The Devil’s Advocate by Steve Cavanagh

A DEADLY PROSECUTOR

They call him the King of Death Row. Randal Korn has sent more men to their deaths than any district attorney in the history of the United States.

A TWISTED RITUALISTIC KILLING

When a young woman, Skylar Edwards, is found murdered in Buckstown, Alabama, a corrupt sheriff arrests the last person to see her alive, Andy Dubois. It doesn’t seem to matter to anyone that Andy is innocent.

A SMALL TOWN BOILING WITH RAGE

Everyone in Buckstown believes Andy is guilty. He has no hope of a fair trial. And the local defense attorney assigned to represent him has disappeared.

A FORMER CON-ARTIST

Hot shot New York lawyer Eddie Flynn travels south to fight fire with fire. He plans to destroy the prosecutors case, find the real killer and save Andy from the electric chair.

But the murders are just beginning.

Is Eddie Flynn next?

I must confess from the outset that Steve Cavanagh is one of my favourite writers and that I’m a huge fan of the Eddie Flynn series. This is Cavanagh’s sixth Eddie Flynn book and, in my opinion, the series gets better each time. For the first time, Eddie is taken out of New York as he travels to Buckstown, a remote Alabama town, to represent Andy Dubois, a seemingly innocent man who has been accused of murder and who is destined for the electric chair. Flynn knows this will be the toughest case yet but nothing can prepare him for what he’s up against. The book’s villain, Randal Korn, the district attorney who has sentenced more people to death than any other in the US, is reminiscent of Thomas Harris’ villains because of his particularly inhumane and brutal nastiness. Eddie is accompanied by a formidable team that has grown with the series: Harry, his friend and mentor, Kate, his new partner, and Bloch, an ex-cop with a tough, emotionless exterior but who is also incredibly sympathetic.

Taking Eddie out of New York and putting him in the South allows Cavanagh to challenge Eddie and explore his character. Eddie is largely a creature of habit and is most at home in an urban setting. The setting shift also makes the book more reminiscent of John Grisham’s books. However, Cavanagh’s books are far superior because of his focus on characterisation.

As with all of Cavanagh’s books, nothing is as simple as it seems and the climax of the novel is more complex than we first expected. Once again, Cavanagh proves that he is one of the best writers out there at the moment and I’m sure The Devil’s Advocate will bring even more readers to the Eddie Flynn series.

Orion, 5 August, 2021

About the author

Steve Cavanagh is a critically acclaimed, Sunday Times best-selling author of the Eddie Flynn series which has sold a million copies in the UK. His third novel, The Liar, won the CWA Gold Dagger for Crime Novel of the year 2018. Thirteen won the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime novel of the year 2019. FIFTY FIFTY was a Richard and Judy Book club choice, and the BBC Between The Covers book club choice. His latest novel, The Devil’s Advocate was released in August 2021. 

All Her Fault by Andrea Mara

ONE MISSING BOY.

Marissa Irvine arrives at 14 Tudor Grove, expecting to pick up her young son Milo from his first playdate with a boy at his new school. But the woman who answers the door isn’t a mother she recognises. She isn’t the nanny. She doesn’t have Milo. And so begins every parent’s worst nightmare.

FOUR GUILTY WOMEN.

As news of the disappearance filters through the quiet Dublin suburb and an unexpected suspect is named, whispers start to spread about the women most closely connected to the shocking event. Because only one of them may have taken Milo – but they could all be blamed . . .

IN A COMMUNITY FULL OF SECRETS, WHO IS REALLY AT FAULT?

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The Rule by David Jackson

MY DAD SAYS BAD THINGS
HAPPEN WHEN I BREAK IT…

Daniel is looking forward to his birthday. He wants fish and chips, a big chocolate cake, and a comic book starring his favourite superhero. And as long as he follows The Rule, nothing bad will happen. But Daniel has no idea that he’s about to kill a stranger.

