The Defence was first published in 2015 and and is out in paperback this year to whet a reader's appetite for Steve Cavanagh's s next thriller The Plea.
The Defence begins in an exciting fashion, with hustler turned lawyer, Eddie Flynn being detained by the Russian mob. This sets the reader up for an exciting voyage. Flynn is literally wired to blow unless he can secure the release of mob boss Olek Volchek, who is on trial for ordering a murder. The primary witness for the prosecution is on a hit list, and Flynn's very life, as well as that of his 10 year-old daughter are being held as security that the job will be completed to Volchek's satisfaction within a tight two day time frame.
It is a dangerous game.
Haunted by the guilt of a previous case, Flynn faces the moral dilemma of exchanging one life for another and operating on the wrong side of the law to do it.
He uses his street smarts to figure out what's really going on, and out con the cons, calling in favours from friends like former hooker, Boo, Jimmy the Hat, and the Lizard.
Despite having all the ingredients for a great thriller, unfortunately, this reader could not initially get into and enjoy The Defence, although it did improve over time. The mob characters and criminals are a bit too stereotypical; their personalities and behaviours unoriginal, but perhaps accurately reflective of mob insiders.
Flynn, however, is much more interesting. He has a solid back story and a unique way of handling both his client and the authorities, and circumventing the law.
The Defence unravels slowly, but consistently, and it does have it's moments. A shocking discovery makes for a good game changer, and cons within cons definitely increase reader enthusiasm.
As the final third of the book comes together, the plot becomes much more engaging, as more surprises are revealed, and reader persistence is rewarded.
Other Steve Cavanagh Reviews
The Plea: Murder, blackmail, and larceny. At a robust 560 pages, The Plea features Eddie Flynn, a clever, quick thinking former con artist who now employs his unique set of skills as a crackerjack lawyer who can ferret out the truth and outsmart just about anyone.