Eddie Flynn is a fine hero for Steve Cavanagh’s six-strong legal thriller series: both an ex-con-artist and a lawyer for underdogs, he is determined and smart. ”The Devil’s Advocate” has a sensationalistic plot that roars into action from page one: a relentless “death row” prosecutor in rural Alabama, a young man accused of a grotesque murder, a defense attorney gone missing, and Flynn drafted in to save the day against impossible odds. The author is a sprightly stylist who piles on the action, buttressing it with vigorous characterisation and wonderful dialogue. I thoroughly enjoyed the first five Flynn outings and The Devil’s Advocate is just as much a roller-coaster ride as they were, but this time round, the expertly wrought pacing is unwound slightly by cartoonish villains, an overly complex web of characters supporting Flynn, and a twist that had me shaking my head in disbelief. If, like me, you’re a fan, stick with this fun outing, but if you are new to Eddie Flynn, tackle the first few books.
Airplane thrillers—thrillers set on planes, not thrillers meant to be read on planes—need a cracking plot and flawless execution, and “Falling” possesses both. Debut novelist T. J. Newman’s premise, that of a pilot told to crash a commercial flight to save his family, sets off a fast plotline controlled superbly, and the escalating tension kept this reader glued to his seat. The author is a robust stylist and the airplane milieu is evoked splendidly. My only minor qualm was a strand of patriotic sentimentalism that kept rising to the surface needlessly, but this quibble was swept aside by the pleasure of the read. Falling is a scorching read and an ideal present for your non-reading grand-niece or brother-in-law.