Hall of Fame Review: The Defence by Steve Cavanagh

Friday, 6 March 2015
Title: The Defence
Author: Steve Cavanagh
Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: 12th March 2015
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781409152309
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Eddie Flynn used to be a con artist. Then he became a lawyer. Turned out the two weren't that different.

It's been over a year since Eddie vowed never to set foot in a courtroom again. But now he doesn't have a choice. Olek Volchek, the infamous head of the Russian mafia in New York, has strapped a bomb to Eddie's back and kidnapped his ten-year-old daughter Amy.

Eddie only has 48 hours to defend Volchek in an impossible murder trial - and win - if wants to save his daughter.

Under the scrutiny of the media and the FBI, Eddie must use his razor-sharp wit and every con-artist trick in the book to defend his 'client' and ensure Amy's safety. With the timer on his back ticking away, can Eddie convince the jury of the impossible?

Lose this case and he loses everything.

I received my proof copy of The Defence back in November, and somehow I managed to hold off reading it until as close to its release date as possible. You know when you see a book, and instantly want it? That's the feeling I had when I first saw The Defence being discussed on Twitter. I'm so glad the finished book cover is the same as the proof, this book will hopefully certainly be flying off the shelves.

I read this book in just two sittings, and was left feeling just a tad gutted when I had finished it. I didn't even stop to make the usual notes that I do when reading, I was too caught up in the book and I just couldn't stop reading. The Defence takes place over just a couple of days, so as you can imagine the action does not let up from the word go, and there is a lot packed in over those days.

The Defence opens introducing us to Eddie Flynn with a gun being held to his head, thrown into the back of Olek Volchek's limo, the head of the Russian mafia in New York. Eddie is told that he has just 48 hours to achieve the impossible, defend Volchek in a murder trial, ensuring that he is found not guilty. Not easy when the prosecution has a star witness. And even more difficult when Eddie learns they have his ten-year-old daughter as a hostage, and that he will be wearing a bomb strapped to his chest when inside the court. One wrong move and it's game over... Really, I don't know how anyone could read that blurb and not want to pick this book up.

Eddie is a fantastic character, one that I rooted for from the word go and it is impossible not to like him and to want him to somehow manage to save both his own life and his daughter's. He's definitely somewhat of a smooth operator, and for the most part manages to keep his cool better than most people would. Considering how watertight the prosecution's case is, I had not a single idea of just how Eddie was going to turn things around, yet Steve manages to weave a tale that incorporates some brilliantly sneaky tactics in the courtroom as well as some didn't-see-coming twists outside the courtroom thanks to Eddie's life as a conman and his connections to people who are more than a match for the Russians. The Russian mafia picked him up as a lawyer, perhaps they were a little naive in assuming that's all he was...

With secondary characters that are as well-formed as the main, it isn't just Eddie that I want to read about again in the future so hope to see some of these characters in the next book. I have to say that the last hundred or so pages of The Defence were thrilling in every sense of the word, with an idea of how things would eventually conclude but no idea of what would happen before then, my heart was thumping in my chest and as I saw the pages dwindling before my eyes, I was half-hoping that more would miraculously appear. The Defence delivers a brilliant, blockbuster type conclusion with a closing scene that had me laughing, smiling, and desperate to meet Eddie Flynn again.

Discovering a new author is always an exciting prospect, but when they write and tell a story as good as Steve Cavanagh it is very exciting and I simply cannot wait to see what he writes next. As a lawyer himself he brings authenticity to the story, and I enjoyed reading about the working practices of a court and those parts of the book are both credible and realistic as well as Eddie's observations on the jury, having done jury service myself I wondered how he would have viewed me! Praise for The Defence before publication has been incredible, and hopefully publication day brings with it the success that this book and author very much deserve. Thriller readers, Michael Connelly readers, book readers, pick up The Defence, I almost guarantee you won't regret it. An addictive read from start to finish and one that I have no hesitation in recommending.

5/5

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