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The Defense

Cover of The Defense

The Defense

A Novel

"If you're a fan of John Grisham, Scott Turow, and Brad Meltzer, then you will be a fan of Steve Cavanagh's The Defense." –Nelson DeMille, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Radiant Angel

Eddie Flynn used to be a con artist. Then he became a lawyer. Turns out the two aren't that different.

Former con artist turned lawyer Eddie Flynn gave up the law a year ago after a disastrous case, and he vowed never to step foot in a courtroom again. But now he doesn't have a choice. The head of the Russian mob in New York City, on trial for murder, has kidnapped Eddie's ten-year-old daughter: Eddie has to take this case whether he likes it or not.

Using his razor-sharp wit and every con, bluff, grift, and trick in the book, Eddie has only forty-eight hours to defend an impossible murder trial. And if he loses this case, he loses everything.

"If you're a fan of John Grisham, Scott Turow, and Brad Meltzer, then you will be a fan of Steve Cavanagh's The Defense." –Nelson DeMille, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Radiant Angel

Eddie Flynn used to be a con artist. Then he became a lawyer. Turns out the two aren't that different.

Former con artist turned lawyer Eddie Flynn gave up the law a year ago after a disastrous case, and he vowed never to step foot in a courtroom again. But now he doesn't have a choice. The head of the Russian mob in New York City, on trial for murder, has kidnapped Eddie's ten-year-old daughter: Eddie has to take this case whether he likes it or not.

Using his razor-sharp wit and every con, bluff, grift, and trick in the book, Eddie has only forty-eight hours to defend an impossible murder trial. And if he loses this case, he loses everything.

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  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from July 25, 2016
    Cavanagh’s years as a Belfast civil rights lawyer add a layer of reality to the courtroom sequences of this razzle-dazzle debut legal thriller. All the ingredients needed for a compulsive listen are in place. Hero Eddie Flynn, a top Manhattan defense attorney with a previous career as a master-class con man, is as likable as he is resourceful. The villain, Olek Volchek, is a ruthless Russian Mafia chieftain on trial for a murder that, thanks to an eyewitness, is literally indefensible. Cavanagh’s wickedly clever premise has the despicable Volchek forcing Eddie to represent him by kidnapping and threatening to torture and kill the lawyer’s 10-year-old daughter, Amy. British theater actor Sims employs a tone-perfect tough-but-educated American accent for the wily Flynn, who, in the true style of a man on the hustle, masks his desperation with a hardboiled confidence. Sims’s Russian accent is just as effective, capturing not only the harshness of boss Volchek and his second-in-command, Arturas, but their differing attitudes, the former sounding flat and coldly unemotional when speaking of Amy’s possibly grim fate, the latter exhibiting a chilling, sadistic eagerness to do the job himself. A Flatiron hardcover.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from March 28, 2016
    Irish author Cavanagh’s stellar debut provides everything a reader could ask for in a thriller—nail-biting suspense, a Russian nesting doll of a plot, and an original and compelling lead. Con-artist-turned-defense-attorney Eddie Flynn must pull off a miracle to save the life of his 10-year-old daughter, Amy, who’s being held hostage by brutal gang leader Olek Volchek. Volchek is about to stand trial for murder in Manhattan for ordering the hit of a subordinate. In addition to taking over representing Volchek, Eddie must smuggle a bomb into the courtroom to be planted under the witness chair in time to blow up the government’s key witness against the mobster. Eddie decides to pretend to cooperate in order to buy time until he can rescue Amy. Even if he were to do the unthinkable and murder the witness, he knows Volchek will kill him and Amy anyway. Cavanagh makes Eddie’s wide range of talents completely plausible, starting with an impressive and withering cross-examination, with little prep time, of a handwriting expert who matched Volchek’s handwriting with an incriminating note. Readers will have no trouble suspending disbelief. Agent: George Lucas, Inkwell Management.

  • AudioFile Magazine This audiobook goes from zero to ninety out of the box and doesn't flag until The End, so fasten your seat belt. Eddie Flynn, con man turned New York criminal defense attorney, thought he'd retired until the head of the Russian mob handed him his previous lawyer's head in a bag as a sort of retainer. The Russian mob has Eddie's young daughter, but Eddie has his own arsenal of cons and dodges. The sensationally clever plot is full of double and triple crosses; the pace is, as mentioned, blistering, and the accents range from Little Italy to Little Odessa. Adam Sims gives a bravura performance so at one with the text that you hardly notice he's there beside you on the edge of your seat. B.G. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine
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The Defense
A Novel
Steve Cavanagh
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