The Defence (Eddie Flynn #1) by Steve Cavanagh #LegalThriller @SSCav #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: Steve Cavanagh

Published: March 2015 by Orion

Category: Legal Thriller, Courtroom Drama, Book Review

The truth has no place in a courtroom. The truth doesn’t matter in a trial.

The only thing that matters is what the prosecution can prove.

Eddie Flynn used to be a con artist. Then he became a lawyer. Turned out the two weren’t that different.

Set In New York City, The Defence is an action packed courtroom drama. Although quite a lot of the story takes place in the court building it’s a full on, non stop rollercoaster which takes place over forty-eight hours. No conventional legal thriller here. 

Eddie Flynn, ex con-man and hustler turned lawyer, hasn’t set foot in a courtroom for more than a year, after a case he won turned into a tragedy. But now, Eddie’s life is about to spiral completely out of control. Hijacked in his favourite diner, his coat doctored to include a bomb in the lining, Eddie is forced into a car at gunpoint.

Eddie’s former partner, Jack Halloran, was supposed to be representing Russian mob boss Olek Volchek, as he awaited trial for murder. It seems Jack is off the case–permanently. Volchek wants Eddie as his lawyer. The Russians have kidnapped his daughter. After scenarios flash through his mind, Eddie knows he has no choice. The trial starts that morning. He has two days to convince the jury to find Volchek not guilty and plant the bomb which will kill the main witness. Eddie is certain, whatever the outcome, he and his daughter won’t be allowed to live. Some quick thinking is required to stay ahead of the game, even as he realises there are things about the case that just doesn’t add up.

I stayed on the deck and felt the pain roaring into my head. It was my first pocket dip in fifteen years. It was instinct; it just happened because that’s who I was.

No–it’s who I am.

The skill sand techniques that I’d developed and used as a successful con artist–distraction, misdirection, persuasion, suggestion, the load, the switch, the drop–I’d used these methods just as much on the street all those years ago as I has for the past nine years in the courtroom. I hadn’t really changed. I’d just changed the con.

Eddie’s first person perspective works really well, giving insight into his thought processes and character, portraying him as engaging, basically decent and empathetic despite his murky past. I love the way Steve Cavanagh draws the reader into Eddie’s mind, so you get to know how his life took the course it did, learning about his relationship with his daughter, how it all relates to the present and how he uses his knowledge and ’skills’ in the situation he now faces. I liked Eddie straight away, he has solid friends who are willing to go the extra mile for him and the antagonists are just what’s needed for this kind of story.

The courtroom scenes are enjoyable, with quick thinking, smooth talking and craftiness. The drama kept the narrative moving along at a pace. A well crafted, tight plot with several unexpected twists kept me guessing, and even as credibility was stretched at certain points, it has everything a good action story needs. Steve Cavanagh can certainly spin a well written tale, and a debut at that.

Suspend belief and enjoy the ride.

Steve Cavanagh was born and raised in Belfast before leaving for Dublin at the age of eighteen to study Law. He currently practices civil rights law and has been involved in several high profile cases. Selected for the Amazon Rising Stars programme 2015. ACES award winner 2015 from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. The Defence is his debut novel.


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