5 STAR REVIEW: FIFTY/FIFTY BY STEVE CAVANAGH

FIFTY/FIFTY (Eddie Flynn Series #5)
By Steve Cavanagh
Publisher: Orbit
Publication Date: 3rd September 2020
Format: ARC (349 pages)

Two sisters on trial for murder. Both accuse each other.
Who do YOU believe?

Alexandra Avellino has just found her father’s mutilated body, and needs the police right away. She believes her sister killed him, and that she is still in the house with a knife.

Sofia Avellino has just found her father’s mutilated body and needs the police right away. She believes her sister, Alexandra did it, and that she is still in the house, locked in the bathroom.

Both women are to go on trial at the same time. A joint trial in front of one jury.

But one of these women is lying. One of them is a murderer. Sitting in a jail cell, about to go on trial with her sister for murder, you might think that this is the last place she expected to be.

You’d be wrong.(Goodreads)

Two Years ago, I was given the privilege of reading Thirteen, book 4 in the Eddie Flynn series and it was to become one of the books that I attribute to my introduction and newly found love of Thriller/Crime/Mystery books. So, when the opportunity came to read an ARC of Fifty Fifty, I practically begged to be allowed to read it. Let’s just say that it was well worth the begging because this is one hell of a rollercoaster ride.

The plot of the book is simple, with two sisters at the crime scene of their brutally murdered father, each accusing the other of his murder. There is evidence that implicates both women of the crime, but which one is guilty or are they both guilty?

The stage is set for another book where the twists and turns of  Eddie Flynn’s latest case leading you down multiple dead ends. He dares you to try to figure out who is the guilty party and I admit that this was difficult, with me changing my mind from one sister to the other multiple times. Once again Cavanagh showcases a brilliant knack of creating a story that is truly edge of your seat, with a villain who showcases the worst in humanity. While it would be easy to paint the guilty party in a stereotypical fashion, you gain a bit of background to the Avellino family and though this does not warrant the crime committed, it does go someway to explain why that person turned out the way they did. This in no way made them sympathetic but I understood what drove them to some of their actions., driven by age old motives.

As in Thirteen, the body count increases through the book and the murderer will stop at nothing to cover their tracks. As the trial nears and the case builds, the stakes get higher and an event in the book occurs that will change the series for ever. It is this event that once again showcases Cavanaghs talent. The book switches between two characters and the tension builds as the murderer aims to eliminate the person who holds an important piece of evidence that would cause the carefully constructed house of cards to come tumbling down. The tension is palatable and as the setting is described from all three characters points of view, I was on the edge of my seat on who would be the murders target. Cavanagh doesn’t pull you along, he drags you at high speed till once again the doors open and while I let out a sigh of relief that one of my favourite characters in the series was safe, I was knocked for six at what it all meant. The punch to the gut was palatable and I sat in shock at what I read, unable to believe it.

Its at this point, the book takes a time jump to three months later and the trial is about to get underway. Eddie is now not only battling against the Prosecutor, but also the lawyer defending his clients sister. The Prosecutor and the DA are intent on convicting one or even both sisters. The trial is a slam dunk, but since we know the events behind the scene, nothing is truly as it seems. Both sisters are claiming their innocence but we know that one is guilty.

Courtroom dramas have never really been my thing but this is very compelling reading and watching the battle play out is just as gripping as the murderer tidying up loose ends. As the evidence is presented, I still could not hand on heart say who was truly guilty.  The case comes to its epic conclusion and yet Cavanagh isn’t done yet with pulling one final twist.

While this is Eddies book, we are also introduced to a new character in the form of Kate, a member of Eddies clients sisters legal team. She is very much the only woman in the old boys club. So, watching how she is treated by her superior is very uncomfortable reading, so when she takes a ballsy move that could prove catastrophic to her career, I still fist pumped and rooted for her to succeed. This put me at in a bit of quandary because if she won, it meant that Eddie would lose and I wanted him to win the case.

The dynamic between Kate and Eddie is an interesting one and I felt that he could almost be a mentor to Kate. I even thought that she may have ditched her job and gone to work with Eddie. What she does instead is something that for me really was new. (Though there may be others book out there that already have covered this. I’ve just not ready of them).

The book ends on a positive note for Kate and the promise of seeing more of her in future books will be something I really look forward to.

Fifty Fifty is that book where as you near the end, you have to read on till its finished. For me, this was 1am in the morning and I have no regrets. Cavanagh has become one of my must-read authors and I can’t wait for the next Eddie Flynn book.

 

BUY LINKS
AMAZON UK | WATERSTONES | BOOK DEPOSITORY

STEVE CAVANAGH ONLINE
WEBSITE | GOODREADS | FACEBOOK | TWITTER

EDDIE FLYNN SERIES IN ORDER
1 The Defence
2 The Plea
3 The Liar
4 Thirteen

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