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The Ruin

(Cormac Reilly #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  20,021 ratings  ·  2,273 reviews
It's been twenty years since Cormac Reilly discovered the body of Hilaria Blake in her crumbling Georgian home. But he's never forgotten the two children she left behind...

When Aisling Conroy's boyfriend Jack is found in the freezing black waters of the river Corrib, the police tell her it was suicide. A surgical resident, she throws herself into study and work, trying to
Paperback, 380 pages
Published July 3rd 2018 by Penguin Books (first published March 1st 2018)
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Kerry I read it as a straightforward, accidental death. Perhaps the old woman's greed (too cheap to repair/replace the old stove) killed her!

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Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  20,021 ratings  ·  2,273 reviews

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Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the first in the DI Cormac Reilly series set in Galway, Ireland. Reilly is trying to find his feet at the police station, after having moved from Dublin to be with Emma, his partner, who starts a demanding new job. After a high flying career, the move which might be viewed as a step down for him proves to be significantly more difficult than he expected. He is viewed with suspicion by other officers, there are problematic politics and tensions which prove to complex and hard to decipher, ...more
Kylie D
An awesome crime thriller, set in Ireland, that sees a young man named Jack commit suicide, for apparently no reason. Jack had everything going for him, then suddenly one night he seemingly decides to jump off a bridge, or does he? Detective Cormac Reilly , is taken back to the past, 20 years ago, when he was sent out on his own to a scene in a crumbling old house, where a mother had overdosed on heroine, leaving her two traumatised children alone. The younger child was Jack who was taken to the ...more
Diane S ☔
Jul 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
In 1993, Cormac is a young Garda, called to the scene of a possible domestic. Inside a dilapadated house he finds two young children. Maude, fifteen and Jack only five, both paifully thin. In an upstairs bedroom he finds a dead woman, with the needle still stuck in her arm. Fast forward twenty years, Cormac now a seasomed Garda, recently transferred to Belfast, find himself embroiled in a suspected suicide, concerning once again Jack and Maude.

This is a well thought-out, tightly plotted police p
The Ruin is a fantastic police murder mystery with multiple fascinating plot threads that the brilliantly drawn characters weave in and out of. Each and every character adds intrigue, suspicion, hidden agendas and background to the story. The plotting is very clever, and delicate layers of deceit from suspects, family and the police, ensure this is a captivating read from the first page to last.

As a rookie cop in 1993, Garda Cormac Reilly attended a remote house on a call of domestic
Chelsea Humphrey
Aug 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chelsea by: Diane S ☔
Shelves: audiobooks
This was REALLY well done. The story was character driven, but the mystery was compulsive and kept me (mostly) guessing. The narrator is incredible, and I'm thrilled that I have the next book in the series for her to read to me. Overall, this was a dark police procedural that has me hooked for the next book.
Nov 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
For a first book, this was amazing. However, in the grand scheme of unsolved crime, police procedural and historical mysteries, this left something to be desired. After thinking on it, I think it was because the author attempted too much. Impressive, mind you. But rather than doing a epicurean feast mostly-well, I tend to prefer simpler fare prepared very well.

It begins with a scene from 1993, when a brand new police officer--guarda, in Ireland--is assigned to a call for a 'minor domestic.' It t
Susanne  Strong
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
4 Stars.

Cormac Reilly is a young PO when he is directed to Maude and Jack Blake’s house one evening. He is unprepared when he finds their mother, Hilaria Blake dead, upstairs. The little boy Jack, has bruises all over his body and is clinging to his older sister Maude, who is malnourished and is very protective of her brother and also insistent that he be taken to the hospital. Once there, Maude vanishes.

Years later, Jack is all grown up. He and his girlfriend, Aisling Conroy are both happy in t
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Refreshing and Back to basics well constructed crime novel that is believable and entertaining. A cracking good read for those who enjoy crime / mystery novels.

The Ruin is a debut novel by Dervla McTiernan and what a complex and fast paced novel set in Galway. I rarely read crime novels but every now and then like to test the waters and I couldn't resist picking up a copy of the Ruin and so glad I did as it has an interesting and believable plot, great characters and plenty of twists and turns
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5000-books
This is actually a brilliant book for an author's debut, and if she can keep up the standard we are in for an excellent series!

