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Tuesday 3 May 2016

‘The Plea’ by Steve Cavanagh

Published by Orion,
19 May 2016.  
ISBN: 978-1-4091-5234-7 (TPB)

If I’m ever unjustly accused of murder, especially with a mountain of evidence against me, I want Eddie Flynn to be my lawyer. He’s a member of a rare breed; he believes in getting justice, not just winning his case.

In The Plea, Steve Cavanagh’s second legal thriller featuring the incomparable Eddie, a theme seems to be developing. In The Defence, the first in the series, Eddie’s daughter was being threatened by the Mob. This time it’s his wife – more accurately his almost-ex-wife – whose career, freedom and ultimately life are in danger.

Eddie is offered a huge amount of money by an undercover task force to persuade a man accused of murdering his girlfriend to plead guilty. There’s a deal on the table for him, offered as a quid pro quo for giving them some information which will bring down a major crime syndicate masquerading as a respected law firm. Eddie’s wife is unwittingly and innocently involved with the syndicate (she works for the supposed law firm), which adds a layer of persuasion to the task force’s demand.

The only problem is that the man insists he is innocent of the murder despite apparently damning evidence against him – and Eddie believes him.

The good news for the accused man is that as well as a lawyer with the right attitude, Eddie Flynn is also an ex-hustler, ex-conman and ex-grifter. Which means he has a gift for spotting the tiniest flaws in other people’s nefarious plans. And that’s what he sets out to do, in order to get his client off a very sharp hook, save his wife’s bacon and take down all the bad guys, not just the obvious ones, while he’s about it.

The novel is a glorious page-turning romp through the deeply flawed American legal system, with a few pops taken at social media and a lot of tips about how to spot a con. It’s peopled with highly coloured, memorable characters: bad guys, worse guys, and quite a few unlikely guys on the side of the angels. For me, the best measure of its success was that I read an uncorrected proof copy absolutely littered with errors, and still galloped through it with hardly a wince.

The Plea is explosive, nail-bitingly tense and hilarious by turns; once I started, I just kept reading, and could hardly bear to put it down. Eddie Flynn has the potential to become one of the stars of courtroom drama, and I for one can’t wait to see what he will get up to next.
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
Steve Cavanagh was born and raised in Belfast, Northern Ireland. At 18 he moved to Dublin and studied Law, by mistake. Steve had a choice of degree courses at College, either Business & Marketing or Law. He decided to enrol for Business & Marketing, but he got the course timetables mixed up and ended up registering for Law.
“Essentially, I became a lawyer because I joined the wrong queue that day. I suppose it was fate, if you believe in that kind of thing.”
After completing his degree in Dublin, he moved to Cardiff where he undertook a post-graduate studies in Law. Around this time, when Steve was in his early twenties he began to write Screenplays, but after a short while he decided to give up writing completely and focus on his legal career. He then returned to Belfast where he landed a job as an investigator for a large law firm. During his time at the firm Steve worked on a wide range of cases – everything from road traffic collisions and accidents at work to catastrophic incidents.
He went on to qualify as a solicitor at the firm and gained valuable experience as a litigator representing some of the largest insurance companies in the world.
Steve currently practices in the fields of Discrimination Law, Employment Law, Personal Injury Law and Judicial Review. He holds a certificate in Advanced Advocacy jointly awarded by the Law Society of Northern Ireland and the National Institute of Trial Advocacy in Boulder, Colorado. In 2011 Steve was appointed to the Labour Relations Agency’s panel of Arbitrators and Independent Appeal Chairmen by the Northern Ireland Department of Employment and Learning. As well as practicing law, he often lectures on various legal subjects (but really he just likes to tell jokes).
In 2011, he began writing again in the hope of fulfilling a life-long ambition to publish a novel. His debut novel, The Defence, is the first in a new, US-based legal thriller series featuring Eddie Flynn, former con-artist turned trial lawyer.
Steve is married to Tracy, they live in Northern Ireland with their two young children and a rescue dog, called Lolly, who keeps Steve company during those long nights at the writing desk.

Lynne Patrick has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen, and has enjoyed success with short stories, reviews and feature journalism, but never, alas, with a novel. She crossed to the dark side to become a publisher for a few years, and is proud to have launched several careers which are now burgeoning. She lives on the edge of rural Derbyshire in a house groaning with books, about half of them crime fiction.

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