The Defense
Steve Cavanagh
Orion – Hachette Book Group 2016
384 pages

The Defense was first published in 2015 and and is out in paperback this year to wet a reader’s appetite for Steve Cavanagh’s s next thriller The Plea.

The Defense 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. Steve Cavanagh The Defense: A Novel (Eddie Flynn Book 1) on Kindle

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.

Steve Cavanagh’s The Defense 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.

Also by Steve Cavanagh and reviewed on The Mystery Site:  The Plea  Thirteen