The Defence by Steve Cavanagh
First of all I must apologise, I had promised the long awaited To Be Read post for today and it just has not happened. It's been a busy week here with house move stuff and throw in illness and no sleep and I am a barely functioning human at the moment. But I have plans, and the post will be up on Tuesday. I promise!
Instead today, I have a cracking thriller for you, perfect for a beach read or holiday read. I first discovered Steve Cavanagh after watching the first series of 'Between The Covers' BBC2's television book club. Fifty Fifty was one of the featured books, introduced by the author and discussed by the Panel. We were so intrigued we decided to read it as part of our family book group. It turned out to be a gripping thriller that kept me up way after my bedtime!
The Defence is the first novel to feature hustler turned lawyer Eddie Flynn who is the main lawyer in Fifty Fifty. A quick note here, if you are new to the Steve Cavanagh novels, definitely start with this first. It's great to be introduced to the character and learn about his back story - how he moved from hustling to becoming a lawyer. It's a cracking read and a great debut!
The Plot (from the Back)
Eddie Flynn used to be a con-artist. Then he became a lawyer.
Turned out the two weren't that different. He once vowed never to set foot in a courtroom again. But now he doesn't have a choice. Eddie's daughter has been kidnapped. And winning an impossible murder trial is the only way to save her.
This is another rollicking page turner of a thriller that once again meant I got little in the way of beauty sleep, especially at 4am. The action is straight off the back and we really do hit the ground running with this one. Members of the Russian mob kidnap Eddie's daughter and force him to wear a bomb vest to take out 'Witness X' an informant who worked in the mob for years. The plot is quite extraordinary, but go with it and enjoy the ride.
Eddie is great - a former hustler, turned lawyer. In the Defence we find out what caused this turnaround. He also knows how to handle himself, having grown up with plenty of street smarts and boxing training. At times there were shades of Jack Reacher, Lee Child's main protagonist and another anti-hero who can handle himself thank you very much.
The parts I enjoyed most were the various insights into the psychology of the court. The little tricks that lawyers do to ensure a jury is on their side. The people employed to read a jury and predict the outcome and how best to discredit a professional witness. At times it is hard to swallow. There is no right or wrong in justice, but instead it ultimately comes down to who is the better lawyer.
As the action starts quickly, the pace is relentless through the book until the conclusion powers along at a ferocious pace. I am very very much impressed by this author. If you are a fan of John Grisham or indeed the aforementioned Lee Child, then you could do a lot worse than try the Eddie Flynn novels. Good page-turners. Thrilling and Fast-Paced.