The Ruin

Cormac Reilly is about to reopen the case that took him twenty years to forget … The stunning debut novel from your new favourite crime writer.

Responding to a call that took him to a decrepit country house, young Garda Cormac Reilly found two silent, neglected children – fifteen-year-old Maude and five-year-old Jack. Their mother lay dead upstairs.

Since then Cormac’s had twenty high-flying years working as a detective in Dublin, and he’s come back to Galway for reasons of his own. As he struggles to navigate the politics of a new police station, Maude and Jack return to haunt him.

What ties a recent suicide to that death from so long ago? And who among his new colleagues can Cormac really trust?

Betrayal is at the heart of this unsettling small-town noir and the Ireland it portrays. In a country where the written law isn’t the only one, The Ruin asks who will protect you when the authorities can’t – or won’t.


Winner - Ned Kelly Award Best First Fiction

Winner - Davitt Award

Winner - Barry Award

Shortlisted - Australian Book Industry Awards

Shortlisted - Irish Book Awards

Shortlisted - Kate O'Brien Award

AUS Cover

AUS Cover

UK Cover

UK Cover

US Cover

US Cover

‘Dervla McTiernan gives us a gripping mystery set in Galway. It’s a complicated page-turning story that touches on corruption, clandestine cover-ups and criminal conspiracy – as moving as it is fast-paced’

Val McDermid

‘The Ruin is a terrific debut and a rare gem: a compelling crime thriller that delivers depth as well as twists, with every page clearly written from the heart.’

Sara Foster

‘Fans of Tana French will love McTiernan’s expertly plotted, complex web of secrets that refuse to stay hidden.’

Karen Dionne
Author of The Marsh King's Daughter

Discover book #2 in the Cormac Reilly series,
The Scholar.

‘The Ruin’ is a breezily confident debut and promises a bright future for this new Irish-Australian talent’

The Australian

‘The Ruin is the kind of book that you will inevitably find yourself recommending to every person you know, and probably also that lovely person who makes you coffee. It’s blisteringly good.’


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