What if the killer is on the jury? That’s the harrowing question posed by Cavanagh’s pulse-pounding third novel featuring New York defense attorney Eddie Flynn (after 2018’s The Liar). Cavanagh juxtaposes the viewpoints of Flynn, brought in to help defend actor Bobby Solomon, who’s accused of killing his wife in their Manhattan home, and Joshua Kane, who murders and connives his way onto the jury in the actor’s trial. Some literal courtroom sleight of hand and sharp questioning by Flynn throws doubt on the seemingly airtight case of the prosecution, but Flynn’s best chance is to identify another killer. His ex-FBI investigator Harper and her contact in the Bureau’s Behavioral Analysis Unit provide a solid lead—a serial killer who has remained hidden by framing others for his crimes. Meanwhile, from within the jury, the ruthless Kane is able to discredit or kill the fellow jurors who won’t vote his way. Cavanagh throws in false leads and red herrings to heighten the uncertainty. This tightly plotted page-turner delivers as both a legal thriller and serial killer investigation. Agent: George Lucas, Inkwell Management. (Aug.)
Winner of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award
A Publishers Weekly Best Summer Reads of 2019
Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Best Books of the Summer
“Wickedly clever courtroom drama.”
New York Times Book Review
“A superb action-packed story that melds the legal thriller with the serial killer subgenre…Sharp dialogue, court scenes that crackle, well-devised red herrings and deeply sculpted characters make Thirteen an outstanding thriller.”
“A terrific hook, a thoroughly likable protagonist and more twists than a tornado… A genuine, read-in-one-sitting page-turner.” The Guardian
“Outstanding - an intriguing premise, a tense, gripping build-up, and a spectacular climax. This guy is the real deal. Trust me.” Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Courtroom drama at its finest…Thirteen is an outstanding legal thriller, so original, clever and accomplished that it should not be missed. It marks out Cavanagh as the heir apparent to John Grisham.” Express (UK)
“A dead bang BEAST of a book that expertly combines his authority on the law with an absolutely great thrill ride. Books this ingenious don’t come along very often.” Michael Connelly, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Dazzling…One of the most accomplished legal dramas I have read this year, it reminds me of Scott Turow’s stunning Presumed Innocent.” Daily Mail
“A knockout legal thriller with a doozy of a twist.”
Booklist, starred review
“Pulse-pounding...This tightly plotted page-turner delivers as both a legal thriller and serial killer investigation.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review
“A brilliant, twisty, ingeniously constructed puzzle of a book. Steve Cavanagh pulls off an enviable premise with panache.” Ruth Ware, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Any reader's sheer delight.... Thirteen is a thrilling blitz of a novel, for new readers or old fans. Even as the driving question is less who and more how, there is no shortage of plot twists.”
“A blisteringly exciting ingenious thriller with an utterly chilling killer.” The People (UK)
“An oh so clever hook for an oh so clever, gripping book. Thirteen is courtroom drama at its finest, blended with page-turning twists and characters you can't get enough of. Steve Cavanagh is the John Grisham for a new generation. Slick, thrilling and unique, Thirteen is my favorite read of the year.” Sarah Pinborough, New York Times bestselling author
“Steve Cavanagh delivers Grisham-on-steroids courtroom drama.” Irish Independent
“Smart and original. This is a belter of a book.” Clare Mackintosh, New York Times bestselling author
“A great hook and the book lives up to it!” Ian Rankin, New York Times bestselling author
To carry out the final steps of a grandiose scheme, the sophisticated, supremely evasive serial killer Joshua Kane becomes a juror on a celebrity murder trial in Manhattan.
The defendant is Hollywood star Bobby Solomon; a heap of incriminating evidence has gotten him all but convicted of stabbing his wife and a security guard. The only person who can get Solomon off, and stop Kane from manipulating the jury into a guilty verdict, is defense attorney Eddie Flynn, back from Cavanagh's (The Plea, 2018, etc.) other two novels. A one-time con artist, Eddie has been hired by a high-powered law firm working for the studio releasing Solomon's new movie. When Kane, sneaking around after dark with his trusty filleting knife, starts killing off jurors he has determined are leaning toward an acquittal, the case goes haywire—but keeps going, one of the more questionable details in the novel. While the premise of the book is promising, Cavanagh is too clever for his own good. The gimmick of the killer jurist is worn so thin that the murders have no real impact. It would be one thing if Kane had a unique personality to go with his rare congenital analgesia, which makes him unable to feel pain, but he's just another faceless madman with a troubled upbringing. Though Flynn is hardly alone among crime-fiction heroes in struggling to win back his wife and child, he's pretty enjoyable. But his winning ways can't distract us from the desperation of an eighth-inning reveal by the author pertaining to the case.
In spite of mounting murders, the suspense is uneven in Cavanagh's carefully plotted mystery.
Con man-turned-defense lawyer Eddie Flynn passionately believes that his movie star client is innocent of killing two people and suspects that the culprit is close at hand. But on the jury? From Steel Dagger finalist Cavanagh.