Happy Wednesday! This month’s book club pick was a new book, from a new author. On Wednesdays (for the most part) I post book reviews. When school returns, I may not be able to write as many book reviews, with the return of balancing school/work. As always, you can follow me here on WordPress for future literature and lifestyle blogs.
The Ruin, written by Dervla McTiernan is a wonderfully crafted crime/mystery. When the book club suggested a new release, I was skeptical. Living on a small budget, I try to check out my books from the library first. Luckily, I was able to have the book secured from the library a week after it was released! I started reading it the Wednesday before the book club meeting (July 18th) and finished it the following Thursday (July 26th). I usually wait to read new releases until a year out. I wait till all the hype has died down and once most reviews are in.
This book is the one exception.
Set in Galway, Ireland the beginning sets itself to be a unique setting. Having barely any knowledge about the climate and map layout of Ireland, I was able to work my way through the novel with a vague understanding of where each town is. Yes, I did use Google Maps to help me learn the layout between the major cities and towns within the novel.
One genre that I struggle with, is mystery and crime novels. Mystery and crime movies are always a hit. Why the difference? I’ve concluded two things:
1. Descriptions of character dialects and locations need to be concise
2. Daily detective work needs to be seen, or at least observed.
The Two Murders
Each chapter is highlighted by the day of that timeline (for example, March 23, 2013). This crime is solved withing at least two months. The crime that’s first looked through, is a twenty year old cold case. When Jack is murdered, his background information is pulled up. All of this information relates to the cold case.
A fun observation, is the growth of the main character. Cormac. Cormac first worked on the original case in 1993. Cormac at that time didn’t have the experience that he needed to continue to solve the case. The first case in the 1990s, was a domestic call. In the introduction, Cormac drives down a county road to find a house that’s falling a part. Like one of those houses you see in horror films. Once inside the house, Cormac finds two children (Jack & Maude). Maude shows Cormac her dead mother.
While that murder goes unsolved for twenty years, we jump forward to 2013. Jack, the child in the introduction, is murdered the day his girlfriend tells him she’s pregnant. The death is covered up as a suicide, and its with the help of his sister Maude and the troubled girlfriend that they are able to solve two murders, not just one.
Without spoiling much else, I will leave my final notes:
1. When the murderer is revealed, I felt like part of that characters backstory and motives were just thrown together.
2. Interesting that Dervla chose to wrote one perspective of finding out who the murder was from a second hand source/after the fact, rather than a first report from the murder to a “future” victim.
3. While there’s a mystery to be solved, there’s also internal character conflicts that keeps the small parts of life going. Questions like “Should I have this baby? Why is everyone at the station being so different today?”
4. Brilliant cover that does relate to the story. I hadn’t caught on to its relevance, until I was texting a friend about the book.
I definitely plan on reading the next works from Dervla McTiernan. Her next book will be out in 2019 and I might break my rule and just buy her book. Its a book worth sharing with friends and family. Dervla’s book reminds me that it’s okay to take a break from reading mystery/crime books. And, that it is humanly possible to find a new way to fall back in love with that same genre.
What are some of your favorite mystery/crime novels? Let me know in the comments below, and I wish you the best.
Danielle (link to Twitter)