The Devil’s Advocate by Steve Cavanagh [5/10]

Steve Cavanagh The Devil’s Advocate review

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.

Falling by T. J. Newman [7/10]

T. J. Newman Falling review

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.