Author: Steve Cavanagh
U.S. Edition Published: February 2018 by Flatiron Books
Genre: Legal Thriller
Hardcover: 358 pages
My Rating: 3 1/2 stars
When billionaire David Child is arrested for the murder of his girlfriend, Clara, the FBI believe they can get him to testify and take down a huge money laundering scheme.
Con-artist-turned-lawyer Eddie Flynn is given the job: persuade David to plead guilty and give the agents the evidence they need. If Eddie can’t get David to take a plea bargain, the FBI has incriminating files on Eddie’s wife – and will send her to jail. But David swears he didn’t murder anyone.
The evidence overwhelmingly shows that David killed Clara: the security video showed no one else entering their apartment, the murder weapon was in his car, and he was covered in gunshot residue he can’t explain. Yet as the FBI pressures Eddie to secure the guilty plea, Eddie becomes increasingly convinced that David is telling the truth.
With adversaries threatening, Eddie has to find a way to prove David’s innocence and find out if there’s any way he might have been framed. But the stakes are high: Eddie’s wife is in danger. And not just from the FBI…
This is the second book in a series of four featuring retired con man and current defense lawyer, Eddie Flynn. I’m working my way through this series in order to get to the grand finale, his fourth book, Thirteen. The tag line for that book is “The serial killer isn’t on trial. He’s on the jury.” I’m enjoying the ride leading up to that book, but you really wouldn’t have to read them in order. Each case Eddie takes on is a stand alone. There is some character development involving Eddie and his wife who he’s currently separated from, and his young daughter Amy, but those relationships are really very secondary to the central action. And I do mean action. These are very plot driven books. They move fast, there’s a lot of courtroom shenanigans, and there’s always an interesting cast of characters that are a spill over from Eddie’s days as a con artist. The big corporate hot shots are usually the enemy and you root for the little guys. It reads like a movie with plenty of action scenes and dead bodies along the way.
The mystery at it’s core is a locked-room mystery, one of my favorite kinds. There is security footage showing the defendant, David Child, entering his apartment with his girlfriend. Then the footage picks back up when David is seen leaving his apartment alone around the time that a neighbor hears gunshots. No one else is ever seen entering or leaving the apartment. To make matters worse, or more iron clad, depending on whose side you’re on, David is involved in a car accident minutes from his home, where the murder weapon is discovered in his car, and he’s covered in gun shoot residue. A crime of passion, or an innocent, wealthy, computer genius who’s been framed? Eddie Flynn is convinced his client is innocent and sets about trying to proof it against all odds.
Steve Cavanagh’s books are always entertaining and easy to get caught up in. Eddie Flynn is a little like Jack Bauer (of 24 fame). He’s fast, smart, and always under pressure with a clock ticking down. This is perfect for anyone who likes a locked-room mystery wrapped inside a legal thriller on steroids.
Here’s my review of his first book, The Defense .