Book Reviews

100 Per Cent Gold: Fifty-Fifty by Steve Cavanagh @SSCav @orion_crime @orion @orionbooks

Title: Fifty-Fifty
Author: Steve Cavanagh
Date of publication: September 3rd 2020
Publisher: Orion
Format: ebook
Number of pages: 300

Two sisters on trial for murder. They accuse each other.
Who do YOU believe?

‘911 what’s your emergency?’

‘My dad’s dead. My sister Sofia killed him. She’s still in the house. Please send help.’

‘My dad’s dead. My sister Alexandra killed him. She’s still in the house. Please send help.’

One of them is a liar and a killer.

But which one?

Fifty Fifty.

Fifty per cent of me wants to review this novel.

Fifty per cent of me wants to just send you a link to (pre)order it.

A hundred per cent of me is convinced you’re going to love it.

Dear Mr Cavanagh, although I admire your abilities to shut me up with a neck-cracking, nerve-wrecking legal thriller, I am cross with you for leaving me with such a book hangover I can’t actually write. My brain froze when my eyes left the last page with the same intense pleasure you get when your tongue hits the ice-cream you just bought on a scorching day. The only problem is – I can’t concentrate enough to build my case.

I would ask for your help but I would probably do the same thing I did when I met you at Capital Crime… Blabber on about how I love your books and wish I could steal your brain to finally get the key to understand the law. (Sorry about that day!)

Okay, then, let’s here the fifty per cent of me who really, really, REALLY wants to tell you all about Fifty-Fifty.

Two sisters. Two different phone calls to the police. A dead father. Each of the woman claims the other killed dear daddy. Excited already??? It gets better.

Charming, well-presented, and clever Alexandra gets to be represented by a big law firm.

Shy, complicated, and troubled Sofia wins Eddie Flynn.

They say anything can happen when you have the right representation. They say that the truth doesn’t really matters. It is a fight to win. This feeling of two parties ready for battle like rugby men in suits always gets me high. I don’t need drugs, I need legal thrillers. And the best dealer for a beautifully crafted and crazily tense fix is Steve Cavanagh. You can feel the effects of his writing from the first line. It is sharp, inviting, and intriguing. You turn a page. Then another. And then BAM, you’re hooked.

Why did the father die? Who are those women? Why do they hate each other? Why do they accuse each other? The list of questions goes on and on, and I am glad all of them were in Eddie Flynn’s hands. Well, his and some very interesting other characters’.

One thing really fascinates me: how do you defend someone? How do you decide if they’re guilty or not? Does it actually matter? Everyone deserves a defense… But some lawyers actually have a soul and this little detail of culpability is a big deal. The thing is, you can’t really ever know. As Eddie Flynn is reminded of – evidence might point to your client, your gut might tell you you’re on the innocent’s side, in the end, it comes down to what we do with the cards we are dealt, and in court, you don’t choose your hand. You make do. I felt I was walking on an ice edge throughout the book. Even Eddie had a 1% doubt, and when the opposite side, after exciting legal twists, started wondering where they stood, I was faced with the scary truth that you can’t really know if you’re a pawn or a player. Often, we are both. I couldn’t make my mind, and the author put me in the brilliant yet uncomfortable seat of uncertainty, submitting me to mental torture and emotional turmoil.

Suspenseful à souhait, Fifty-Fifty is like a ball in a squash room. It bounces, hits you in the head, makes you turn and turn until you think you’ve lost it. I couldn’t shake the foreboding that something was going wrong, so wrong, too wrong. And I was right. I hated to be right. I loved to be right. When do we get this series on TV? Forget most shows, Steve Cavanagh is a killer writer who knows how to fool the reader and his characters for the sake of a perfect legal thriller.

Yes, I know, pub date is far away, but the book is already out in Ireland, and frankly, I just NEEDED to share the love.



Rating: 5 out of 5.

Steve Cavanagh is the bestselling author of the Eddie Flynn novels and standalone thrillers. In 2018 The Liar won the Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger for crime novel of the year. In 2019 Thirteen won the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the year 2019. All of his novels have either been nominated for awards, or have won awards internationally.

He is a former lawyer, and was born and raised in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where he still lives. If you want to get in touch with Steve, use the social media links below. For press, please contact Orion Books, London, or Flatiron Books, New York. Together with Luca Veste, Steve hosts the popular comedy lit podcast Two Crime Writers And A Microphone.

the day I fangirled…

26 thoughts on “100 Per Cent Gold: Fifty-Fifty by Steve Cavanagh @SSCav @orion_crime @orion @orionbooks”

  1. Aaaahhh I have yet to read all his books. Lovely review. At the moment this goes into my wishlist. My cc is hidden. Not telling you about that safe place


  2. Ahh I got a review copy of this book in January (I think it’s been out here in NZ for ages but for some reason it seems like it hasn’t really hit the rest of the world yet?) and absolutely loved it, I went back and forth so much between the two sisters! Steve Cavanagh is amazing.


  3. I sooo recognised your feelings and love the squash ball analogy, you are so right about our thoughts and feeling being all over the place! Loooove your review, it’s so so amazing and I can’t wait to see this on tv either!


  4. I LOVE Steve Cavanagh’s books! I completely understood the book hangovers he causes and am looking forward to my next one when I get my mitts on this one! Love your posts 😊


  5. I haven’t read this yet, but I have a feeling based on Steve’s other books and your review that this might just be my book of 2020!
    So looking forward to reading it 😊
    Amanda xx


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