The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan ★★★★★ #BookReview #BookBlog

Primary Genre(s): Mystery, Crime Drama
Published: 7 March 2019 by Sphere
Page count: 377 (10:20 hours)
My Format: Audiobook via Hoopla
Cover: Good
Pacing: Perfect
Ending: Satisfying
Would I recommend it: Yes
Commission Link: Buy The Scholar

My rating: ★★★★

Synopsis 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 groundbreaking 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
I read my first Dervla McTiernan book, The Ruin, just a few weeks ago and I loved it. Since I’ve been on a bit of a 2- and 3-star book slump recently, I decided to jump right into the second book of her Cormac Reilly series. I’m glad I did. Here are my pros and cons for The Scholar:


  1. Like the The Ruin, this is another perfectly paced, page-turning crime drama!
  2. I liked that this book delved a little bit more into Cormac Reilly as a person and not just as a police officer. The author definitely enhanced his character development in this book. Interestingly, we also learn more about his girlfriend (Emma) due to her unfortunate connection to a murder and the suspicions that result because of that. The relationship between Cormac and Emma, and the strain the murder case caused, was well represented and believable.
  3. Cormac Reilly is human. That seems like a weird statement, but he is a normal, humble, decent guy and a great cop. He is always trying to do the right thing and he accepts full responsibility when something he does goes wrong. I really like his character a lot.
  4. The plot itself was intricate and creative. There were many characters and overlapping story lines but everything came together very clearly and concisely in the end.
  5. I really love this author’s writing and storytelling! She writes very believable, well-rounded characters and she develops compelling plots!


  1. Cormac Reilly was actually working on two cases in this book; however, one of them got short shrift in my opinion. While the secondary case wasn’t the focus of the book, it did serve a purpose (mainly to expose some vendettas against Reilly). Still, I wanted a little more detail about it… because it was interesting!

I am really enjoying this series! I am so impressed with Dervla McTiernan’s storytelling and I will read anything she publishes at this point. Fortunately, the 3rd book in the Cormac Reilly series – The Good Turn – was published on March 5. I’m off to find a copy now!

If you would like to read this book and form your own opinion, please consider purchasing through this link: Buy The Scholar. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

Click here for a description of my rating scale.

(image from Goodreads)

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