Book Review: THE DEFENCE


Title: THE DEFENCE [Eddie Flynn #1] Author: Steve Cavanagh
Publisher: Orion Books
ISBN: 9781409152316
Genre: Thriller


Eddie Flynn used to be a con artist. Then he became a lawyer. Turned out the two weren’t that different.

 It’s been over a year since Eddie vowed never to set foot in a courtroom again. But now he doesn’t have a choice. Olek Volchek, the infamous head of the Russian mafia in New York, has strapped a bomb to Eddie’s back and kidnapped his ten-year-old daughter, Amy.

Eddie only has forty-eight hours to defend Volchek in an impossible murder trial—and win—if he wants to save his daughter.

Under the scrutiny of the media and the FBI, Eddie must use his razor-sharp wit and every con-artist trick in the book to defend his ‘client’ and ensure Amy’s safety. With the timer on his back ticking away, can Eddie convince the jury of the impossible?

Lose this case and he loses everything.


Steve Cavanagh has done an outstanding job of writing a riveting thriller that grabs you from the opening line, right on through to last page. Setting a pace that makes you feel you can smell the burnt rubber from the Ninja road bikes in one chase scene that would give Steve McQueen a run for his money.

THE DEFENCE is no ordinary, pedestrian courtroom drama, far from it. With a taut tight time frame mixing high-tension action with nail-biting moments where Eddie Flynn, our erstwhile hero, has to figure out his next move, or face the prospect that he might be the reason his daughter dies. The battle of wits and skills is on.

The tension rolls off the page in waves, like the mirage-inducing heat in the desert. But Eddie comes with a background and just enough know-how to use a combination of brains and brawn. Battling not only his past, and the demons that still haunt him, but the Russian Mob, hell bent on using him in their own twisted game of cat and mouse.

Caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place, Flynn know he must use every available trick his father ever taught him, if he’s to survive the next 36 hours. Cavanagh has us second guessing everyone’s motives, from the Feds, prosecutor, and witnesses on down. And Flynn isn’t in the clear either. Despite doing his best to run the gauntlet between the Russians, the Italian mafia, and the Feds looking to pin everything on him, we just know we’re in for one hell of a roller coaster ride.

And boy, does Cavanagh deliver!

From moments where we’re not sure what’s going on, and who we think Eddie can trust, to a couple of near-death stunts that John McClane would be proud of in any Die-Hard movie. Con man turned lawyer, Eddie Flynn, is risking it all for the woman who stole his beating heart: his daughter.

The characters, including the low-lifes, are well-drawn, and have enough depth to make your skin crawl. The pacing is such that you will not want to put this one down, as I found out, reading it in just two page-turning sessions. The over-all scene is one we’re all familiar with, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

If you’ve seen any Die-Hard type movie of the last twenty years, you will know what to expect. The unexpected, lots of twists and turns, and a hero who simply will not give up, under any circumstances.

With plenty of layers, mis-directs, heart-pounding action, and adept sleight of hand, THE DEFENCE has something for everyone—including, a great story.

Eddie Flynn is my new anti-hero hero and Judge Ford is not far behind!

Rating: 8.5 / 10

Previous First Impressions Friday: THE DEFENCE
Next Book Review: THE SILENT GIRLS


  1. December 19, 2018

    I am happy to see that your first impression were right! I told you already this one made it on my TBR! You broaden my reading horizon Alexandra 😉

    • December 19, 2018

      Oh, this was pure magic and a fun fast read, Sophie. As I said, this is my kind of book. The author made the characters flawed but engaging, with background and depth. I hope you do get to read it and enjoy the romp as much as I did.

  2. December 18, 2018

    Oh, this sounds awesome! I really like lawyer thrillers, even tho i haven’t read that many so far. Love the premise of con man turned lawyer… the irony 😀

    • Alexandra
      December 18, 2018

      I think you would enjoy this one, Norrie. It has all the right ingredients, and the author sets it up perfectly. And yeah, great irony. Hope you give it a go.

  3. It sounds like a book that has everything you could ask for! I’m normally not a big fan of action-packed novels but it’s been soooo long since I had a Bruce Willis shot, I’m really tempted. I also love the irony of the con artist turning into a lawyer. As I work in a law office, it seems like a novel that will have me chuckling and nobody will know why 🙂

    • December 18, 2018

      Exactly, Inge. And the author has done a great job making this one action-packed, as well as full of emotion, and I found I really connected with Eddie, who was quite the loveable cad. It’s well written and was a fast, fun read. I’ll be reading a lot more from Cavanagh!

      • I’m definitely putting him on my readlist now! Thanks for this great rec!

        • December 20, 2018

          Thanks, Inge. And I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I’m looking forward to reading THIRTEEN soon.

  4. December 17, 2018

    Such a brilliant review, I loved reading it. 8.5/10 is such a fab score, I’m so happy you enjoyed this book so much.

    Having a time limit and a high personal stake involved must have created a lot of tension and drama, I am definitely intrigued. Adding The Defence to my reading list.

    • Alexandra
      December 17, 2018

      Aw, thank you, Vera. It really was a fast read for me, and a thoroughly enjoyable one because of the high stakes and the emotional aspect. I also liked how the author puts Flynn in a number of tight situations and then? Shows us how he gets out using his skill and wits.

      I hope you enjoy it too!

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