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** My thanks to the folks at Orion and Tracy Fenton for my copy of this BRILLIANT book and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

THE SERIAL KILLER ISN’T ON TRIAL.

HE’S ON THE JURY…

To your knowledge, is there anything that would preclude you from serving on this jury?’

Murder wasn’t the hard part. It was just the start of the game.

Joshua Kane has been preparing for this moment his whole life. He’s done it before. But this is the big one.

This is the murder trial of the century. And Kane has killed to get the best seat in the house.

But there’s someone on his tail. Someone who suspects that the killer isn’t the man on trial.

Kane knows time is running out – he just needs to get to the conviction without being discovered.

 

My Thoughts & Review:

If you’ve somehow missed reading the books by Steve Cavanagh then get thee to a bookshop and remedy this immediately!  Or if you have an ereader device, then get digital copies and start reading, you will not regret it.

Fans of legal thrillers are in for a treat with Thirteen, this is an expertly plotted and paced novel that has characters that reach out to readers from the pages.
Eddie Flynn is a  reformed conman turned lawyer who can dazzle in the courtroom, his unique way of looking at facts and evidence means that he sees things differently, not accepting them at face value.  This insight proves vital for his clients, and in many instances seems to be just what he needs to convince a jury of the innocence of his client.  That is until he is brought in on this latest case, one where the evidence all points to one culprit and Flynn is expendable if it all goes wrong.

As if this weren’t enough, the author has crafted several richly detailed characters and there is one in particular that gives readers shivers.  Joshua Kane is an extremely intelligent killer, a psychopath with one of the most intricately planned modi operandi I’ve encountered in a long time.  And his determination to get a seat on the jury for the trial of movie and reality TV star, Bobby Solomon is astounding.
The real cleverness comes when Cavanagh writes from the perspective of Joshua Kane, giving readers a glimpse into the mind of the psychopath who will stop at nothing to achieve his sinister goals.   There were moments of reading what was happening in Kane’s mind that had me gasping in shock, or wanting to read with a hand over my eyes … the writing is so powerful that you cannot help but actually ‘see’ the scenes playing out in your mind like a film.

The writing is crisp and taut, the plotting is excellent and this is arguably one of my top reads of 2018.  Thirteen keeps readers on the edge of their seats and holds their attention for the duration, it’s one of those books that you actually want to read more than once, because the first read through you’re blown away by plot, but on a second read through you pick up on subtleties that Cavanagh deftly weaves throughout his writing.

Thirteen is all kinds of brilliant and I cannot recommend it highly enough!

verdict

 

You can buy a copy of Thirteen via:

Amazon UK
Wordery
Waterstones

 

About the Author:

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Steve was born and raised in Belfast, Northern Ireland. At 18 he moved to Dublin and studied Law, by mistake, and went on to be a pot-washer, bouncer, security guard and call centre operative before landing a job as an investigator for a large law firm in Belfast, where he eventually qualified as a solicitor. He then moved to a smaller firm where he could practice in the field of civil rights law. Steve has been involved in several high profile cases; in 2010 he represented a factory worker who suffered racial abuse in the workplace and won the largest award of damages for race discrimination in Northern Ireland legal history. He holds a certificate in Advanced Advocacy and often lectures on various legal subjects (but really he just likes to tell jokes). Steve is also one half of the hysterically funny podcast duo, Two Crime Writers and a Microphone.

Social Media Links:

Twitter @SSCav
Website http://stevecavanaghbooks.com/
Two Crime Writers & a Microphone (Twitter)

 

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Published: 2 March 2017

 

Description:

The last time Tess de Vere saw William Benson she was a law student on work experience. He was a twenty-one year old, led from the dock of the Old Bailey to begin a life sentence for murder. He’d said he was innocent. She’d believed him.

Sixteen years later Tess overhears a couple of hacks mocking a newcomer to the London Bar, a no-hoper with a murder conviction, running his own show from an old fishmonger’s in Spitalfields. That night she walks back into Benson’s life. The price of his rehabilitation – and access to the Bar – is an admission of guilt to the killing of Paul Harbeton, whose family have vowed revenge. He’s an outcast. The government wants to shut him down and no solicitor will instruct him. But he’s subsidised by a mystery benefactor and a desperate woman has turned to him for help: Sarah Collingstone, mother of a child with special needs, accused of slaying her wealthy lover. It’s a hopeless case and the murder trial, Benson’s first, starts in four days. The evidence is overwhelming but like Benson long ago, she swears she’s innocent. Tess joins the defence team, determined to help Benson survive. But as Benson follows the twists and turns in the courtroom, Tess embarks upon a secret investigation of her own, determined to uncover the truth behind the death of Paul Harbeton on a lonely night in Soho.

True to life, fast-paced and absolutely compelling, Summary Justice introduces a new series of courtroom dramas featuring two maverick lawyers driven to fight injustice at any cost.

My Thoughts & Review:

“Summary Justice” is a legal thriller with a difference, the criminal defence barrister has a criminal conviction and is out on licence.  Perhaps it’s through ignorance, but I always assumed that if a person possessed a criminal conviction they would not be permitted to practice law , especially when that conviction was for murder.  However in this novel it is explained that this is not necessarily the case and more so it is vital to the plot.

When I started reading this book I initially thought I would read a chapter or two to see what I thought, perhaps finish the ironing and do some knitting….I underestimated the pull of this book.  From the opening chapters I was utterly hooked by the the intricately woven plot, clever storytelling and fantastic characters.

William Benson is an interesting character, having served a custodial sentence before being released on license, he had all the time he needed to study the complexities of law to enable him to step towards a career in this field, the major issue for him being access to the Bar.  His passion for law and determination to succeed is great reading, as is his performance in court – if they ever decide to turn this into a tv series I would absolutely love to see that played out!  His inner struggles make him more endearing towards the reader, feeling some sympathy towards his plight but at the same time, without concrete proof of his innocence the reader cannot be entirely sympathetic as there is still a chance he may be a murderer.
Tess de Vere is also very interesting, she wants to do the right thing, fight the good fight and believe the best in some people but this is not always the case and her wariness towards Benson causes her to reinvestigate his case to find out whether he really is as innocent as he told her 16 years ago.

I found the pace of this book relentless, in a good way of course.  I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened with the case, what happened with Benson (both professionally and personally) and how the tale would unravel.  There were plenty of red herrings to keep me guessing along the way and I absolutely loved it!

Now I just have to hope that there will be another book out soon, billed as a “new series of courtroom dramas featuring two maverick lawyers driven to fight injustice at any cost” means we should have more fantastic books to come, and I cannot wait!

My thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book to read and review.

You can buy a copy of “Summary Justice” via Amazon here or Wordery here

 

About the Author:

John Fairfax is the pen name of William Brodrick who practised as a barrister before becoming a full-time novelist.

Under his own name he is a previous winner of the Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger Award and his first novel was a Richard and Judy Selection.

 

 

 

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