Author: Steve Cavanagh
Published: August 2021 by Orion
Category: Crime Fiction, Courtroom Drama, Legal Thriller, Book Review
A deadly prosecutor
They call him the King of Death Row. Randal Korn has sent more men to their deaths than any district attorney in the history of the United States.
A twisted ritualistic killing
When a young woman, Skylar Edwards, is found murdered in Buckstown, Alabama, a corrupt sheriff arrests the last person to see her alive, Andy Dubois. It doesn’t seem to matter to anyone that Andy is innocent.
Opening with a chilling prologue, The Devil’s Advocate is the latest case for ex con artist, now top defence lawyer, Eddie Flynn and his team.
A visit from Alexander Berlin, a problem solver for the government, who is concerned regarding the re-election of a district attorney in a small town in Alabama, prompts Eddie to take on the toughest case of his career so far. Sunville County has the highest rate of death penalty convictions in the whole of America. Randal Korn, the DA, has sent more people to their death than any other DA in history. He’s proud of his title, the king of death row.
A young African American, Andy Dubois, is charged with the murder of Skylar Edwards, a waitress he worked with. Despite Andy allegedly being the last person to see Skylar alive and the amount of evidence stacked against him, Berlin believes Andy is innocent and subsequently hired a lawyer. The lawyer has been missing for a week, no-one has seen or heard from him.
‘The feds would swamp that town, spend six months tearing the place apart and end up with nothing. I don’t need a sledgehammer here. I need someone smart enough to take on Korn in the courtroom, get the kid off. If something bad has happened to Warren, no one will ever find him. Korn is too careful. Warren is beyond my help now. What I want to know is will you go down to Alabama and save this kid’s life?’
Eddie, his good friend and ex judge Harry Ford, new partner Kate Brooks and investigator, Bloch travel down to an extremely unwelcome reception and the stifling heat of Alabama. Buckstown is rotten at the core, with corruption and racism, killers and extremists who think nothing of using violence and the worst illegal practices to gain their own ends. It soon becomes clear the odds are heavily stacked against the team and Eddie is far from convinced of their ability to help Andy.
The courtroom scenes are fascinating, realistic and very well written. As with the previous books there’s humour and emotion to counterbalance the corruption, manipulation and pure evil of some of the antagonists. There’s plenty going on to keep the reader engrossed, with tension, drama and misleading twists, one in particular that had me thinking ‘Oh, no!’
Highlighting comparisons between past and present America, The Devil’s Advocate is a compelling crime/legal thriller, exploring some thorny, topical and thought provoking issues while showing the best and worst of humanity. Eddie and his team are wonderful protagonists, each bringing their own skill set, and working extemely well together.
Looking forward very much to the next instalment.
Steve Cavanagh is a critically acclaimed, Sunday Times best-selling author of the Eddie Flynn series which has sold a million copies in the UK. His third novel, The Liar, won the CWA Gold Dagger for Crime Novel of the year 2018. Thirteen won the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime novel of the year 2019. FIFTY FIFTY was a Richard and Judy Book club choice, and the BBC Between The Covers book club choice. His latest novel, The Devil’s Advocate will be release in August 2021.