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The Devil’s Advocate by Steve Cavanagh

When a young woman, Skylar Edwards, is murdered, a suspect is soon arrested, his fate sure to be the death penalty. No one seems concerned that Andy Dubois is innocent and with local feeling the way it is, there is no chance of him receiving a fair trial. Prosecutor Randal Korn is determined to put Andy on death row, and judging by his reputation as the district attorney to send the most people to their death, this is a foregone conclusion. When Andy’s defence attorney disappears, New York lawyer Eddie Flynn is drafted in to try to achieve the seemingly impossible – beat Randal Korn and save Andy Dubois.

The Eddie Flynn books have become a firm favourite of mine and I couldn’t wait to read The Devil’s Advocate. Here, we see Eddie out of his comfort zone, heading to Alabama to defend a young black man, charged with the murder of a popular white woman. Race definitely plays a part in this book, his skin colour condemning him to death in the eyes of many people regardless of the evidence. Andy and his mum were very likeable characters, and, although they don’t feature much in the book, their bond was clear to see and I willed Eddie to break the case and see justice served.

We see Eddie at his best in The Devil’s Advocate, using every trick in the book (and tricks most definitely not in the book!) to counteract the devious mind of Randal Korn. This is where the author’s legal background really comes to the fore, Eddie’s investigations and courtroom scenes being a joy to read.

In Randal Korn, we have a despicable antagonist of the highest order. He is one of those characters who get under your skin right from the start, without a single redeeming feature. His control over society was terrifying and we see this right from the start with the hostility Eddie and his team face when arriving in Alabama. In The Devil’s Advocate, Steve Cavanagh has given us a plethora of abhorrent characters, each of them with their own terrifying reasons for framing Andy.

In the previous book in this series, Fifty Fifty, there was a particularly shocking moment where we saw the death of someone unexpected. There was a horrible sense of deja vu in this book that had me completely on the edge of my seat and I couldn’t believe that Steve was doing this to us again! You will have to read the book to see what I am referring to and see the outcome. Be prepared!

Eddie Flynn has become a force to be reckoned with and I am already eagerly awaiting the next in the series.

With thanks to Orion and Net Galley for my copy.

Fifty Fifty by Steve Cavanagh

A telephone call is received by the police from a young woman, stating that her father has been killed by her sister and that she is still in the house. Seconds later, another call is received from the sister, saying the same thing. One of them is lying. One of them is a cold-hearted killer. Both of them stand accused of murder but who should we believe?

Steve Cavanagh has become the author with the killer hook and this has definitely continued in Fifty Fifty. From the very start, where we have two separate calls being made to the emergency services, from two sisters each accusing the other of murder, I was immediately drawn in to this twisty, sadistic tale of cat and mouse.

In Fifty Fifty, we have two defendants, each protesting their innocence and each represented by a lawyer who believes in what their client is telling them. One of them is being played, but who? Eddie Flynn is defending Sofia Avellino, a messed up young woman with a history of psychological trauma. Does she have it in her to carry out such a horrific crime? New lawyer Kate Brooks is representing Sofia’s sister, Alexandra, a woman much more together than her sister, but does her calm demeanor hide something more sinister? Usually when reading a book like this, I have some sort of theory as to who the guilty party is but I truly could not make up my mind! Just when I’d think it was definitely Alexandra, something would happen to lead me to believe it was Sofia, only a few chapters later have me convinced, yet again that it was Alexandra! I loved how this plot kept me on my toes, keeping me guessing right to the end.

There was one part of the book that had me holding my breath, desperate to read the next part yet, simultaneously, not daring to as I knew that something horrific was about to happen. I do not want to give away any spoilers, but this was a magnificent piece of writing and all I can say is Steve Cavanagh, how could you? If you’ve already read the book, you will know which part I am referring to, if not, strap yourself in as you’re in for a bumpy ride!

The author’s last book was called Twisted, and this one definitely follows suit. Fifty Fifty has a gripping plot that kept me on my toes throughout, outfoxing me at every turn. If you’ve never read a Steve Cavanagh book, you won’t go far wrong with this one. Superb!

With thanks to Orion and Net Galley for my ARC.

 

 

Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh

51Hun9Zbi4LThere is no such thing as bad publicity. Or is there? Hollywood starlet, Bobby Solomon, seems to have it all: a beautiful wife, a film about to be released and his own reality TV show. All this comes crashing down when the body of his wife and her alleged lover are discovered at the marital home, and Bobby is the only suspect. Although high-profile cases are not his thing, defence lawyer, Eddie Flynn, takes on the case as he senses that everything is not as it seems, daring to believe that Bobby could, in fact, be getting set up. Cold-blooded killer, Joshua Kane, definitely knows a lot more about the case, so much so that he has managed to find himself a spot on the jury. Bobby’s fate may be in his hands…

I admit that courtroom dramas have never really appealed to me but there has been so much buzz around Thirteen that I felt I had to give it a go. (Plus, I’m a regular listener of the author’s podcast, Two Crime Writers and a Microphone). All I can say is, if all books of this genre are as good as this one, then I might just be a convert!

I warmed to Eddie Flynn immediately and, although this is the fourth book in the series, never felt as though I was missing out on his back story. I enjoyed reading his courtroom scenes and could quite easily see how some of the jurors appeared to be hanging on his every word. A man of integrity, despite his con-man past, Eddie is the perfect protagonist and would definitely be someone I would want on my side if I found myself in Bobby’s situation!

The story is a dual narrative, the other main character being the killer, Kane. He is a truly heinous character and yet an unbelievably fascinating one too. We find out the extent of his nature quite early on in the book when the life of a man is decided upon by the toss of a coin. When the true extent of his crimes and the lengths he will go to to continue his ‘work’ are revealed, he definitely became one of the worst serial killers I have read about in recent years.

Thirteen has great characters and a novel idea for a story and is one of the few books that definitely lives up to the hype!

With thanks to Orion and Net Galley for my copy of Thirteen.

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