If you’ve been paying attention to my Goodreads recently, you know I’ve polished off a couple of Audible’s Originals — short stories published exclusively on that platform.
I’m rather impressed with what Audible has put out on that front, including “The Sisters,” by Dervla McTiernan
Having read very little in the crime-detective genre, I was intrigued by “The Sisters,” mostly as a gateway story to the larger Cormac Reilly series by McTiernan. This story is somehow a prequel or a prelude to the larger series, so I was interested to dip my toe in. What I found was an interesting story with great characters, and I sort of just want to read more about them.
Airfric and Carrie are sisters, a barrister and a garda respectively, and both are eager to make names for themselves in their careers. Carrie becomes entangled in a suspicious murder case that Airfric is defending, and ends up helping to solve it against the wishes of the detectives in her squad.
Honestly, by the time the real detective aspect of this story got under way, it was halfway over. I really enjoyed both Carrie and Airfric as POV characters, but I wanted this story to have more meat to it.
A few weeks removed from listening to this, it feels like the first third of this two-hour listen was just Airfric going about one particularly bad day as a junior barrister, until she stumbles into this case.
Again, I loved Airfric as a POV character. McTiernan’s style is easy to grasp but not lacking in emotional depth. I think she excels in brevity that somehow carries added layers to it. I just wish I either had more time to spend in this story, or that the real story had begun sooner.
Just as you get used to Airfric’s voice and get into her part, the POV switches to her sister, Carrie. Carrie, the garda, was also a great character. Aside from their slightly different accents (both achieved by the narrator and noted in the story by other characters), it’s easy to glimpse of bit of Carrie and Airfric’s relationship, and hear the lifelong bond. Still, both have distinct narrative voices that play off each other well.
Once Carrie really digs into this case she’s not supposed to be involved with — because obviously — the story moves even more quickly and then ends, rather abruptly.
I think this could have been a novella, or even more, with the care that is given to these characters’ personalities and background. That’s really my only gripe with this story: it’s too damn short.
Aiofe McMahon was also a fantastic narrator. Who doesn’t love a melodious Irish accent? But for real, I’m finding that I will actively search out books narrated by specific people, simply because their voices are so pleasant to listen to, and they are talented vocal actors. I will definitely be listening to more of her McMahon’s work in audiobooks.