Lee's Reviews > The Scholar

The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
10818276
This is the second book of McTiernan's series. In the first, The Ruin, we were introduced to Detective Cormac Reilly who'd just transferred from Dublin to Galway where he was met with mostly distrust from his colleagues. In The Scholar he has finally been taken off cold cases and given some current crimes to investigate when Emma, his girlfriend, finds a body of a young girl, a victim of a particularly violent hit and run, near the laboratory where she works.

Eager to take the case, despite the obvious inappropriateness, Cormac finds himself in hot water with his superiors again when Emma goes from the person reporting the crime, to a witness and then, to a suspect.

The girl’s body is not able to be identified at first and I liked how Reilly basically had to solve the case of who it was before he even got to work on the whodunnit part.

I thought that in The Ruin, McTiernan concentrated too much on the secondary characters, especially the victim's partner, rather than focusing on Reilly. This time around there were still a couple of scenes from other characters’ point of views but it felt a little more balanced. If I was editing, I would have still probably cut the [told from a minor character's point of view] prologue though. Again, I just want more Cormac. And Carrie actually. Carrie, a fellow garda, is much more interesting than Emma. I’d found Emma quite enigmatic and a tad boring in The Ruin and after reading The Scholar, my opinion has changed only slightly.

Tom, another character from The Ruin, popped up in The Scholar in a cameo type role and I really enjoyed his inclusion. I would have been happy with less Emma and more Tom actually!

I was pleased to see that McTiernan finally expanded on the hints about Emma's background, however, and gave us the whole story. (I would have felt so cheated if we’d been kept in the dark for another book.) I thought the way Emma’s story came to light was quite natural - no big info dump towards the end of the book thankfully!

I must add that The Scholar can be read completely as a stand alone. Even though I’m referencing things from the first book, it was all explained adequately that, if you really wanted to skip The Ruin and jump right in, you could understand the plot.  I would, of course, recommend reading The Ruin though; it's a good book.

I did find the amount of time that Cormac and co took to solve one particular part of the crime a little odd and frustrating. It was obvious from the get-go. I’m not sure if it was supposed to be a twist to the plot but, if it was, it wasn’t very tricky.

The Irish setting is again enjoyable. McTiernan struck a nice balance here too. One good example was the scene when Cormac and his team had to liaise with the Northern Ireland police which made me blink and realise I was really reading a book set in a different country.

All in all, I really enjoyed the book and highly recommend it.

4 ½ stars out of 5
24 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Scholar.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

February 15, 2019 – Shelved
February 15, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
March 27, 2019 – Started Reading
March 27, 2019 – Shelved as: aussie-author
March 27, 2019 – Shelved as: irish
March 27, 2019 – Shelved as: horror-thriller
March 27, 2019 – Shelved as: mystery
March 27, 2019 – Shelved as: netgalleyonly2019
March 27, 2019 – Shelved as: netgalleyreaders2019
March 27, 2019 – Shelved as: net-galley
March 27, 2019 – Shelved as: series
March 27, 2019 – Shelved as: supplied-by-publisher
April 7, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-9 of 9 (9 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Jo (new) - added it

Jo Great review Lee, Dervla McTiernan certainly knows how to keep readers on the edge of their seats. Ian Rankins got some serious competition now.


message 2: by Lee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee Jo wrote: "Great review Lee, Dervla McTiernan certainly knows how to keep readers on the edge of their seats. Ian Rankins got some serious competition now." Yes, it's great to see an Aussie/Irish author doing so well. Looking forward to book 3.


Bianca Nice review. There were too many things that took me out of the story.


message 4: by Lee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee Bianca wrote: "Nice review. There were too many things that took me out of the story."
I just read your review and notice we agree on the prologue! I know what you mean about the things taking you out of the story. The second case (the father attempting to kill his family), for example, is pretty unnecessary. Overall though I think I had this issue more with the first book and again, I put it down to there being too many characters' point of views. I found it difficult to connect to Reilly when we were flipping into the minds of the minor characters all the time.


Bianca Lee wrote: "Bianca wrote: "Nice review. There were too many things that took me out of the story."
I just read your review and notice we agree on the prologue! I know what you mean about the things taking you ..."


I thought the first one was better executed, I had fewer issues with the plot.


Phrynne Great review Lee. I enjoyed the book as much as you did. She is an excellent author!


message 7: by Lee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee Thanks Phrynne. Looking forward to book 3.


message 8: by Icewineanne (new) - added it

Icewineanne Terrific review Lee. Excited to get my hands on a copy 🤗


message 9: by Lee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee Icewineanne wrote: "Terrific review Lee. Excited to get my hands on a copy 🤗"

Hope you enjoy it.


back to top