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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

‘Clever and compelling, Dervla McTiernan has seamlessly switched from fast-paced police procedural to original and suspenseful legal drama without missing a beat.’
—Sarah Bailey, bestselling author of The Housemate

‘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

Dervla McTiernan’s debut novel, The Ruin, was a critically acclaimed international bestseller published around the world. The Ruin won the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction, the Davitt Award for Best Adult Fiction and the Barry Award for Best Original Paperback, and was shortlisted for numerous other awards. It was on the Amazon US Best Book of the Year list in 2018 and screen rights were snapped up by Hopscotch Features. Dervla’s second book, The Scholar, debuted into the Nielsen Bookscan Top 5 on release in 2019, and her third, The Good Turn, went straight to no.1, confirming her place as one of Australia’s best crime writers. Born in County Cork, Ireland, to a family of seven, Dervla practised as a corporate lawyer for twelve years. Following the global financial crisis, she moved with her family to Western Australia, where she now lives with her husband and two children. An avid fan of crime and detective novels from childhood, Dervla now writes full time.

The night before she left for law school, Hannah Rokeby did not sleep. She went to bed early and listened to the sounds her mother made as she moved about the house. Their home in Orono was not small, but it was old, and sound traveled. Hannah heard the clatter of dishes from the kitchen, the opening and closing of cupboard doors, Laura’s footsteps as she moved into the living room, then silence . . . keep reading

Dervla McTiernan is rightly acclaimed around the world for her spectacular storytelling – not only for her cleverly crafted plots but particularly for her characters, who are always drawn with deep understanding, compassion and humanity. Now Dervla has stepped beyond the shores of her native Ireland to produce a razor-sharp legal thriller set in the US. It has all the hallmarks that we love about a Dervla novel, with an extra twisty punch.

The Murder Rule is about a mother and daughter, Laura and Hannah, who would do anything to protect one another. Told in alternating timelines, the women’s stories pivot and turn in ways readers will never expect, because in The Murder Rule, no one is innocent. It is a story about secrets, lies, revenge. It’s about guilt and innocence. It is a story about understanding the law, and manipulating the system in your favour.

Dervla has put her background as a lawyer to good use in this thrilling and explosive novel – it is truly delicious, top-notch suspense. It’s tough for an author to top themselves again and again but Dervla just gets better with every book; I’m blown away by her immense talent. Fans have been waiting impatiently for a new McTiernan and I could not be more excited for them to get their hands on The Murder Rule.

Anna Valdinger, Commercial Fiction Publisher




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