No one is innocent in this story ...The unmissable new standalone from the no.1 bestseller of The Good Turn
First Rule: Make them like you.Second Rule: Make them need you.Third Rule: Make them pay.They think I'm a young, idealistic law student, that I'm passionate about reforming a corrupt and brutal system.They think I'm working hard to impress them.They think I'm here to save an innocent man on death row. They're wrong. I'm going to bury him.'Diabolically clever, highly compelling and deeply moving. I loved The Murder Rule and did not want it to end.' Don Winslow, New York Times bestselling author of The Force and The Border'Extraordinary. Haunting. An incredible thriller. I could not put this book down. Dervla McTiernan is a gifted writer with a very special way of telling a story. This is a heart stopping rollercoaster of a tale.' Adrian McKinty, New York Times bestselling author of The Chain
An engrossing standalone suspense-thriller
The Murder Rule is a standalone suspense-thriller, from Irish-Australian author Dervla McTiernan, probably best known up to this point for her series featuring Garda Síochána detective Cormac Reilly.
The story follows Maine law student Hannah Rokeby, as she manipulates her way onto the highly-selective University of Virginia Innocence Project. However, unlike her Project colleagues, Hannah's motives aren't altruistic, idealistic, or even based around bolstering her own employability post-law school. She's motivated purely by thoughts of revenge and is fully prepared to undertake any skulduggery necessary to achieve her aim.
I found The Murder Rule a taut and multi-layered mystery, an engrossing read with a thrilling conclusion. A courtroom scene which draws the threads together is perhaps more than a little far-fetched, but I was willing to suspend disbelief for the sake of the story. Hannah is a complex character, and is difficult to like in many respects, however as more details of her upbringing emerge, the reader can at least understand her rationale, if not her methods. The supporting cast of characters are varied and intriguing, from Hannah's student colleagues to her supervising professor, her demanding alcoholic mother to an almost cartoonishly-evil town Sheriff.
I'd recommend The Murder Rule to readers who enjoy contemporary crime fiction with strongly character-driven plot threads. However, fans of Dervla McTiernan's Irish-set Cormac Reilly series should be aware, before launching into The Murder Rule, that this is a very different beast indeed. While there are some common themes around police corruption and the re-consideration of old crimes, the setting and style of The Murder Rule struck me as distinctly American in flavour, and perhaps lacking the subtlety of McTiernan's earlier work.