'Thirteen' isn't about a serial killer on trial....he's on the jury.

Robert Soloman and his beautiful wife were Hollywood superstars but now she is dead and he is on trial for her murder.

Eddie Flynn, former conman turned lawyer is new to the defence team and begins to suspect that his client is innocent and there is more to this case than meets the eye.

Our Review

Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh is the best legal thriller I have ever read. When I requested this book, I didn’t realise it was part of a series but thankfully it can be read as a stand-alone book.

I have said many times that Crime books are definitely not my favourite genre and of these legal books are probably my least favourite, so Steve Cavanagh had his work cut out and I was incredibly surprised that I liked this book. It was exceptional.

Thirteen was one of those books you can’t stop reading until you reach the end. In fact, I was so absorbed in it that my boyfriend said he had never seen me so absorbed with a book. I finished it in just one day and wanted to reread it straight away.

Despite not liking legal dramas I do find books about serial killers fascinating and it was the tagline on the book mentioning a serial killer that made me request a copy for review.

I was hooked on Thirteen from the first few lines of the prologue. It was chilling from the start and begins with Joshua Kane laying on a cardboard box outside the Criminal Courts Building thinking about killing someone.

Kane was an incredibly chilling character and Thirteen wouldn’t have been the same without the chapters from his perspective.

“It was true that Kane had at times, while on the subway or watching passers-by, occasionally thought about killing a nameless, random New Yorker who happened to fall into his line of vision…How would it feel to kill them? What would they say with their final breath? Would their eyes change in that moment of passing from this world? Kane felt a ripple of pleasure feed heat into his body as he explored these thoughts.”

Every action Kane takes is meticulously thought out and relevant to his plan but disturbingly some of his decisions to kill or not rest on a coin toss.

The man Kane is thinking of killing is a mail man with a bag full of jury service letters. Kane needs access to them so that he can get himself on the jury for a very high-profile trials whose outcome he wants to influence.

“Kane shot Elton in the face, walked briskly into a dark alley and disappeared. Such a quick, easy execution gave Kane no pleasure. Ideally, he would’ve liked a few days with Elton, but he couldn’t spare the time.

He had a lot of work to do.”

The above passage shows how cold-blooded and calculated Kane is.

Whilst the chapters written from Kane’s perspective were written in third person those written from the perspective of Eddie Flynn were written in first person and made it easier for the reader to identify whose perspective they were reading.

When we meet Eddie Flynn, he is in court defending a woman on a trumped-up drug charge fabricated by a corrupt policeman named Granger. Eddie wins the case and in doing so makes an enemy of the NYPD officer.

When he goes to leave the courtroom, he is approached by lawyer Rudy Carp who asks him if he would be interested in taking second chair on “the biggest murder trial this city has ever seen.”

Rudy is the lead lawyer on the most high-profile case in the city at the time. Actor Bobby Solomon is on trial for murdering his wife and their head of security and the trial is due to start in three days time.

Kane is a highly intelligent and skilled serial killer. We find out through a series of flashbacks that he has been skilled at mimicry since he was a young boy. He used his skills to study one of the potential jury members, along with taking photos of him to study his appearance and following him to determine his social interactions.

Shortly after this there is an incredibly detailed and gory scene describing how Kane gets rid of the man’s body so there will be no evidence.

Initially, Eddie is inclined to decline the case because everything he has seen so far about the case suggests that Bobby is guilty.

“It’s not about the money. I don’t roll for the guilty. I’ve been down that road a long time ago. It costs more than money can buy.”

In the past Eddie has taken a series of cases that put his integrity at risk and his family in danger. His marriage is currently on the rocks and he doesn’t see his daughter as much as he would like. He knows that taking Bobby’s case on if he is guilty would be a step too far but agrees to take a look at the case files when Rudy suggests that the NYPD framed Bobby for the murder and that Eddie is the only one who can prove it.

Having met Bobby and listened to his story Eddie believes that he is innocent and not just acting a part. He agrees to take on the case and attempt to help prove Bobby’s innocence.

Meanwhile Kane continues killing jury members in order to get the outcome he wants on the trial, but has he met his match in Eddie Flynn?

As the case progresses Eddie begins to suspect that someone else may have committed the murder and many other’s beside. A killer the FBI have been hunting for years.

Thirteen was a remarkable book and I didn’t want it to end and when it did I wanted to start it all over again.

Our Final Rating...

Our Rating

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