Thirteen Book Review

Thirteen’s cover shows the jury seats of the “Trial of the Century.” Photo courtesy of: Amazon

Thirteen’s cover shows the jury seats of the “Trial of the Century.” Photo courtesy of: Amazon

Rating: Five Stars

Gazing nonchalantly at the back of the book, I was immediately intrigued by Thirteen’s premise, a book by Steve Cavanagh. The murderer, not on trial, but on the jury, was a unique twist to the usual tropes of the legal thriller novel genre. 

“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”- Joshua Kane

A Hollywood movie star is charged with murdering his wife and head of security in their New York mansion. Conman turned defense lawyer, Eddie Flynn, believes his client is innocent- despite the mountain of evidence that seems to support the opposite. But, he must not just fight against a cunning prosecutor; someone in the jury has rigged the game from the start.

Predictably, the novel follows the usual lines of most thrillers, like beginning with a murder scene. However, there were a few elements of the novel that really stood out. 

The first were the characters. Defense lawyer, Eddie Flynn, was absolutely brilliant- his courtroom techniques, including an ingenious cross-examination, kept me hanging on every word of his narration. His investigative mind deducted to logical conclusions that were surprising but not unpredictable. The foundation for these twists were cleverly laid out- a telltale sign of an author who knows what they are doing. 

“You don’t need a bomb to win this case. You’ve already got one—I’m the bomb.” – Eddie Flynn

Flynn was supported by a private investigator and an FBI agent, two female characters who are the definition of empowering and strong. And the antagonist of the novel brought a new meaning to psychopathic villain. Even more manipulative than The Silence of the Lamb’s Dr. Hannibal Lecter, Joshua Kane is fantastically ruthless in his pursuits. 

While most novels start and end the villain’s backstory with some sort of tragic childhood and mental illness, author Steve Cavanagh goes a step further. He provides enough reasonable context to understand Kane’s motivation and underlying desires to kill. 

Another reason why Thirteen was so compelling was the legal aspect of the novel as well as the thriller part. Flynn and his prosecuting opponent delivered highly persuasive opening speeches and maneuvered clever legal tricks. 

Read Thirteen. You won’t be disappointed.