By Dervla McTienar
Read Feb 2021
This audio novella was published as an Audible Original and is only available currently as an audiobook from Audible. It apparently serves as a prequel, by about 10 years, to her three book (so far) Cormac Reilly crime series and was written between the publication of the second and third books in the series.
The author first introduces us to Aifric, a newly minted barrister working in a law firm of indeterminate size and who needs cases to increase her meager income. A case comes her way temporarily as the assigned barrister has apparently fallen off the wagon and is indisposed. It’s a murder case that will appear before a judge that afternoon. After a stressful and unsatisfying day working on the case, Aifric returns to the tiny apartment she shares with her sister Carrie, a young member of the Dublin police force who is celebrating a case with some members of her team, much to the chagrin of Aifric. Aifric purposely leaves the case file on the table that evening and Carrie opens it, reads it, and decides to poke around a bit. At this point the story nicely takes off.
The author balances useful and engaging detail with the crispness required for a story of this length (about three hours of listening time). The crime solving aspect provides appropriate suspense and simultaneously shows the driving desire of Carrie to become a detective. Her “poking around” is likely to get her into trouble but as she delves deeper despite warning from her superior, her sense of justice drives her to get the real story revealed.
Thus we have a taste of the author’s crime story writing ability. We learn about her interest in the challenges women face as lawyers and police and we are treated to a glimpse of these challenges done without a heavy hand.
This reader is likely to explore her full length books as result of listening to this audio novella—certainly Amazon’s plan which succeeded this time with this reader.