Review: Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh



They were Hollywood’s hottest power couple. They had the world at their feet. Now one of them is dead and Hollywood star Robert Solomon is charged with the brutal murder of his beautiful wife.

This is the celebrity murder trial of the century and the defence want one man on their team: con artist turned lawyer Eddie Flynn.

All the evidence points to Robert’s guilt, but as the trial begins a series of sinister incidents in the court room start to raise doubts in Eddie’s mind.

What if there’s more than one actor in the courtroom?

What if the killer isn’t on trial? What if the killer is on the jury?

Eddie Flynn is a criminal lawyer who wants a simpler career and life for the sake of his family, but he’s good at what he does. Rudy Carp may just be able to help Eddie, as he offers him a steady job in exchange for his assistance on the next big media frenzy-focused trial: the murder of actress Ariella Bloom by her famous husband, Robert Soloman. All Eddie has to do is help Bobby walk free. But is it ever that easy? Because whilst the lawyers prepare for the trial of the century, the killer has set his plan in motion. One part of said plan? He’s on the jury for the murder trial of his victims.

Okay, I’ve got zero chill, so I’ll just say it. It’s currently 2.57am, and I have just finished whisper-shouting whilst slapping my bed:
“are you f***ing serious! Are you f***ing serious! Are – you – f***king – serious!”
I really enjoyed this. It kept me interested, intrigued and on my toes until the last pages. This is the first Eddie Flynn book I’ve read, and it’s definitely a legal thriller that’s worth picking up.

This is full of legal procedure and courtroom drama, which was engaging due to the back-and-forth nature of prosecutor and defence attorney’s relationship. I found it really difficult to put the book down, especially when the story got into the nitty-gritty of the trial. One minute I was at 50%, and in the next minute, I was at 85%.

Thirteen has excellent plot development; the plot moves forward with an easy and enjoyable pace, filled with engrossing courtroom drama, special services investigations and an insight into what the killer is up to per his perspective.
Cavanagh successfully pulls the reader in by his use of alternating perspectives. On one hand, there’s Eddie Flynn, criminal defence attorney, whose perspective is compelling. On the other hand, is the killer that’s behind all of the sinister events that unfold. This contributes to a tone that likens to cat-and-mouse thrillers, that builds a consistent suspense toward the novel’s climax.

The characters were great; they made this a deliciously frustrating read, in the best possible way. The book is comprised with characters that are easy to root for; a victim who is facing jail due to being framed, there’s spunky kick-ass females and the lawyer with a righteous outlook to help those in need. And then there are characters that are meant to irk the reader; characters giving testimonials that you just want to shut up, shady police officers you want karma to bite on the ass, and the ruthless baddie who has little empathy.

Literally, this was a sure 5 star read for me until the last 5% of the read. I had been a little irked with some of the long-winded prose, but similar to Cavanagh’s latest book Twisted, it could easily be overlooked as it was compensated for with all the thrills. But, in the big climax, I felt slightly dumbfounded with what transpired. There was an awesome, jaw-dropping twist that inspired by whisper-shouting moment, but I also had a teeny tiny issue with the ending.
It wasn’t that it wasn’t believable, but I feel it was questionable – I wasn’t fully convinced a certain someone wouldn’t notice they’d been disarmed.

Overall, this is an intense read surrounding legal procedure in a criminal trial, that will ensnare readers in; hook, line and sinker. This was crazily good. I read this over 2 days and I’m rating it 4.5 stars; and recommend it to those who love mystery/thrillers and courtroom drama. I’ll definitely pick up Cavanagh’s next Eddie Flynn novel, and any other standalones or series he writes, because he certainly knows how to write a book that ensnares a reader.


Buy It Now

Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh
Published May 2018 (UK) / August 2019 (USA)
Genre: mystery, thriller, legal thriller



Thank you for reading!

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