BOOK REVIEW: The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan

The Blurb (from Goodreads):

When DS Cormac Reilly’s girlfriend Emma stumbles across the victim of a hit and run early one morning, he is first on the scene of a murder that would otherwise never have been assigned to him. The dead girl is carrying an ID, that of Carline Darcy, heir apparent to Darcy Therapeutics, Ireland’s most successful pharmaceutical company. Darcy Therapeutics has a finger in every pie, from sponsoring university research facilities to funding political parties to philanthropy – it has funded Emma’s own
ground-breaking research. The investigation into Carline’s death promises to be high profile and high pressure.

As Cormac investigates, evidence mounts that the death is linked to a Darcy laboratory and, increasingly, to Emma herself. Cormac is sure she couldn’t be involved, but how well does he really know her? After all, this isn’t the first time Emma’s been accused of murder...

My Thoughts:

This is the second offering from Irish-born, Australian resident Dervla McTiernan and its almost as good as her smash debut, The Ruin, which was a cracker. Both books are set in Ireland, and feature Detective Sergeant Cormac Reilly, who is struggling to find a place for himself after moving to Galway. His girlfriend Emma has taken a job there, and he has followed her, both hoping for a fresh start.

Emma is a scientist and works in a research lab at the university. The story begins when she discovers the body of a girl lying in the middle of the road. It looks like a hit-and-run, but there are a few odd details which get Cormac intrigued. The clues lead him to believe the dead girl is the granddaughter of the millionaire who funds the lab, but there are so many false leads and lies that nothing is as it seems. And the trail keeps returning to Emma, who Cormac is desperate to protect.


This is top-notch crime writing – fast, clever, surprising, and psychologically acute. I can only wish Dervla could write as fast as I can read!



Another great read from earlier this year is:


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Kate Forsyth
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