cover image The Defense

The Defense

Steve Cavanagh, read by Adam Sims. Macmillan Audio, , unabridged, 9 CDs, 10.5 hrs., $39.99 ISBN 978-1-4272-7275-1

Cavanagh’s years as a Belfast civil rights lawyer add a layer of reality to the courtroom sequences of this razzle-dazzle debut legal thriller. All the ingredients needed for a compulsive listen are in place. Hero Eddie Flynn, a top Manhattan defense attorney with a previous career as a master-class con man, is as likable as he is resourceful. The villain, Olek Volchek, is a ruthless Russian Mafia chieftain on trial for a murder that, thanks to an eyewitness, is literally indefensible. Cavanagh’s wickedly clever premise has the despicable Volchek forcing Eddie to represent him by kidnapping and threatening to torture and kill the lawyer’s 10-year-old daughter, Amy. British theater actor Sims employs a tone-perfect tough-but-educated American accent for the wily Flynn, who, in the true style of a man on the hustle, masks his desperation with a hardboiled confidence. Sims’s Russian accent is just as effective, capturing not only the harshness of boss Volchek and his second-in-command, Arturas, but their differing attitudes, the former sounding flat and coldly unemotional when speaking of Amy’s possibly grim fate, the latter exhibiting a chilling, sadistic eagerness to do the job himself. [em]A Flatiron hardcover. (May) [/em]