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The Scholar

The Cormac Reilly Series, Book 2
Written by: Dervla McTiernan
Narrated by: Aoife McMahon
Length: 10 hrs and 19 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (22 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A compulsive new crime thriller set in the fiercely competitive, cutthroat world of research and academia, where the brightest minds will stop at nothing to succeed.

When Dr. Emma Sweeney stumbles across the victim of a hit-and-run outside Galway University early one morning, she calls her boyfriend, Detective Cormac Reilly, bringing him first to the scene of a murder that would otherwise never have been assigned to him. The dead girl is carrying an ID that will put this crime at the center of a scandal - her card identifies her as 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 even funded Emma's own groundbreaking research. 

As the murder investigation twists in unexpected ways and Cormac's running of the case comes under scrutiny from the department and his colleagues, he is forced to question himself and the beliefs that he has long held as truths. Who really is Emma? And who is Carline Darcy? 

A gripping and atmospheric follow-up to The Ruin, an "expertly plotted, complex web of secrets that refuse to stay hidden" (Karen Dionne, author of The Marsh King's Daughter), The Scholar is perfect for fans of Tana French and Flynn Berry.

©2019 Dervla McTiernan (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Worth the listen.

Good book. I liked her other one better but still worth a listen. Narrator was excellent.

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  • Jack B. Rochester
  • Lexington, MA
  • 2019-05-25

A Good Story, A Great Listen

Wishing to step just a bit outside my normal Audible book-listening – which, to some extent, mirrors my interest in reading what I call “airplane novels” or “brain candy” mysteries and thrillers by well-known authors, I downloaded The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan, an Irish lawyer and author. I suppose I was drawn to this Audible book because I’d just worked with Ana Clements, an exceptional voice actor-artist who undertook a County Cork Irish accent for a character in my new novel, Anarchy. Listening to Aoife McMahon, also a native of Clare, Ireland, narrate The Scholar, I was convinced Ana had done a stellar job with my Caitlin Dugan.

And so back to The Scholar, which I learned was the second novel in a series the author is writing about Cormac Reilly, a police detective, that began with The Ruin. I was an exceptionally good listen.

Cormac is one of the most human mystery-thriller novel characters I’ve encountered, either in print or audio. He isn’t macho, and has moments of self-doubt, recrimination, shoulda-dones. He also shows a sweet loving tenderness toward his girlfriend, Emma Sweeney, but in the course of the story has cause to doubt her. This creates a lot of dramatic tension in a plot which is already deep into a multi-pronged set of what seem to be unrelated events and mysteries. One hopes that Cormac will knit them together as he attempts to solve the primary event, the murder of a young woman.

There were times when I thought there were too many plots, and as most readers/listeners would do, I tried to put myself in Cormac’s head to solve and resolve them. He figures them out, to be sure, but with perhaps a bit too much ease. I could not; there really weren’t many evidentiary hooks, but there was certainly enough mystery to keep me wondering – as any good novel ought to do – what happens next?

The answer, in The Scholar, is a lot.

As mentioned earlier, Ms. McMahon does a five-star job of narrating. In a genre so overrun with male authors and macho characters, it was a delight to read a work by a woman with well-drawn, three-dimensional characters of both genders.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Jo
  • 2019-05-17

Great read...

Seldom is a second book as good as the first, but I think this one might be better. I particularly liked the nod to Adrian McKinty buried in the middle. Well done!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Barbara
  • 2019-05-28

Thoroughly enjoyable

Very well written and plotted. Great story.
Excellent narration. The voice changes for each character were perfect.
Can't wait for the next Cormac Reilly installment!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Patricia L messmer
  • COVINGTON, KY, US
  • 2019-06-07

Stopped with 3 hours left - would not choose as it

Stopped with 3 hours left - would not choose as it obviously has a kink in the system.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Tessa Sargent
  • 2019-06-03

Edge of your seat thriller!

Dervla McTiernan does it again! Wow I thoroughly enjoyed The Ruin and The Scholar lived up to those high expectation. Cormac Reilly is such a likable character, flaws and all. This detective story had so many twists and turns I kept thinking I'd had it figured out and then something else would happen. I listened to it far too fast though, and now I'm sad it's over. It's difficult to believe this is only McTiernan's second novel, but she has definitely gained a lifelong reader in me! Aoife McMahon also does a phenomenal job in narrating this story!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mal
  • 2019-07-11

The Scholar

Very well written and thought out. Lots of side stories that come together. Fillled w/suspense and action. Narration was very good. Highly recomend!

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  • Holly Krivjansky
  • 2019-06-30

Original, clever, well developed characters

5 star. Well written and unpredictable. I highly recommend. One of the best I have ever bought.

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  • Harrison
  • 2019-06-28

Great

I can not wait for the next one. Nice and twisty. The reader was excellent

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  • Gretchen Daubs
  • 2019-06-15

Characters

You know that when you begin a series, there will be a lot of character development/backstory. I like how some had had rough patches before the series started, creating interesting histories.
I also like how while there is scientific matter in the storyline, it was not so overly detailed that people without a science background would get lost in... very good idea. I have "read" some books in the past that make me scratch my head while listening to the content multiple times trying to figure it out. (I'm smart but no brainiac. :D )
I am definitely looking forward to the next installment in this series.

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  • Vivien Tarkirk-Smith
  • UK
  • 2019-06-15

Innovative and original Irish whodunnit

Dervla McTiernan is a new writer to me and both this book and The Ruin which I listened to recently are excellent. These are unusual stories, very well written and life is very irritating when it interrupts listening. If you have listened to all the others and are looking for a new author to follow I highly recommend this one, and hope she is a fast writer, as I am impatiently waiting for the next one. I must also add that the soft Irish accent of the excellent reader Aoife McMahon is charming and very pleasant to listen to.