Hannah – a third year law student who lives with her mother in Orono, Maine. When she learns about the Innocence Project led by a law professor Robert Parekh at the University of Virginia, she leaves her home and travels to Charlottesville, Virginia, where she proceeds to ensure that she has a place on the Innocence Project team. Her aim is not to free the accused, but to make him pay – the polar opposite of what the Project is all about. She believes that she can best ensure his prosecution by working on the ‘inside’, of the team for his defense. The reason? She has read her mother’s diary and learns that the accused, Michael Dandridge, is responsible for her own father’s death and the brutal rape of her mother.
Laura – Hannah’s single mother – and an alcoholic. She seems manipulative and needy in equal measure.
Sean – one of the brilliant law students on the Innocence Project team. He is convinced of Michael Dandridge’s innocence.
I’ve been a huge fan of this author since first reading her debut, The Ruin. Though this is a stand-alone novel, it nonetheless follows in the footsteps of her previous novels. In a word, brilliant!
With articulate and skilled plotting, the author has written a compelling legal thriller that is a step above the genre’s norm. She has used her own legal expertise and knowledge of the intricacies of the law to pen a thriller rife with plot twists and unreliable characters.
Because Hannah was conniving and untrustworthy at the beginning of the book it would be easy to dislike her, yet the opposite proved true. The author created such a well-developed character in Hannah that the reader can appreciate all the myriad aspects of her character and the good far outweighed the bad. I did wonder at times just how Hannah had come upon her tech expertise. At times she seemed to have the skill set of a hacker.
The ending chapters of “The Murder Rule” were loaded with tension and uncertainty as Hannah encounters a corrupt public official and puts her in dire jeopardy. Then, the ending theatrical courtroom scenes ensured a satisfying and just conclusion.
This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from William Morrow/HarperCollins via Edelweiss. It was published on May 10, 2022.
ISBN: 9780063042209 – ASIN: B0983LWC3J – 304 pages
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 she has gone on to write two more Cormac Reilly novels, The Scholar, and The Good Turn AND the stand-alone legal thriller The Murder Rule.
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.