Yes, that’s two books. The Defence is Steve Cavanagh’s debut legal thriller. The Plea is, well, his next one.
I normally read and review books singly, but I’ve been quite busy with life, so am a bit behind and decided to review both books in one go.
First up, The Defence:
Former con artist turned lawyer Eddie Flynn gave up the law a year ago after a disastrous case, and he vowed never to step foot in a courtroom again. But now he doesn’t have a choice. The head of the Russian mob in New York City, on trial for murder, has kidnapped Eddie’s ten-year-old daughter: Eddie has to take this case whether he likes it or not.
Using his razor-sharp wit and every con, bluff, grift, and trick in the book, Eddie has only forty-eight hours to defend an impossible murder trial. And if he loses this case, he loses everything.
Now I read (and listen to) quite a few books. I’ve got a list of favourite authors, and Steve Cavanagh has jumped straight on to it. The Defence is simply fantastic! Our protagonist, Eddie Flynn, is a small-time con man turned lawyer who is being forced by the Russian mob to defend their head, Olek Volchek. And by forced, I mean they have not only kidnapped his daughter, they’ve strapped a bomb to him as well!
A good thriller thrills, and The Defence does just that, on pretty much every page. Flynn is in an impossible situation, but he’s not entirely helpless. He’s a sharp lawyer, a sharper conman, and he has his own network of nefarious contacts.
Cavanagh writes Flynn into impossible situations, and creates a stunning page-turner as you need to find out how on earth he can extricate himself. And the momentum just keeps going, all the way to the end. The Defense is a fabulous debut – I loved it!
It’s a shame that it would be almost impossible to write a follow-up that would be anywhere near as good…
Almost. But not quite impossible. Which Cavanagh demonstrates with a follow-up that is easily up to the challenge. And maybe even better, because we now know Eddie Flynn. And know what he’s capable of. You might think that would spoil any surprises. Don’t worry. Cavanagh counters this by tossing Flynn into an even more difficult situation!
Here’s the blurb: “When David Child, a major client of a corrupt New York law firm, is arrested for murder, the FBI ask con-artist-turned-lawyer Eddie Flynn to secure Child as his client and force him to testify against the firm. Eddie’s not a man to be coerced into representing a guilty client, but the FBI have incriminating files on Eddie’s wife, and if Eddie won’t play ball, she’ll pay the price. When Eddie meets Child he’s convinced the man is innocent, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. With the FBI putting pressure on him to secure the plea, Eddie must find a way to prove Child’s innocence while keeping his wife out of danger – not just from the FBI, but from the firm itself.”
Once again, Eddie needs to use every ounce of his skill and wit to keep his wife safe, and his client out of prison. But we’ve seen the evidence, and David Child must be guilty. Eddie has looked him in the eye though, and he doesn’t think so. But how can he prove it?
I can only say the same for The Plea as I did for The Defence. A stunning, clever, high-octane page-turner. Okay, there were a few different adjectives there, but they apply equally to both novels.
So, if you haven’t read Steve Cavanagh yet, you need to get right on it! I for one can’t wait for the next Eddie Flynn novel, The Liar. Although I do have The Cross, a 149-page novella, waiting for me on my Kindle. 🙂