I always like an Irish setting. This book begins in a dilapidated ruin in the Galway countryside, twenty years in the past, with a dead body and two damaged children and I was instantly gripped! Cormac Reilly is the young Guard who has to deal with this situation and it comes back to haunt him twenty years later.

The mystery in this book was more the why than the who as i
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of dark and multiple plot mysteries
Recommended to Paula by: Barry award
Barry Award Winner 2019

What a stunning police murder mystery set in Ireland!

With St. Patrick’s Day falling in March, I am reading and listening to many new Irish voices. What a pleasure to come across such an outstanding new series written by Dervla McTiernan. Such fine writing that it is hard to believe this book is a debut.

DI Cormac Reilly has had a very successful career in Dublin. His partner, Emma, must move to Galway, however, for a new job opportunity. Reilly transfers to Dublin to remain
“The truism that a lawyer should never ask a question to which he did not already know the answer did not apply to detectives. If anything the opposite rule applied. You had a plan going into every interrogation, but sometimes it was best to follow your instinct,”

Ireland’s loss is Australia’s gain! Author Dervla McTiernan and her family have migrated to Perth, Western Australia. Although this debut novel is set in cold, rainy Ireland, one character did ‘flee’ for many years to the Kimberley, a
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio

A well done mystery that sees Cormac Reilly moving back to Galway when his girlfriend gets a large grant that requires her moving there. He had started his policing career there and one of his first cases was the drug death of young single mother. Now, 20 years later, the son of that woman is dead, a suspected suicide. But something more is at work here. Neither death is what it appears. The dead man’s girlfriend and his sister start their own investigation into his death.

There are a lot of cha
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
"The line was there for a reason. It mattered. It had to be respected, no matter how hard that was."

Dervla McTiernan takes us to the west of Ireland where footsteps have crossed back and forth into the forbidden and into the unspoken. Time bends back into the long ago with consequences visiting the present.

DI Cormac Reilly feels unsettled and a bit regretful. He's left the familiarity of Dublin and followed his love, Emma, to Galway. His new assignment in the police force here circles around col
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ruin is Irish for secret.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I just cannot get my head around it being a debut! The story has a fast pace and is very well built up. Cormac Reilly is sympathetic and straight forward. I'm very enthousiastic and very sorry that I have to wait till March 2019 for the next book in the series.
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, book-club, audio
This was really great and I loved how the ending all went down!!

The Ruin starts off with rookie police officer, Cormac Reilly going to an old house in Galway, Ireland for a domestic dispute. It ends up being so much more complicated with a mother dead from a heroin overdose and two young children left alone with signs of being abused.

20 years later, one of the children from that fateful night has commited suicide and Cormac Reilly can't seem to get Jack Blake's face from his mind.

What happened t
After some 20y of building up his career in elite units, working on some of the biggest cases in Dublin, DS Cormac Reilly has moved back to Galway where his career began so that his partner can further her scientific career. Now he finds himself the new boy in the office, consigned to cold cases and trying to fit in when everyone is suspicious of him and his reasons for being there.

Cormac’s first case in Galway as a young constable involved a call out to a dead woman in a lonely, crumbling mans
Louise Wilson
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cormac Rilley #1

It's been twenty years since Cormac Rilley discovered the body of Hilaria Blakein her crumbling Georgian home. But he's never forgotten the two children she left behind.

1993, Cormac Rilley was a young Garda called to the scene of a suspected domestic. He finds two young children, Maude who's fifteen and Jack who was just five years old. In the bedroom he finds the body of a woman with a needle still stuck in her arm. Twenty years later, Cormac is working in Galway. He is working
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: publisher, reviewed
Set in 2013, this is the first book of a new series featuring Detective Sergeant Cormac Reilly who has recently moved to Galway from Dublin in order to be with his girlfriend Emma. His new colleagues are not exactly welcoming and it seems to go beyond the usual hazing of the new guy. There are undercurrents of unease. The cops seem to spend as much time disrupting investigations as they do pursuing them. Reilly is stuck with going over the cold cases, one of which is a case in which he was invol ...more
I just love it when a novel lives up to the hype.

The Ruin was a very satisfying read - steady, engaging and very atmospheric.
Garda Cormac Reilly (I love his name) was an interesting character, whom I hope to get to know better in the second novel.

