#aww2021 · 2021 Reviews · contemporary fiction · crime · detective · mystery · thriller

Book Review: The Good Turn by Dervla McTiernan

Title: The Good Turn

Author: Dervla McTiernan

Published: February 24th 2020

Publisher: HarperCollins – AU

Pages: 400

Genres:  Fiction, Crime, Detective, Mystery, Thriller

RRP: $32.99

Rating: 4 stars

The unputdownable no.1 bestseller from the author of The Ruin and The Scholar.

Police corruption, an investigation that ends in tragedy and the mystery of a little girl’s silence – three unconnected events that will prove to be linked by one small town.

While Detective Cormac Reilly faces enemies at work and trouble in his personal life, Garda Peter Fisher is relocated out of Galway with the threat of prosecution hanging over his head. But even that is not as terrible as having to work for his overbearing father, the local copper for the pretty seaside town of Roundstone.

For some, like Anna and her young daughter Tilly, Roundstone is a refuge from trauma. But even this village on the edge of the sea isn’t far enough to escape from the shadows of evil men.


Lies, office politics, entrenched police corruption, a kidnapping and more pulsates through The Good Turn by Dervla McTernan. The third issue in the popular Cormac Reilly series, The Good Turn sees this good natured detective trying to restore a sense of law and order in a corrupt system. Gripping, addictive, twisty and absorbing, The Good Turn is the perfect read for crime fiction junkies!

Dervla McTiernan’s third outing with dogged Detective Cormac Reilly sees a bevy of police corruption, mystery, tragedy and unexplained crimes at the centre of the action. A little girl who refuses to speak, but is clearly traumatised by a significant event, is at the core of the events of this story. With a tiny township rocked by a series of issues, Detective Cormac Reilly seems to be the obvious choice to crack the problems plaguing this small town. However, this dogged Detective has problems of his own to contend with, which runs alongside this case. From the host of enemies Cormac has acquired, through to dealing with some personal problems, this officer of the law has a lot on his plate. Can Cormac unlock the terrible secrets and crime that haunts the township of Roundstone?

I consider myself a fan of crime fiction novelist Dervla McTernan’s work. I raced through her previous two books, The Ruin and The Scholar. The Good Turn was another thrilling book from this seasoned crime fiction writer. Although The Good Turn does intersect with McTiernan’s previous two novels, I think that it holds the ability to be read as a standalone release.

Cormac Reilly again leads the charge in The Good Turn. I appreciated the solid character development and progression of this enigmatic protagonist. I really did feel for Cormac dealing with so many issues in both his professional and personal life. I championed Cormac’s cause throughout, hoping this good guy in a highly corrupt police system could put a stop to the issues plaguing his employer. The Good Turn is another prime example of a considered police procedural. The issues at hand, along with the responses of the staff and wider community, seemed to be tinged with plenty of authentic realism. I know I didn’t doubt the actions, events, or responses of the cast featured in The Good Turn. This is down to McTiernan’s diligent approach to maintaining a clear sense of authenticity to her novel.

Pacing wise, I encountered no issues of concern. The narrative presents plenty of roadblocks, twists, turns, diversions, red herrings and complex characters that our lead must outwit. McTiernan draws in plenty of different plot progression points, that initially seem unrelated, but they eventually coverage to a surprising turn of events. We have plenty to contend with in this story arc, from prosecuting, threats, police duplicity, power, authority, kidnapping, trauma and conspiracy. The Good Turn is a full and involving read, that will test many crime fictions fans out there. The major events of The Good Turn are further compounded by the heavy Irish backdrop, that works to set a stirring atmosphere.

Dervla McTiernan has built a highly engaging crime fiction series, headed by an intriguing lead and defined by a carefully designed plot, that will test all crime fiction fans. The Good Turn comes with a tick of approval.

The Good Turn by Dervla McTiernan was published on 24th February 2020 by Harper Collins Books Australia. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of The Good Turn, Dervla McTiernan visit here.

*I wish to thank Harper Collins Books Australia for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.

The Good Turn is book #6 of the 2021 Australian Women Writers Challenge 

2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Good Turn by Dervla McTiernan

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