – AU
On Sale: 01/03/2019
Pages: 400
List Price: 32.99 AUD