The Accomplice (Eddie Flynn #7), by Steve Cavanagh

Eight stars

Glad to return to the world of Steve Cavanagh and the Eddie Flynn legal thrillers, I turned to the latest instalment of the series. Cavanagh takes an interesting approach to the law and investigation in a piece that shows just how on the ball the author can be when it comes to the world of serial killers. A strong story and great characters help elevate the book and make me yearn for more as soon as possible.

Eddie Flynn has been enjoying his legal practice for the last number of years, choosing who he represents and making sure criminal defence work receives as stellar a reputation as possible. When his team is approached by a lawyer to take on the defence of Carrie Miller, arguably the most hated woman in America. Carrie is the wife of Daniel Miller, also known as The Sandman, a horrific serial killer who is still on the loose. While Carrie professes to being innocent of any wrongdoing, the court of public opinion is clearly ruling against her.

While Eddie is hesitant to take the case, he’s persuaded by something deep inside him. Preparing to defend her on charges of being an accomplice to murder, Eddie knows that it will be an uphill battle, exacerbated by the fact that his client has skipped bail. Add to that The Sandman is lurking in the shadows and still killing, when he makes a bold move; kidnapping one of Eddie’s team members and promising to release her only when Carrie is exonerated.

As the drama in court heats up, events around New York are also changing, such that the truth evolves with each passing hour. While Eddie may have a lock on helping Carrie, the truth about The Sandman soon comes into question, leaving some to wonder if Daniel Miller’s as sinister as many would believe. It will take Eddie’s best work to save his client and a team member from sure chaos. If anyone can do it, it’s Eddie Flynn! Cavanagh does a wonderful job at keeping the reader thoroughly engaged throughout.

I remember stumbling upon the Eddie Flynn series and bingeing the first few novels. Since then, I have tried to keep my eyes open for new submissions by Steve Cavanagh, all of which open my eyes to new angles of American criminal defence. Cavanagh knows his stuff and keeps the reader completely engaged as they progress through the story, making this the perfect piece for any who have a penchant for legal thrillers.

The strength of the story is founded in Cavanagh’s ability to cobble together a powerful narrative, as is usually the case. He uses this as a means of leading the reader along a path that keeps the momentum going and provides a collection of stunning revelations along the way. Great characters, whose presence make for a more entertaining read, return and provide some lighter banter at times, as the subject matter is quite intense. Plot twists and reveals help the reader remain on the edge of their seat and leave little room for mass predictability. I have always enjoyed when Steve Cavanagh writes and will eagerly await his next book, which I hope is in the works now!

Kudos, Mr. Cavanagh, for keeping me entertained and highly in tune with the world of legal thrillers.

The Accomplice (Theodore Boone #7), by John Grisham

Eight stars

John Grisham is back with some of his lighter legal work with another instalment of the Theodore ‘Theo’ Boone series. Th has been a stalwart in his community, fighting for justice—for both human and animal—and keeping an ear to the ground for tidbits of new legal concepts to shape his future. As Theo is attending middle school, his worries for one of his classmates mount. Woody Lambert comes from a fairly disconnected family, one in which everyone is forced to fend for themselves. When Woody and his older brother are caught up in an armed robbery, having been waiting in the vehicle for the ringleader without knowing what was going down, they are tossed into the slammer and subjected to a great deal of hurt. Theo cannot stand to see Woody go through this, blindly believing that he must be innocent and caught in the web of legal bullying. He works with friends and family to raise enough to set Woody free on bail, but is baffled to see how arcane some of the practices of law can be when it comes to incarceration. Armed with a passion for justice, Theo uses his legal knowledge and persuasive attitude to get the wheels of justice turning as best he can. When not trying to get Woody some justice, Theo is in Animal Court dealing with a rabbit that has apparently been drumming up some nocturnal trouble. As both cases progress, Theo learns a little more and does his best to ensure justice is served, even if the law is riddled with holes! Another wonderful piece that shows Grisham is able to convey the law for readers of all ages. Recommended to those who love Grisham’s work as well as the younger reader (or young at heart) who enjoy his lighter legal series.

I have found that few authors can work both the Young Adult and mainstream adult audiences with their work. Grisham is able to bridge the gap effectively, entertaining and passing along some interesting concepts about the law. He works through this lighter fare with the legal keener, Theo Boone, who may only be thirteen, but is always eager to learn. Theo is surrounded by lawyers in his family, but is always learning a little more about legal conundrums when it comes to major and minor matters around town. Grisham allows his protagonist to fill the page with wonderful advancement and shows just a little more in each piece. Theo’s passion to help others rings through the narrative yet again, as does his bafflement at yet another aspect of the law. Other regulars in the series make their mark here, while newbies shape the main plot with some interesting flavouring. Never a ‘deep read’, Grisham makes a wonderful case with the plot of this book, able to entertain readers of all ages with a case that is sure to keep the reader wondering. A mix of short and longer chapters with a plausible plot and legal situations, Grisham will have no trouble drawing fans into the middle of the courtroom drama and plight of the accused. I always look for Theo Boone books to lighten my reading load and have not been disappointed with this one!

Kudos, Mr. Grisham, for another classic pared-down legal thriller. You kept my attention and I know these are likelier easier to create, but they pack as much punch as some of your other and more complicated works! Keep them coming, as I know there are numerous fans who enjoy each publication.

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