Book Reviews

100% YES: Fifty-Fifty by Steve Cavanaugh @SSCav @orion_crime @orionbooks #blogTour #5stars

In June, I reviewed Fifty-Fifty. I was aware the publication date had been postponed but I couldn’t fight it, I had to let you all know just how amazing it had been to read it.

A few weeks ago, I was offered to take part in the blog tour. Now, you might be aware that I do not reread. But something stirred in me. I happily took the chance and decided to dive again into the book to see if my mind would change.

So, did it? Let’s find out.

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.

If the first, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough, this second time, I savored each sentence. I let the words take me on a brain marathon, a manipulation carousel, and boy, the magic was the same! I knew the ending, but the tension was just as palpable. This reread gave me the opportunity to really enjoy the puzzle created by Steve Cavanaugh. I mean… Two sisters? You’re bound to make a choice. Will it be the right choice? Did I want to be right? What had made me doubt so much? This thriller is layered with awesomeness and hints that points in both directions. I felt unsnared, happy to consume and be consumed by this legal thriller. No one writes the genre like Mister Cavanaugh. Chapeau again, Monsieur!


Rating: 5 out of 5.


Pre-order! Release date is Sept 3rd!

Follow the tour!

about the author

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.

Almost a year ago, still not over meeting Steve!

13 thoughts on “100% YES: Fifty-Fifty by Steve Cavanaugh @SSCav @orion_crime @orionbooks #blogTour #5stars”

  1. Amazing review, Meggy! I love this series and am so excited to read this book. I loved the hot day & ice cream analogy and feel that exact satisfaction when reading a Steve Cavanagh book!


  2. I love to read the reviews you write of books I’ve read. I can see underneath your words to the spoiler plot that I already know. It’s brilliant.
    This author is so amazing. I am so glad I found his books. I’m already looking forward to his next. Fifty Fifty is a fabulous thriller of a read.
    Amanda xx


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