Lion Forge: No Ivy League by Hazel Newlevant

Thirteen

Legal thriller extraordinaire Steve Cavanagh (The DefenseThe Plea) has an uncanny aptitude for placing his star lawyer in plausibly impossible positions. Watching Eddie Flynn work his way out of them is any reader's sheer delight.

In Thirteen, Flynn gets a call from fellow attorney Rudy Carp, who is working on an explosive celebrity double-murder case and hopes Flynn will aid the defense in poking holes in evidence mismanaged by the police. While he's initially skeptical of the offer, Flynn could use the generous fee Carp promises--as well as the possibility of greater stability, if he hopes to win back his wife and daughter. What's more, after meeting with Carp's client--top-tier movie star Bobby Solomon--Flynn believes the guy is innocent.

What Cavanagh could have written as a straightforward case of courtroom intrigue and rhetorical flourishes in the pursuit of truth and justice becomes exponentially more tense as serial killer Joshua Kane meticulously plans his infiltration of the jury for the Solomon trial. Fitting the profile associated with the most intelligent 1% of this criminal type, Kane goes to extreme lengths to fulfill his mission. His pattern of killing, framing and convicting may seem farfetched to some, but chillingly possible to true-crime fans.

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. Cavanagh serves Flynn a tall order, and the lawyer steps up with aplomb. --Dave Wheeler, associate editor, Shelf Awareness