McTiernan weaved a compelling story, bringing to light some unsavoury Irish older realities, as the treatment of unwed mothers, child abuse and neglect, paedophilia, abortion. How timely. On a side note, I love all the wonderful news coming out of Ire
The Ruin by Aussie author Dervla McTiernan is the first book in the Cormac Reilly series which is set in Ireland.

If you love reading fast paced books, gripping and engrossing books, then this book is for you. It’s difficult to believe this is a debut novel, but it is and I am so looking forward to reading the next book in the series. Highly recommended.
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
DS Cormac Reilly has just recently transferred from Dublin to Galway to follow his love to her new position. It was a step down from his previous position, and the staff in Galway were not welcoming. Cormac has only been given cold cases to work. It is refreshing to have a main character who is intelligent and ethical. He knows there are political underpinnings in Galway, and he works hard to understand the relationships between his colleagues.

The main case involves the murder of Jack Blake. Twe
May 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
There is solace in genre, knowing what kind of story to expect, and it seems that mysteries and thrillers are where I’m finding my comfort zone these days. Plot over prose, that’s my state of mind. So I’m digging back in the stacks, looking for those well-rated, but long languishing books and found this crime thriller gem.

It is right in the Tana French lane of Irish police procedurals, tightly written, masterfully plotted with a gothic feel to the past and a present day tension that grips and do
Surgical resident Aisling Conroy was happy with her life. Her desire to become a surgeon was within her grasp; her boyfriend Jack Blake was someone she knew she would spend the rest of her life with. The love they shared was deep and real. But after a long night in A&E, breakfast with Jack then waking late that afternoon to find Jack gone - not returning home overnight either - the knock on the door the next morning was a devastating shock. Aisling would not believe what the garda were telling h ...more
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'd heard a lot of buzz surrounding this book, and I'm happy to say it is warranted. The protagonist is engaging and likable with just enough of a rough edge to make him interesting. The story held my attention from start to finish and the writing and the scene-setting were perfect. Recommended!

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Liz Barnsley
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh my word, The Ruin was completely wonderful in a heart wrenching, often traumatic but always utterly compelling way. Gorgeous gorgeous writing, an incredibly atmospheric sense of place and some amazingly authentic characters make this an absolute must read.
I fell for Cormac within a chapter then stayed with him all the way as past and present collide in a truly fascinating and addictive story that kept me up late, bleary eyed, desperate to get to the resolution. The Ruin is the very definition
 Li'l Owl
An emotionally charged, twisted, harrowing rollercoaster ride with more turns than a corkscrew! This is one heck of a debut!

"Are your mum and dad home?" he asked.
"My little brother is in the drawing room," she said, gesturing to an open door leading off the hall. Looking past her, Cormac could see that there was a fire lit in the grate, and a small figure of a very young boy sitting on a bare wooden floor in front of it, turning the pages of a book.
"Your mum?" he asked again.
In her room, she sa
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
2.5 stars

This is your classic police detective murder mystery, set in Ireland. If you enjoy those good old fashioned plots with your average underdog detective solving cases while the police department is trying to alienate him and you know that something fishy is going on, then this is your book.

The beginning of the book draws the reader right in with DI Cormac Reilly being called in to investigate an accidental overdose. Still wet behind his ears, he is going in alone w/o any back up, and fin
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This police procedural set in mostly in Galway, Ireland introduces new series protagonist Cormac Reilly; a smart and dedicated Guard who isn't afraid to go against the grain to solve a case - even if it means investigating his colleagues.

The Ruin is a story of two tales intertwined by murder and circumstance. When Jake Blake goes missing, his partner, Aisling Conroy fears she's lost her loved one following the discovery of her pregnancy, however, it's not a matter of cold feet, with something m
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really interesting written debut
A crime
Cold crime
The past and the present
A mother with a needle in her arm
The kids... alone and unkempt
The future
What happens to them

The present
A crime
Murder or suicide
The Garda come in and check things out
Will they fix the errs of the past
And uncover the truth

Cormac Reilly
Wants to help fix the station
Stop the corruption
Get results
And deliver

Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have a new mystery series to follow now that I’ve read Dervla McTiernan’s first novel, The Ruin. As the author tells us in a note before the novel begins,

The title of my book can be read in English, or can be
given its Irish meaning. In Irish, Ruin means something
hidden, a mystery, or a secret, but the word also has a
long history as a term of endearment.

Here, the title seems to assume all of these meanings over the course of its action. There are physical ruins, hidden items and many secr
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