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  • Writer's pictureNia Forrester

LISTENING TO: 'The Wrong One' by Dervla McTiernan

A mother and son fighting to prove her innocence are reunited with an estranged friend—a detective who may hold the key to her freedom—as they’re forced to put their differences aside to uncover the shocking truth behind the crime.

When Clara Coleman is taken into custody, her teenage son, Sebastien, wastes no time before calling Simon Miller: an estranged family friend and detective in their old hometown of Hartford, Connecticut. Clara’s been arrested for the murder of Rachel Stapleton, a wealthy housewife and prominent figure in Lavender Valley, their well-to-do New Jersey suburb. But she swears she did not commit the crime.

Simon knows that Clara is not capable of murder and will do anything he can to prove her innocence—he’s felt indebted to the Coleman family since her husband, Will, Simon’s best friend, passed away years before. He arrives in Lavender Valley and hits the ground running on the case. With time, details surrounding the crime as well as the Colemans’ family history are revealed, unravelling the complex web of cause and effect that will finally bring the truth to light.

Dervla McTiernan is one of my favorite writers. Comparing authors is lazy but Tana French comes to mind if you need one. Absolutely pitch-perfect literary mystery, almost every single time. If I had to say what I liked most about this author and others of her type, it's that they don't allow the genre to get in the way of the writing. What I mean is, she never allows the fact that she's writing a mystery (which has its own very specific tropes and formulas to follow) to get in the way of solid prose, strong character development and place and time and mood. In 'The Wrong One'---which I'm convinced she could have written in her sleep---plot is centered and it's a pretty sensational and unbelievable one to be honest, but entertaining if you have a couple hours to kill. A nice interlude while I wait for the release of 'The Murder Rule', coming in May.

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