Review: Thirteen

This novel has the best hook I’ve heard all year: The serial killer isn’t on trial. He’s ON THE JURY. How can anyone resist that?

I wasn’t aware, going in, that this was part of a series but it mostly didn’t matter. This is a legal thriller and our attorney main character, Eddie Flynn, has an entire series. For this reason, I think I found it harder to connect with Eddie *at first* — much of his character introduction must have come in earlier books.

The narrative alternates between Eddie, the defense attorney representing a Hollywood A-lister accused of murdering his wife, and Joshua Kane—the real killer, who has found a way onto the jury. I found Kane’s voice delightfully compelling and sinister, and I looked forward to his chapters with wicked glee. He is a mastermind serial killer, and his character was definitely my favorite (is that weird? To have the serial killer as your favorite character?)

This plot was masterfully constructed. Just when I thought I had it figured out, we hit another twist. I love it when tiny details from earlier in the story come into play later on, and Cavanaugh weaves them in like the expert he is. I haven’t read a legal thriller in a while, and this one kept me guessing from start to finish.

I will add that after reading mostly female-centered thrillers lately, this one felt so masculine to me that at first it was a little jarring. This felt more like a man’s book—for whatever reason, maybe the narrative style? But don’t worry, there were several good female characters. And even though I started out not connecting with Eddie, by the end I was rooting for him and his team.

Do I recommend it? YES. To fans of legal thrillers, serial killer novels, and twisty plots. Joshua Kane is one of my favorite villains now.

Thank you to Flatiron Books for the gifted advanced copy. All thoughts are my own

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