Thirteen

Written by Steve Cavanagh

Review written by Ali Karim

Ali Karim was a Board Member of Bouchercon [The World Crime & Mystery Convention] and co-chaired programming for Bouchercon Raleigh, North Carolina in 2015. He is Assistant Editor of Shots eZine, British correspondent for The Rap Sheet and writes and reviews for many US magazines & Ezines.


Thirteen
Orion
RRP: £7.99
Released: June 14 2018
PBK

The latest in Cavanagh’s legal thrillers is perhaps his most surreal, though again featuring his troubled protagonist, Lawyer Eddie Flynn – it has the most intriguing premise for a courtroom drama I’ve read for some time.

The tale commences when Flynn gets involved defending movie star Bobby Solomon who is accused of the murder of his wife Ariel Bloom and his own security man Carl Tozier. Initially, Flynn is sceptical about taking on the case until he ponders upon a piece of evidence that perplexes him, and one that makes him consider that Bobby Solomon is innocent, in an otherwise clean-cut case of marital murder.  

Flynn finds himself not only defending the film star, but also keeping his marriage from dissolving and family intact. As ever, Flynn has his contacts both in the courtroom, as well as his colleagues from law enforcement circling this case.

The narrative alternates in a terse manner between Eddie Flynn’s point of view and that of the murderer, or is he? There are plot twists and turns that puts Eddie Flynn in the crosshairs of both the Law and the killer in this, the fourth novel from Irish Lawyer, turned crime writer.

Of course it’s no spoiler to discover that something is not quite right with the Jury, but how this comes to pass is elegantly woven into the narrative. Though, there are many tense moments that make one reach for the Xanax, but there is also brutality as the race to the verdict is now also a game of survival, but not just for our Lawyer, Eddie Flynn.  Thankfully, there is dark wit to ease unbearable tension in this serpent of a novel, with its slippery surface belaying hidden depth.

Though mooted as a courtroom drama, this literary excursion is something far more intriguing, as Cavanaugh explores the mind of a psychopath; one protected by the Prosecution’s tenacious Art Tyler, for he is gunning for Solomon as the perpetrator. 

More Thomas (Harris) than (Scott) Turow, Thirteen is Steve Cavanaugh’s breakthrough novel, as it is a blindingly fast read, but one that will linger in the mind longer than most thrillers – Highly Recommended



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