Today I am sharing my thoughts on The Accomplice, the latest book in Steve Cavanagh’s Eddie Flynn series. I was super late to the series but am enjoying keeping pace now. My thanks to Publisher Orion for the advance copy for review. Here’s what the book is about:
About the Book
THE MOST HATED WOMAN IN AMERICA
The Sandman killings have been solved. Daniel Miller murdered fourteen people before he vanished. His wife, Carrie, now faces trial as his accomplice. The FBI, the District Attorney, the media and everyone in America believe she knew and helped cover up her husband’s crimes.
Eddie Flynn won’t take a case unless his client is innocent. Now, he has to prove to a jury, and the entire world, that Carrie Miller was just another victim of the Sandman. She didn’t know her husband’s dark side and she had no part in the murders. But so far, Eddie and his team are the only ones who believe her.
THE FORMER FBI AGENT
Gabriel Lake used to be a federal agent, before someone tried to kill him. Now, he’s an investigator with a vendetta against the Sandman. He’s the only one who can catch him, because he believes that everything the FBI knows about serial killers is wrong.
With his wife on trial, the Sandman is forced to come out of hiding to save her from a life sentence. He will kill to protect her and everyone involved in the case is a target.
Even Eddie Flynn…
Okay. So if I worked with Eddie Flynn, I’d be making sure that I had a really good life insurance policy. Assuming I could even get a life insurance policy that is. It’s fair to say that where Eddie goes, trouble with follow, and if it’s not Eddie, it’s those around them who end up in the crossfire. This is definitely the case with The Accomplice where Eddie and the team come face to face (sort of) with a killer who will stop at nothing to ensure his co-defendant is found not guilty. Even if that means breaking cover to commit more murder. This was a fast paced, high stakes, full on tension kind of read – just the way I like it.
Eddie and co are used to coming up against some pretty twisted individuals, and that can definitely be said of their latest foe, The Sandman, a killer with a very distinctive signature, one which makes the stomach churn just a touch. The Sandman takes trophies from his victims and I have to say this is one particular scenario which makes me a little squeamish. If there is anything that can make my skin crawl, it’s that. What that is you will have to read to find out, but it’s the one thing to make me wince throughout the book.
I love the pacing of these books. There is always something going on, some angle which sees the action pick up tenfold on numerous occasions and the jeopardy levels go off the charts. Add into the mix, murdered witnesses, an absconded defendant and a killer who seemingly won’t be stopped and it makes for a deliciously fast paced read. I flew through it, glued to the story and wondering just how Eddie was going to get them out of a hole this time. Quite literally in some cases, but least said about that the better.
Now this book is set in the usual Steve Cavanagh style, with chapters from the killer’s point of view interspersed amongst the trial scenes and those in which Eddie and the team try to get to the bottom of the case. This was the one thing which both did and didn’t quite work for me with this story. We knew who the killer was, even if they were missing, but with chapters told from their perspective it made me start to question whether this wasn’t just the most elaborate double bluff. But if things weren’t quite as expected, then just what was in play? I did guess the truth, the big reveal, ahead of the story, but that wasn’t an issue. Watching Eddie slowly come to the same realisations, seeing the threat impacting them all, was where the true impact of the book is felt. If anything it made them more acutely aware of what was at risk and the scenes in the courtroom played out in the usual mix of tension and entertainment. Eddie Flynn is a showman, but a skilled on. This case was no different.
The one stand out for me in this book was former FBI Agent Gabriel Lake. He was a brilliant introduction, a character much like Eddie who was driven by an inherent and at times overwhelming sense of right and wrong. Together with Bloch, he had some really great scenes. Whilst she is a woman of few words but very decisive actions, Lake has a real insight into the criminal mind, and is not afraid to stand up for what he believes in. They felt formidable, and when they were on the hunt the chemistry between them was clear, even if they were almost chalk and cheese. You could feel that they understood each other and that Bloch appreciated what made Lake tick, even if the others hadn’t quite worked him out. I’d be very interested to see how the author utilises him as a character in the future.
This was another fab addition to a series which really stands out in the world of legal dramas. I love the characters, their unwavering sense of right and wrong and the dedication they have to each other. it really does make the series something special. With a blistering pace, an overt sense of threat and danger and a killer who lacks any kind of moral code this kept me completely engrossed from start to finish. I tore through it, almost impatient to get to the end to make sure that nothing that bad could possibly happen again. And then, speaking of the end – nicely played Mr Cavanagh. Very fitting. Fans of the series will love this book.
About the Author
Steve Cavanagh was born and raised in Belfast before leaving for Dublin at the age of eighteen to study Law. He practiced civil rights law and was involved in several high-profile cases; in 2010 he represented a factory worker who suffered racial abuse in the workplace and won the largest award of damages for race discrimination in Northern Ireland legal history.
He holds a certificate in Advanced Advocacy and lectures on various legal subjects (but really he just likes to tell jokes). His novel The Liar won the CWA Gold Dagger award while his follow-up novel Thirteen won the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award in 2019. Twisted was a Sunday Times Top 10 Bestseller. He is married with two young children.