The Liar (Eddie Flynn #3), by Steve Cavanagh

Eight stars

In this third legal thriller by Steve Cavanagh, Eddie Flynn faces one of the most daunting cases he’s ever faced, while being stuck in a web of deceit and lies that gets even more tangled with every plot twist. Having all but lost a connection to his family, Eddie Flynn has vowed to keep his legal practice quiet and above board. When Flynn receives a late night call from an old family friend, he is intrigued enough to make his way over to potentially sign-up a new client. On his way out the door, Flynn is served with a subpoena on a file he does not remember. When he arrives to help Leonard ‘Lennie’ Howell, Flynn learns that the case involves a kidnapping, specifically of Caroline Howell, a seventeen year-old girl. Howell intends to get the money from the insurance company and skim off the top, while forcing the kidnappers to release his daughter. Meanwhile, news of the Julie Rosen subpoena gains momentum, when Judge Harry Ford—someone to whom Flynn owes everything—is also implicated. It would seem that Rosen was a client of Ford’s, on trial for murdering her infant daughter and setting the house on fire. How can Flynn be involved in this case with the defendant long-dead and her insanity of no active consequence? While the authorities seek to locate Caroline Howell, they discover a large amount of her blood in the family basement, implicating Lennie as the likely killer. An explosion seeks to destroy all the evidence from the house, but Lennie Howell is still seen as the guilty party and Eddie Flynn now has a murder case on his hands. Howell insists that he is innocent and is being set-up, though the case seems fairly straightforward. When a prosecution witness takes the stand, the case implodes before the jury and everyone is scrambling to see if the witness is to be believed and whether Caroline might still be alive. Lies abound as Flynn is reminded of the horrors surrounding his own daughter’s abduction, but he must remain clear headed to serve his client well, and follow the progress of this mysterious Julie Rosen subpoena. A wonderfully constructed novel that keeps the reader hooked until the final reveal. This third book proves to be Cavanagh’s best, leaving the reader wanting more. Recommended to those who have come to love the Eddie Flynn series, as well as the reader who has a penchant for twisted legal thrillers.

I have been on a wonderful binge of these Steve Cavanagh novels over the past week or so. Their legal aspects are strong, mixed with a wonderful set of thrill-based plots that propels the novel forward. Eddie Flynn remains a gritty protagonist, still trying to keep himself above board when it comes to the practice of law. A former con artist, Flynn knows how to play dirty, though it would seem his clients have capitalised on this. Flynn uses his quick wit to astonish those who encounter him in court, finding the smallest nuance to blow a case wide open. Flynn is also fiercely loyal to those who have done him well, including Judge Harry Ford, who has appeared a few times in past novels. The handful of key characters in this story move the story forward in wonderful ways, building on their individual personalities to create a powerful narrative. The story itself mixes a child kidnapping with a case from years ago, keeping the reader busy as they juggle the multiple timelines in order to piece everything together. With a mix of short chapters and those of a heartier length, Cavanagh tells this shocking story that gets more tangled the further the narrative goes. A fabulous story that will keep readers wanting more while also appeasing series fans.

Kudos, Mr. Cavanagh, for another winner that has me rushing to get to the fourth novel soon. I cannot wait to see what awaits me!!

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