Thirteen, Steve Cavanagh
I've done a daft thing (again). After a lot of hints from others, I've finally gotten around to the Eddie Flynn series by author Steve Cavanagh and like an idiot I've started in at the fourth novel in the series.
It's really good. Fast paced with a vaguely crazy plot that works despite many reasons why it shouldn't. Chief amongst which is a serial killer with a genetic inability to feel pain, and a plan to make somebody else go to jail for his crimes by infiltrating the jury in a murder trial. It's barking really because the chances of somebody being able to do this, influence the jury to that extent, and basically be able to pull together such a complex undertaking seem highly unlikely. In THIRTEEN it makes sense though, obviously assisted by a serial killer's fallback clearing the decks methodology.
These novels revolve around lawyer Eddie Flynn who, it's assumed from the hints dropped left, right and centre here, has quite the chequered past. There was something major going on here, I'd missed the important lead up bits and ended up feeling like I'd showed up at a fancy dress party in a zebra costume, only to find that "fancy" actually meant evening clothes. When Flynn is hired by high profile hotshot lawyer Rudy Carp to assist in the defence of movie star Bobby Solomon, he's apparently somebody with an established knack of disrupting particular types of testimony, discovering twists in evidence and digging deep behind assumptions. Solomon's being tried over the particularly nasty killings of his wife and their security guard and there's something about Solomon that makes Flynn happy to assist in the defence, something that's not quite adding up. Meanwhile a serial killer is busy. Joshua Kane is high functioning, highly motivated and capable of planning and executing a very elaborate plan. He's, as you'd expect with a sociopathic killer, ruthless and because of that and his inability to feel pain, pretty darn hard to stop. Even if anybody realised that they were supposed to be looking for him in the first place - which is part of the strength of this novel. Whilst the reader knows all about Kane, Flynn doesn't and you're along for the ride as the Solomon case investigation opens a big can of snakes.
Needless to say there's much to like about THIRTEEN, and much to regret having come to the series party a bit late and inappropriately prepared. Start with the Eddie Flynn series much earlier on - all that hinting is obviously spot on.
Murder wasn't the hard part. It was just the start of the game.
Joshua Kane has been preparing for this moment his whole life. He's done it before. But this is the big one.
This is the murder trial of the century. And Kane has killed to get the best seat in the house.
But there's someone on his tail. Someone who suspects that the killer isn't the man on trial.
Kane knows time is running out - he just needs to get to the conviction without being discovered.
For the only way to guarantee a guilty verdict is to get a seat on the jury.