Thirteen (Eddie Flynn #4), by Steve Cavanagh

Eight stars

With another Steve Cavanagh legal thriller completed, I remain in awe at the writing and strong story presented. The reader is swept up into the tale, with a plot that thickens constantly and a narrative that rushes ahead with no sign of losing momentum. Still trying to create a safe place for his wife and daughter’s return back into his life, Eddie Flynn is working on the right side of the law. He’s approached to sit as second chair in the celebrity murder trial of Robert Solomon, who is accused of the brutal murder of his wife. As Flynn parses through some of the NYPD evidence, he discovers an anomaly that could lead somewhere, though no one is really giving Solomon much of a chance. On a hunch, Flynn uses some of his resources to probe into an oddly folded and marked dollar bill found at the scene, only to discover that it has been found a few times before. While each previous murder scene has a convicted killer tied to it, Flynn begins to wonder if a serial killer is on the loose, using these dollar bills as a marker. Meanwhile, the elusive Joshua Kane has been working his magic and killing discreetly. He has a targeted group and does his work with an underlying motive in mind, ensuring others pay for the crimes he has so intricately orchestrated. Finding himself in the courtroom for the Solomon trial, Kane decides to make a few ‘adjustments’ to suit his fancy. While Flynn is laying out the case, Kane sits stoically and takes it all in. The case gains some needed momentum and Flynn sees what might be light at the end of the tunnel, but only if he can fit all the pieces together. Kane revels in how things are going and hopes to be able to influence the outcome, for he is not a mere spectator, but a member of the jury. A stunning piece that keeps the reader on edge until the final page, as Eddie Flynn tries to see justice met, even when the odds are stacked against him. Recommended to those who have come to enjoy Eddie Flynn’s legal adventures, as well as the reader who needs a stellar legal thriller to up their game this year.

Finding and devouring this series may have been one of my great accomplishments of 2019 and early 2020. Steve Cavanagh knows how to pen a wonderful legal thriller and uses the ingredients effectively to tell a sensational story. Eddie Flynn continues to grow in this series, trying to stay on the right side of the law in order to win back his family. However, as the reader discovers, it might be too little too late, with threats by criminals and safety issues piling up. Still, Flynn will not turn to his mistress, the bottle, to heal his wounds, as he tries to stay one step ahead in a case that has no room for error. There are a few wonderful repeat supporting characters, who enrich the larger story, alongside some newbies that keep the reader guessing as to how things will go. The story is brilliantly woven together, with a killer in plain sight whose work is not only missed, but who is able to tip the scales of justice effectively. Cavanagh has done well with this and kept me guessing with his intricate details throughout. A mix of chapter lengths and some ‘jury backgrounder memos’ left me wanting to know more as the case progresses. Might a murderer be able to hand out a verdict and send an innocent man way? As with any binge, when one reaches the most recent publication, there is a sense of angst. I will be eager to get my hands on the next novel, due sometime this year!

Kudos, Mr. Cavanagh, as you push the limits and do so well at challenging all I thought I knew about legal thrillers.

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