The Good Turn by Dervla McTiernan

‘The waiting room was ugly and neglected.’

Dublin, Ireland, 1 September 2015. Anna’s young daughter Tilly has stopped talking. Anna can’t change her circumstances in Dublin, so she decides to take Tilly to Galway.

Galway, Ireland, 31 October 2015.  Garda Peter Fisher is having a rare day off, enjoying life, when he receives a call from his colleague, Deirdre Russell:

‘Reilly wants to know if you can come in for the afternoon.’

The station is shorthanded (again) as most resources have been diverted to a surveillance task force. Detective Cormac Reilly and two others are the only ones there.  Deirdre Russell asks if Peter Fisher can make a call on his way into the station: an eleven-year-old boy says he saw a girl abducted.

Unfortunately, Cormac Reilly is unable to get his boss, Brian Murphy, to release the resources he needs to investigate the abduction. Those resources are part of the surveillance task force, and while Murphy will call on other stations to try to release some staff, Reilly knows that time is critical.  Unfortunately, in the absence of the back-up he needs, Peter Fisher makes some decisions which lead to him being relocated to Galway.  It’s either that, he’s told, or prosecution.  In Galway, Peter Fisher is tasked with administrative paperwork associated with two murders.

Cormac Reilly’s personal life remains complicated, his professional life is blighted by the fact that his search for justice impinges on some entrenched interests.  Who can he trust?  Can he continue in the Garda? Similarly, Peter Fisher, shunted to the side (at least temporarily) finds he can’t ignore his own need to investigate thoroughly.

This is a fast-moving story with several different strands and explores a number of different themes. I finished the novel, hoping that there will be a fourth.  Ms McTiernan has given us some interesting and intriguing characters to follow.

‘This is why you’ve been stuck for the past year.  If you trust absolutely no one, you’re never going to make any progress.’

Note: My thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins Publishers Australia for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith