Trusted review media let me down (PW, I'm talking to you! - Starred Review -- really?). Pros: fast paced, did want to finish, plot twists surprised me, some clever concepts and procedural business; somewhat interesting sidekicks and minor characters. Cons: cartoonish, flat main characters I didn't care about; average writing quality (nothing offensive, but nothing to love stylistically either); two main characters feel like composites from every better book about lawyers and serial killers ever written; although this takes place in NYC there is no authentic flavor of NYC to it, and I say that as someone who actually lived on W 88th St, which is a location in the book; finally, it drove me crazy that one of the plot devices comes directly from Silence of the Lambs WHICH THE AUTHOR DOESN'T MENTION! Imagine making a movie with a sled named Rosebud but never mentioning Citizen Kane. This I find perplexing and distracting.
I absolutely loved this book, having been drawn to it by its intriguing and compelling strapline: The serial killer isn't on trial. He's on the jury... I adored both main characters, the inimitable former con artist and now defence lawyer, Eddie Flynn, and the devious, clever and utterly evil serial killer Joshua Kane. I also enjoyed Cavanagh’s great writing style, the wit, the punchy dialogue and the roller coaster of a story. Thirteen is utterly compulsive reading and is a book I’ll recommend to friends again and again.
The premise for this novel is an exciting one. Joshua Kane has this evil desire to commit a serial killing but wants to make sure that he never gets caught. To do this, Kane hatches a scheme to land himself a seat on the jury of a coming murder trial. The defendant in this trial is a celebrity actor named Robert “Bobby” Solomon. Kane is successful and, once the trial gets underway, tries to influence the rest of the juror’s thinking so that Bobby will eventually be found guilty. Bobby’s attorney for his defense is Eddie Flynn, a fellow that I’ve seen before in other novels by Cavanagh. Flynn has a checkered history. He was once a professional con man before getting his life straightened out and winning a law degree. Flynn’s experience as a con man works to his advantage at times when dealing with the prosecution and witnesses who are not favorable to his client’s case. Flynn is also an old friend of the judge in this case and, in several incidents during the trial, I thought the judge’s actions crossed the line of judicial prudence. Bobby’s trial moves ahead slowly while other incidents make Flynn realize there is a person on the jury with an ulterior motive. Unfortunately, for at least this reader, I came to a different conclusion than what was revealed in the book’s ending. I’ll admit it was a surprise but I also felt that the most readers will feel tricked, not by an unreliable narrator but by an unreliable author. This book could have been much better and I’m disappointed in having to wade through the entire novel only to feel a huge letdown at the end.
Other reviewers have explained the basic premise and the plot - I'll just add that this is a well crafted story. The pacing is excellent and builds throughout the book, carve out some time to read the last 1/2 pretty much all in one chunk because you won't want to stop until you find out what happens. I think this will be a break-out book for Cavanagh - his earlier Eddie Flynn books are good, this one is really excellent.
A decent read, certainly it's unputdownable. However, it's also rather unreal that someone can take someone else's identity so well, so quickly, and so relevant to the plot within the book. Very entertaining but with a rather wild and bloody ending. It's worth buying for lovers of courtroom drama, though.
This is a great read. Well written too compared to some books I'veread recently. In many ways you know there is going to be a specific type of outcome but nevertheless its a real page turner to see how the villain gets his comeuppance!! Only disappointing thing was the conclusion, dont want to give away the ending but I felt that there was abetter one that could have been used.
All books by Steve Cavanagh have a good plot, an excellent dialog and they do not disappoint. Thirteen is superb, in the M. Connally manner of writing. I wish Mr. Cavanagh continues to delight us with such books.
Love this series, just really wish all of the books were available for Kindle. I don’t know why they aren’t, but the paperback versions I had to buy to read these helped reinforce my love of the kindle.