This prequel to Dervla McTiernan’s Cormac Reilly series takes us back to the beginning of Carrie Ryan’s career, when she was a keen young constable striving to break into the detective boys’ club. Carrie is diligent, with excellent investigative instincts and people skills, but she is beginning to realise that this may be less useful in building a career than being accepted as one of the lads.
Carrie shares a small studio apartment with her sister Aifric, a junior barrister who has yet to build the network of relationships that will enable her to make a decent living. When a brief falls into her lap after a more senior colleague falls off the wagon, she may have taken on more than she can handle. A young man has been charged with murderning his girlfriend, but the case is woefully underprepared.
With the two hardworking driven sisters living on top of each other, Carrie is inevitably drawn into filing in the gaps in Aifric’s case. As they do the work their superiors shirked, they discover the truth about the murder and the barriers they will both face in being taken seriously in their professions.
This novella was an easy and engaging listen, but did not come close to reaching the same standards as the Cormac Reilly series. Its slight length did not allow for the same depth of characterisation, and the case itself was underdrawn and too easily solved. But if you have an Audible subscription, it’s free. So, recommended for cheapskate Dervla McTiernan completists.