The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan

“In Irish, Rúin means something hidden, a mystery, or a secret…”

The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan

Genres: Crime, Mystery
Published: 6th September, 2018
Series: Cormac Reilly #1
Rating: 3

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 forget – until Jack’s sister Maude shows up. Maude suspects foul play, and she is determined to prove it.
DI Cormac Reilly is the detective assigned with the re-investigation of an ‘accidental’ overdose twenty years ago – of Jack and Maude’s drug- and alcohol-addled mother. Cormac is under increasing pressure to charge Maude for murder when his colleague Danny uncovers a piece of evidence that will change everything…

You know those books that are neither good, nor bad? Just kind of meh… The Ruin was like that for me. A pretty straightforward mystery, set in Ireland. Manipulating two timelines, the author weaved two cases together, and connected them with a detective who was involved in both.

DI Cormac Reilly is an all right dude, but nothing particularly stands about him, apart from his relationship status, which is pretty normal, considering most fictional detectives are not very lucky in this department. Cormac has a girlfriend though with whom they actually like each other, so that was refreshing.

Office life on the other hand is not easy for our detective. His colleagues are a bunch of good-for-nothing assholes who waste a lot of time on office intrigue and badmouthing each other, rather than actual police work.

There was a seemingly random story line with a teacher who was apparently involved in some shady shit back in the 80’s and then moved to the US, but I seriously can’t tell how they figured this out, or how it mattered to their case. I must have zoned out at some point.

I do remember the weirdest things though. Like how it rained a lot, and all the women kept washing their hair all the time.

If you don’t like reading about child abuse and horrible things being done to youngsters, you probably want to skip this.



  1. Yeah, I read it and agree with you – it was a pretty straight forward mystery and I thought DI Cormac Reilly fitted the standard trope of a maverick detective quite nicely. 🙂 Good point regarding his girlfriend though! 🙂

    I thought that random story line was there maybe to somehow distract us. Dunno, I haven’t fully figured that one out either… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just read Inge’s review of a book that didn’t grab her either. So it looks like this weekend, everyone was reading something that was a little meh. Shame really, as when we read these slightly negative reviews, I know for me personally, I won’t bother with the book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember that review!
      For me it can work both ways. Inge has similar taste to me when it comes to crime, so chances are i’d feel the same way about that book.
      But sometimes others mention something as negative/bad, and for me it’s “omg, that’s so cool, i need this” 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, we’re a funny lot. We can agree on some books but not others, because one aspect others don’t like, we find interesting. So far, I’ve found whose reviews I can trust, and who have similar tastes as mine. It goes a long way to making sure I read less duds that way!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think i read many others with Ireland setting. I vaguely remember one, but can’t tell what the title was. Seems like a pattern here… 😀


  3. Too many books, too little time so I will skip this one. Sorry this one didn’t work out well for you Norrie. Interesting random details though about hair washing and the rain 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Just read this too! I’m from Galway and found it nice to read something set locally as there aren’t many books that are! I agree though that the bit with the teacher in the US didn’t really seem to tie in though it was an interesting story line in itself! I found it pretty addicting though I agree that some bits of it aren’t too believable! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, that’s so cool!
      You are right, i haven’t read many books that were set there.
      I recall watching a TV series that was set in Galway (I think). Jack Taylor or what it was called. That was pretty good.

      Liked by 1 person

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