The Cross (Eddie Flynn #0.5), by Steve Cavanagh

Eight stars

As I enjoy Steve Cavanagh’s Eddie Flynn series, I thought that I would end the year with a novella that started it all, perfect for a single-day read. The book is a prequel to the series novels and sees Flynn ready to show his legal skills in quite the trying case. In civil court, Flynn has brought suit against Detective Fred Marzone and the NYPD for the death of admitted criminal, Chilli Hernandez, by strangulation. Marzone has hired a slick lawyer and someone has been targeting Flynn from within the NYPD. When Flynn is covertly approached by Internal Affairs, they promise to have something to bolster the case against Marzone, but everything must be done on the sly. It would seem that Marzone is part of the Morgue Squad, a group within the NYPD happy to act outside of the law and enforce contracts on active hits. As Flynn juggles this and tries to bring Hernandez’s widow some peace of mind, he knows that he might be placing a target on his back, one from which he will not recover. Wanting to do the right thing, Flynn must decide how he will handle this, knowing that one false move could bring horrible consequences in the form of a chalk cross and a visit by a man with a Zippo. A great novella that will surely pique the interest of any reader contemplating this series, as well as complementing the novels Steve Cavanagh has written in this evolving series to date. Recommended to those who like gritty legal thrillers, as well as the reader who needs a short piece to fill a little reading time.

I began the Eddie Flynn series a week ago and have already devoured two novels and this novella. There is never a lack of action or development with Flynn or those around him. Eddie Flynn, a former con man turned lawyer, has a gritty personality and wanted to do best for his clients. He has one major weakness, his family, who always seem to be targeted by those he wishes to see brought to justice. In this prequel, Flynn still has his wife and daughter as a part of his life, though his constant focus on work leaves him disappointing them both with regularity. He has some tricks up his sleeve, but must come to terms with the fact that NYC is a city filled with those who wish him harm, both inside the courtroom and on the streets. The reader gets a brief glimpse of Jack Halloran, Flynn’s legal partner and moral compass. This works well for those who have a few of the novels under their belt, provided backstory context to Flynn’s legal antics. With a handful of others making appearances as well, the reader can see many of the issues that Flynn faces while trying to distance himself from con work and the reputation that follows him. The novella was quite exciting and told in Cavanagh’s usually ‘flashback from the opening chapter’ format, perfect for those who love seeing a narrative grow. While I still have a few novels to read before I am caught up (and a new piece ready to launch in 2020), I am pleased I took this detour to learn more about the early Flynn.

Kudos, Mr. Cavanagh, for developing such a great series. I am hooked and hope others discover the spark I have with these pieces.

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