Two sisters on trial for murder. They accuse each other. Who do YOU believe?
‘911 what’s your emergency?’
‘My dad’s dead. My sister Sofia killed him. She’s still in the house. Please send help.’
‘My dad’s dead. My sister Alexandra killed him. She’s still in the house. Please send help.’
One of them is a liar and a killer. But which one?
Billed as the explosive follow up to Thirteen, the last book from Steve Cavanagh featuring grifter turned lawyer Eddie Flynn, I can guarantee that Fifty Fifty will keep you as gripped as any of the previous outings. Flynn is once again caught up in a tricky legal case where every decision on guilt or innocence could have dire consequences for the woman he seeks to defend, his advisory team, and for Flynn himself…
Obviously it would be extremely unwise of me to dwell too much on the plot itself, as I could cram this review with so many individual spoilers, it would make your head spin. Such is the convoluted trickery of Cavanagh’s writing, albeit with a seemingly innocuous premise of two sisters blaming each other for the murder of their father, that the essential enjoyment of any of his books relies on his expertise of the smoke and mirror effect. With our comprehension of each sisters guilt or innocence so completely manipulated throughout, and skewing our perception of them at every turn, Cavanagh once again demonstrates why he is one the sneakiest and tricksy crime writers on the scene today, keeping his reader in a state of suspense and questioning, that he so brilliantly mirrors in the main character of Flynn himself, that this is, by definition, a real page turner of the highest calibre. Admittedly, I did give myself a wee bit of a pat on the back this time by sussing out who did what to who with what and why, and I liked that little creeping sense of satisfaction that it gave me as a reader…
Eddie Flynn, and by extension his team of renegades (ex-judge Harry Ford is a particular favourite of mine), totally hold this series together, and Flynn’s sharp wit and heavily disguised legal acumen lie at the heart of the the enjoyment of these books. He is an entirely likeable protagonist who easily gets the reader on board with his delightful mix of street smarts and, at times, emotional sensitivity. The latter is particularly relevant in this case as something entirely unexpected happens that rocks both Flynn and us to the core, and gives us an insight into another aspect of his character, usually buried beneath the whip-smart attitude and his natural propensity to play with fire, and really getting under peoples’ skins. His normal slightly carefree demeanour is undermined and knocked soundly in this one, and I liked the direction this took his character in, despite the sense of loss regular readers of this series will experience as events play out. In fact, developing and moving characters on is a noticeable feature of this book, introducing another strong female character, Kate Brooks, a lawyer who seeks to challenge the chauvinistic and belittling attitude of the multi million dollar legal firm she is employed by, and which consequently takes her character on a very interesting journey…
With its cleverly executed plot, excellent characterisation, and thrills and spills, Steve Cavanagh, once again demonstrates his ability to raise the legal thriller to another level, with no diminishing of the nuts and bolts of criminal procedure, but keeping the relentless pace and energy at the forefront for the readers’ enjoyment. Fifty Fifty is a perfectly formed thriller, Eddie Flynn rocks and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Recommended.
(With thanks to Orion for the ARC- Fifty Fifty is published 3rd September)
Read my reviews of all the Eddie Flynn series: