“The Scholar” by Dervla McTiernan – Book Review

A complex, character-driven police procedural mystery set in Galway, Ireland.

After almost a year, D.S. Cormac Reilly is still being ‘frozen out‘ of the good cases and relegated to the cold case files. His co-worker, D.S. Carrie O’Halloran, is meanwhile very over-worked with more cases than she can handle. When she reaches a crisis point in her home/work life balance, she goes to their immediate supervisor and requests that some of her cases be given to Cormac. When her request is begrudgingly approved, it looks as though things are looking up for Cormac…. until his beloved partner Dr. Emma Sweeney, finds the body of a young girl outside the college research lab where she works.

D.S. Cormac Reilly – a career policeman, Cormac enjoyed much success in his career while living in Dublin. Now, after following his partner, Dr. Emma Sweeney, to Galway, his work-life hasn’t yet recovered… When he finally gets a chance to get his hands on a few cases, he realizes that he still doesn’t know his team well enough to really trust them.

D.S. Carrie O’Halloran – a diligent and conflicted policewoman. She works very hard at her job, often to the neglect of her children and husband. She is always torn between her home and work life.

D.C. Peter Fisher – greatly admires Cormac Reilly and is loyal to him despite pressures within the squad. A hard-working and diligent policeman, he uses his considerable skills to aid Cormac in his endeavors.

D.C. Moira Hanley – lazy, and resentful of the success of others, Moira deeply resents being seconded to working with Cormac and tries to sabotage his efforts at every turn – even going so far as to enlist Internal Affairs in her vendetta.

“First impressions were wrong as often as they were right and good people did bad things all the time, they were just a bit more inventive at finding justification for it than the average gouger.”

After relishing “The Ruin” last year, “The Scholar” was high on my list of most anticipated titles on my TBR. It didn’t disappoint!  I’ve come to the conclusion that I really enjoy this author’s writing and the well-rounded characters she has created for this series.

Cormac Reilly is a policeman that is highly ethical, yet often conflicted between his home life and his work. He is steadfastly loyal, yet in this book it shows that even the most loyal can succumb to doubts…

The plot was intricate and well thought out. The setting and the research laboratory were at once picturesque and creepy and very vividly described. The cutthroat world of the highly competitive world of pharmaceutical research is the basis upon which the story was written. It examines what lengths people will go to to make a name for themselves and reap the more than generous financial rewards. The book also takes a look at how wealth often does the wealthy no favours – as they often have life challenges/dilemmas that are commensurate with their affluence.  I particularly felt so sorry for the character of Carline Darcy.  Many of the characters were conflicted by trying to maintain a healthy work-life balance at the same time as doing a highly demanding job.

The ending satisfied my need for justice done. I cannot wait to meet D.S. Cormac Reilly in his third outing.

Highly recommended!

I received a digital copy of this novel from Penguin Books via Edelweiss for purposes of this review.

Internationally bestselling and critically acclaimed writer, Dervla McTiernan is the author of The Ruin, her crime debut set in Ireland. The Ruin is the first in the detective Cormac Reilly series and has been published in the United States, the UK and Ireland, and in New Zealand and Australia, where it was a top ten bestseller. It has been named one of Lit Hub’s Most Anticipated Crime Mystery and Thrillers of 2018 and an Amazon Best Book of July 2018 and has been optioned for TV by Hopscotch.

A lawyer, and now a leading crime writer, Dervla was born in Ireland and now lives in Perth, Australia with her husband, two young children, and a golden retriever.

Follow Dervla McTiernan on Twitter

About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Edelweiss, Mystery fiction and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to “The Scholar” by Dervla McTiernan – Book Review

  1. Pingback: #BookRecommendations with titles that start with the letter ‘S’ #GreatReads #ReadingForPleasure | Fictionophile

  2. Pingback: Fictionophile’s Top 20 Reads of 2019 #GreatReads #BookRecommendations | Fictionophile

  3. carhicks says:

    This sounds like a good series and Cormac Reilly sounds like a great character. I can get this one at the library, but do I need to read The Ruin first, Lynne?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I enjoyed The Ruin and am looking forward to reading this one. Thanks for a great review.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Paul's Picks says:

    I’m loving this series too. I hope she keeps going!!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s