Daniel’s parents know that their beloved and vulnerable son will be taken away. They know that Daniel didn’t mean to hurt anyone, he just doesn’t know his own strength. They dispose of the body. Isn’t that what any loving parent would do? But as forces on both sides of the law begin to close in on them, they realise they have no option but to finish what they started. Even if it means that others will have to die…

Because they’ll do anything to protect Daniel. Even murder.

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The Shadow Man by Helen Fields

He collects his victims. But he doesn’t keep them safe.

Elspeth, Meggy and Xavier are locked in a flat. They don’t know where they are, and they don’t know why they’re there. They only know that the shadow man has taken them, and he won’t let them go.
 
Desperate to escape, the three of them must find a way out of their living hell, even if it means uncovering a very dark truth.
 
Because the shadow man isn’t a nightmare. He’s all too real.

 
And he’s watching.

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The Perfect Lie by Jo Spain

He jumped to his death in front of witnesses. Now his wife is charged with murder.

Five years ago, Erin Kennedy moved to New York following a family tragedy. She now lives happily with her detective husband in the scenic seaside town of Newport, Long Island. When Erin answers the door to Danny’s police colleagues one morning, it’s the start of an ordinary day. But behind her, Danny walks to the window of their fourth-floor apartment and jumps to his death.

Eighteen months later, Erin is in court, charged with her husband’s murder. Over that year and a half, Erin has learned things about Danny she could never have imagined. She thought he was perfect. She thought their life was perfect.

But it was all built on the perfect lie.

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When I Was Ten by Fiona Cummins

Twenty-one years ago, Dr Richard Carter and his wife Pamela were killed in what has become the most infamous double murder of the modern age.

Their ten year-old daughter – nicknamed the Angel of Death – spent eight years in a children’s secure unit and is living quietly under an assumed name with a family of her own.

Now, on the anniversary of the trial, a documentary team has tracked down her older sister, compelling her to break two decades of silence.

Her explosive interview sparks national headlines and journalist Brinley Booth, a childhood friend of the Carter sisters, is tasked with covering the news story.

For the first time, the three women are forced to confront what really happened that night – with devastating consequences for them all.

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Ask No Questions by Claire Allan

Not all secrets are meant to come out…

Twenty-five years ago, on Halloween night, eight-year-old Kelly Doherty went missing while out trick or treating with friends.
Her body was found three days later, floating face down, on the banks of the Creggan Reservoir by two of her young classmates.
It was a crime that rocked Derry to the core. Journalist Ingrid Devlin is investigating – but someone doesn’t want her to know the truth. As she digs further, Ingrid starts to realise that the Doherty family are not as they seem. But will she expose what really happened that night before it’s too late?

A twisty psychological thriller from bestselling author Claire Allan.

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The Dark Room by Sam Blake

Hare’s Landing, West Cork. A house full of mystery…

Rachel Lambert leaves London afraid for her personal safety and determined to uncover the truth behind the sudden death of a homeless man with links to a country house hotel called Hare’s Landing.

New York-based crime reporter Caroline Kelly’s career is threatened by a lawsuit and she needs some thinking space away from her job. But almost as soon as she arrives, Hare’s Landing begins to reveal its own stories – a 30-year-old missing person’s case and the mysterious death of the hotel’s former owner.

As Rachel and Caroline join forces, it becomes clear that their investigations are intertwined – and that there is nothing more dangerous than the truth…

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The Game by Luca Veste

I’ve always enjoyed Luca Veste’s books (see my review of Veste’s The Six). In The Game, Veste continues his commentary on contemporary urban myth as the eponymous game refers to the increasingly bizarre challenges that a group of people play that lead to their deaths. Since the book was published, we’ve all watched Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel on Netflix which similarly features a woman acting strangely in a lift before she disappears. Similarly in The Game, the police have footage of some of the victims acting strangely in public and in lifts. The most shocking aspect of the book is that it is all too real in the last few years and it plays on our familiarity with the increasingly ridiculous social media crazes, pranks, and dares that we are so familiar with. The Game goes one step closer to show us how peer pressure could potentially manifest on the Dark Web.

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