Saturday 31 October 2020

Fifty Fifty by Steve Cavanagh

I picked this book because it was a Between the Covers book choice and bonus it was on special offer for Kindle.

The premise is simple but interesting. Frank Avellino has been murdered; both of his daughters were in the house at the time; each accuses the other of the crime; who is guilty and who is innocent?

I didn't realise when I chose this book that it's part of an ongoing series featuring the attorney, Eddie Flynn. However, you do not need to have read the preceding books this stands perfectly well on it's own. I don't want to give away any spoilers so I will keep it to a general what I liked and what I didn't.

What I liked. It was a compulsive read, there were several occasions when I just wanted to go to the end of the book and find out who had done it (though this was partly due to the slow pacing in places). You do desperately want to know who did what and are they going to get away with it. All the main characters were well drawn specifically Eddie and his team, and the opposing attorneys. (I'm not including Sofia and Alexandra (the two sisters) in this praise because I think they were left deliberately vague to increase the mystery.

I loved Kate the opposing attorney, in some ways I found her developing story the most interesting part. 

What I didn't like. Some of it was so contrived and obvious. It felt like the author was shouting "Look over here! Look over here! See this clue that I'm showing you." There is nothing subtle about the herrings and red herrings on display. The only thing is that you don't know if it's a bluff or double-bluff or a triple-bluff until you get to the end. Whilst you are reading you are filing this information away, aware at the same time that you could be being pointed in the wrong direction.

Also the sections where the killer is trying to cover their tracks by killing any potential witnesses got increasingly ridiculous.

I think the trouble with it being so heavy-handed rather than subtle, is that at the end there is no incentive to re-read the book to see how everything actually fitted together. So it's a book that's compulsive whilst you're reading it but at the end, that's it, it's finished. There is no longevity for the story, other than introducing new characters to the series.

So onto my criteria for whether I thought it was a good story - did it make me laugh?; did it make me cry?; did it make me think?; could I put it down?

It didn't make me laugh, it didn't make me cry.I don't feel it challenged my brain that much but it was a page-turner. There is one section where the killer is going to someone's house to kill them and you don't know whose house they are going to but it flips between potential victims and you are almost screaming at the book - "Don't answer the door!" 

Overall - it's okay and I think it's worth reading. I would be interested in reading other Eddie Flynn books based on this, but I have no need to read this one again now I know what happened.


Jenre said...

Yay, you’re back! Thanks for the review. My compulsive need to read all book series in order would mean that I’d have to start with the first book in this series. I’ve not heard of this author or his books but will look out for them when I’m next in the mood for a new mystery series.

LesleyW said...

Yes! I hope so. :) I've been trying to find you (internetwise), are you still blogging?

I wasn't going to put a big "I'm blogging again" because I've done that before and it hasn't taken off. But my children are now 5 and 7 so I am actually able to - 1) read and 2) get on the computer for more than 5 minutes at a time. (Though my daughter is actually shouting me at the moment so will have to go.)

I didn't know when I started Fifty Fifty that it was part of a series, as I also like to start at the beginning. I think this is possibly book 5. I am going to pick up the earlier books as Eddie Flynn was an interesting character.

Jenre said...

No not blogging anymore, just lurking about on various sites. Still reading lots in between a busy job. It’s good to have you back 😊.

LesleyW said...

Thank you. Next review will be up soon, takes me a little longer to read a book now. :)