The Defense (Eddie Flynn #1), by Steve Cavanagh

Eight stars

Turing my attention to a new series, I wanted to try Steve Cavanagh’s legal thrillers, which have been recommended to be over the years. Eddie Flynn is a lawyer with a sordid past. Having hit the bottle when things were not going well and with a past as a con artist, Flynn has alienated his family and pushed himself close to being disbarred. After he takes over a murder trial for his former partner, Flynn has no idea what he’s agreed to do. Approached by the Russian mafia, Flynn is told that he will smuggle a bomb into the courthouse and plant it on the witness stand so that the prosecution’s witness meets an untimely demise. To help convince the lawyer, Flynn is told that his daughter is in the custody of the Russians, who are happy to kill her if the need arises. With all the pressure put upon him, Flynn tries to find legal loopholes that will allow him to win this case for his client without being implicated in any violent acts. Worried that Amy might still be harmed, Flynn seeks outside help, only to discover that there are moles on both sides at every turn. Walking on eggshells, Flynn advances the case to the point that ‘Witness X’ is set to testify, he who is supposed to be blown up. With Amy not yet safe and the threats mounting, Flynn must decide how to play it all and leave him able to live with himself. An intense legal thriller with twists that will keep the reader wanting to know more! Recommended to those who love legal thrillers, as well as the reader who enjoys seeing the ‘little guy’ fight for parity.

I always enjoy learning about new authors and the series they create that have earned much praise. The debut legal thriller has all the elements needed for a good series, with a lawyer whose luck seems to have run out and a client who refuses to accept anything but an acquittal. Eddie Flynn has a wonderful backstory, a lawyer whose skills are high but personal choices lead much to be desired. Allowing work to take over his life, Flynn alienates those who are most important. When placed in the unenviable position of having to break the law to secure his daughter’s release, there is no question about what he intends on doing. Using his legal skills and gritty personality, Flynn is able to bend the rules, though whether it is to his advantage remains in question. There are other characters who help to keep the story moving effectively. Cavanagh depicts them perfectly and keeps the reader on their toes as plot twists stack up throughout. With a strong story and some great action in the middle of a high-impact thriller, Cavanagh has set the ground for a great series here. I cannot wait to get to the next book, which is sure to add more to the Eddie Flynn backstory.

Kudos, Mr. Cavanagh, for a great start to the series. You have a great handle on the legal thriller genre and I will certainly continue with this series.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: