Book Review: THIRTEEN, what happens when a killer hides on the jury

Thirteen
Eddie Flynn #4
Steve Cavanagh

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Up and coming movie star Robert “Bobby” Solomon has been accused of murder, and his lawyer, Rudy Carp, convinced Eddie Flynn that Bobby was innocent. Unable to walk away, Eddie joined the defense team. Unbeknownst to him, the real killer, Joshua Kane, was feet away in the jury box willing to do anything to make sure the jury convicted Bobby for his crimes. When Kane realizes what a keen adversary Flynn represents, the moralistic lawyer becomes another of his targets.

Thirteen, told in alternating points of view from Eddie Flynn and Kane, was one of those thrillers that I couldn’t put down. I liked that the action took place during the trial, and the true identity of the killer kept me guessing. A parallel plot about crooked police officers also hooked me. Also, precis of each juror in the form of reports by the juror consultant were interspersed throughout the book which entertained and intrigued me. By the end of the book, my expectations had been completely subverted.

I wish that some of the characters, such as Bobby, had been more developed, and that some, like Rudy, had acted more consistently. Also, the actions of the FBI and the extent of their cooperation with Flynn and his investigation team seemed far-fetched. Finally, I didn’t always like the writing style. I found some of the dialogue, especially between Flynn and his estranged wife, awkward, and Cavanagh tends to overuse short incomplete descriptive sentences for effect. Only after I was quite into the book did I realize this was part of a series. I don’t think it’s at all necessary to read the other books to appreciate Thirteen.

Fans of thrillers, courtroom dramas, and mysteries, though, will, I’m sure, like me, devour this book despite its minor flaws—and probably never think about juries the same way again!

Thank you to NetGalley and Flatiron Books for an advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review.