Source: Purchased copy and Review copy
Publication: H/back 5 August 2021 P/back 6 Jan 2022 from Orion
A DEADLY PROSECUTOR
They call him the King of Death Row. Randal Korn has sent more men to their deaths than any district attorney in the history of the United States.
A TWISTED RITUALISTIC KILLING
When a young woman, Skylar Edwards, is found murdered in Buckstown, Alabama, a corrupt sheriff arrests the last person to see her alive, Andy Dubois. It doesn’t seem to matter to anyone that Andy is innocent.
A SMALL TOWN BOILING WITH RAGE
Everyone in Buckstown believes Andy is guilty. He has no hope of a fair trial. And the local defense attorney assigned to represent him has disappeared.
A FORMER CON-ARTIST
Hot shot New York lawyer Eddie Flynn travels south to fight fire with fire. He plans to destroy the prosecutors case, find the real killer and save Andy from the electric chair.
But the murders are just beginning.
Is Eddie Flynn next?
Steve Cavanagh is on fire!!! The Devil’s Advocate is a truly impressive book. Cavanagh takes Eddie Flynn out of his New York comfort zone and into the deep south – to Buckstown, Alabama for his first ever capital murder trial. The stakes don’t get any higher than this and for Eddie, who never knowingly takes on a guilty client, losing would be genuinely unbearable.
But even though the gentle young black man, Andy Dubois did not murder attractive Skylar Edwards, he doesn’t really have a hope in hell. Because Buckstown is hell and the devil reigns there.
The thing that first struck me about this thrilling, ingenious and compelling novel is the way that Cavanagh suffuses this book with real evil. Reading it, all the way through, I had echoes of Stephen King’s The Stand in the back of my head. Not because of plot similarities – this is an outstanding, original piece of work, but because the horror is real and it is embedded in Cavanagh’s characters and he has given us a primal battle to the death between good and evil. I don’t know whether the use if Randall for the Prosecutor’s first name was deliberate, but I am guessing so, because the chilling vibes from this antagonist work from the outset.
It’s all the more chilling because there is foundation in reality for the premise of this book, as Cavanagh makes clear in his afterword. But this is also a thrilling work of fiction with some exceptional moments showcasing Eddie Flynn’s remarkable talents and bringing #TeamFlynn right to the fore. It’s delightful to watch Kate in action in court and adding in her investigator, the redoubtable Bloch and Eddie’s friend ex-judge Harry Ford also bring a lot more skin to this game.
It feels right that there is now a unified #TeamFlynn and together they are a formidable foursome. Just as well, because they need all their exceptional talents to tackle a seemingly unwinnable case where all the odds are, quite deliberately, being stacked against them.
The Devil’s Advocate is everything a good thriller should be and the book shivers with tension and suspense. We care, not just about Eddie and his team, but for the stitched-up plaintiff, Andy Dubois and his mother Patricia – and ultimately for the people of Buckstown who live in such a fetid, corrupt and poisonous atmosphere.
Steve Cavanagh has taken the most pernicious of crimes – racial hatred and played it into a scenario which, sadly, is not so difficult to envision in an America tainted by corrupt leadership, where division reaps rewards and hatred rules by fear.
That he does so incredibly successfully and still manages to infuse the book with Eddie’s dazzling humour and sleight of hand to amuse and surprise us, is testament to how good a writer he is. I think this is his best book yet – and that is saying something!
Verdict: Absolutely unmissable. A must read book that sings out from every page; luring you in and making you forget anything else exists. I was captivated, horrified, spellbound. This is a brilliant, explosive and beautifully plotted thriller that will leave you gasping.
Steve Cavanagh is a critically acclaimed, Sunday Times best-selling author of the Eddie Flynn series which has sold a million copies in the UK. His third novel, The Liar, won the CWA Gold Dagger for Crime Novel of the year 2018. Thirteen won the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime novel of the year 2019. FIFTY FIFTY was a Richard and Judy Book club choice, and the BBC Between The Covers book club choice. His latest novel, The Devil’s Advocate is released in August 2021.