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Wednesday 18 November 2020

‘Fifty Fifty’ by Steve Cavanagh

Published by Orion,
3 September 2020.
978-1-4091-8586-4 (PB)

It’s a few years since I first encountered conman turned ace defence lawyer Eddie Flynn, but his life doesn’t seem to have changed much. He’s still living in his office; still regretting the actions which broke up his family; still consorting with some very dubious characters; and above all, still defending only the clients he believes to be innocent.

But this time the last part is far from clear. A former mayor of New York is dead, and each of his two daughters is accusing the other of his murder. Alexandra is a successful businesswoman, clear-sighted and intelligent. Sofia is a mess, a former addict and self-harmer. Guess which one Eddie Flynn represents.

Eddie is at his best when he’s chasing a lost cause; things looks bad for Sofia, but he’s determined to prove her innocence. Equally determined on Alexandra’s behalf is Kate Brooks, a rookie lawyer who has poached her client from the large, litigious firm she used to work for until the sexual harassment from her powerful boss went too far. The question is, will she insist on separate trials and fight only the prosecuting attorney, or will the women be tried together, pitting her against Eddie Flynn as well?

What follows is the kind of superbly crafted legal thriller Steve Cavanagh’s growing fanbase has come to expect. Some old friends reappear: Eddie’s mentor, judge Harry Ford, now retired; Jimmy the Hat, gang boss and one of our hero’s best pals; former FBI agent Harper, now a private investigator. These and the new characters are as sharply drawn as ever, the kind of people every felon wants on his or her side – or not, in some cases. Unusually, some of the supposed good guys aren’t exactly on the side of the angels: the corrupt and biased judge, the charisma-free prosecutor, Kate’s wet-lipped former boss and his cohorts.

A trail of bodies builds up and the question of who killed them along with former mayor remains in the balance almost to the last page; Cavanagh is a master of misdirection. The court scenes are more gripping than any legal proceedings have a right to be. And by the end, there’s even a distinct sense that Eddie Flynn’s life is about to change.

Once you start reading this book, I guarantee you’ll be hooked. And if you’re not already a fan of Steve Cavanagh and Eddie Flynn, you will be long before you finish.

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. In 2011, he began writing again in the hope of fulfilling a life-long ambition to publish a novel. His debut novel, The Defence, was the first in a new, US-based legal thriller series featuring Eddie Flynn, former con-artist turned trial lawyer. He has written four further books in the series. Steve is married to Tracy, they live in Northern Ireland with their two young children.

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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