The Liar – Steve Cavanagh

This is the third of the novels about con-man turned lawyer Eddie Flynn. To cut to the chase, it’s very good, though of all of them, this is my least favorite.

Flynn, whose own daughter was once kidnapped, is recruited by Leonard Howell after Howell’s daughter is kidnapped. Howell doesn’t trust the police, and he wants Eddie to help get his daughter back.

There are plenty of challenges for Flynn in another cracking tale, with a wonderfully constructed plot, and pretty near constant tension as the story is told. Slowly, but surely, the details of what lies behind the kidnap emerge. But even then, all is not what it seems.

Recommended. But read the books in order.

[Reviews: first, second, fourth.]

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The Plea – Steve Cavanagh

This is the second of the novels about con-man turned lawyer Eddie Flynn. (You can see my review of the first, here.) There is a novella (The Cross) which I have not read.

Eddie is asked by the FBI to have David Child, client of a firm of New York lawyers, to testify against the firm, helping convict them of corrupt practices. There are several challenges. Flynn is not Child’s lawyer. Child is charged with murder and the FBI say he is guilty. Eddie think’s otherwise. Oh, and if Eddie won’t play ball, the evidence they have against Eddie’s wife might make him think differently.

In this complex scenario, Cavanagh pulls off the unlikely result of telling a gripping tale that is just about believable. There are twists and turns, of course, but these would be nothing without the pile driver of a narrative that keeps you on the edge of your reading seat.

Flynn remains the central character, and the one with most depth. But while the supporting characters – especially Child and Flynn’s wife – are not as well drawn, they neither qualify as mere cardboard fillers.

The writing is good, with nary a passage of purple prose. Instead, you get something that is very readable, and hugely entertaining.

Recommended

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The Defence – Steve Cavanagh

This is the first of the novels about con-man turned lawyer Eddie Flynn. (You can see my review of the fourth, here.) There is a novella (The Cross) which I have not read.

Be warned: the plot is far fetched. A mobster has kidnapped Eddie’s daughter and is forcing him to wear a bomb while he defends said mobster. The aim is to blow up the chief prosecution witness. It doesn’t help that this trail is somewhat in the public eye, and the FBI have more than a passing interest.

Eddie uses his full range of tricks to try and get out of the mess and save his daughter. The author delivers a tense, seat of your pants adventure. If you can suppress your disbelief in the fanciful plot, you will have a great time.

The writing and Eddie’s solid characterization puts this at a level above the usual airport disposable novel.

Recommended.

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Thirteen – Steve Cavanagh

The biggest disappointment about this book was finding out after I had read it, that it was part of a series, and not the first. However, on its own merits, this was a cracking mix of courtroom drama and murder mystery, full of twists and action.

The central feature is that there is a killer who has framed an up and coming Hollywood star for murder. The killer – a serious nutter – wants on the jury to enjoy his kill that much more. Against this seriously dangerous foe is set Eddie Flynn, former con-artist now defense lawyer. The courtroom maneuvers and the investigation intermingle well, the story rattles along, and the end result is a highly entertaining read.

Highly recommended, but not for the squeamish.

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