Fifty-Fifty (Review) // Steve Cavanagh has well and truly done it again

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

Alexandra Avellino has just found her father’s mutilated body, and needs the police right away. She believes her sister killed him, and that she is still in the house with a knife.

Sofia Avellino has just found her father’s mutilated body and needs the police right away. She believes her sister, Alexandra did it, and that she is still in the house, locked in the bathroom.

Both women are to go on trial at the same time. A joint trial in front of one jury.

But one of these women is lying. One of them is a murderer. Sitting in a jail cell, about to go on trial with her sister for murder, you might think that this is the last place she expected to be.

You’d be wrong.

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On the night former New York mayor Frank Avellino is murdered, two 911 calls are made from the house. His daughters, Sofia and Alexandra, are the callers; each accuses the other of murdering their father. The evidence is inconclusive and points to both girls, the situation made more complex by way of a joint trial. But only one is innocent; will the killer be convicted or set free?

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, Steve Cavanagh’s books have the best concepts ever. And not only that, the execution is flawless. My highlight is a particular scene from the killer’s perspective where she’ going after someone and we don’t know who, but the perspective shifts blur the whole thing and make the reveal a complete shock. The clues strewn throughout leave room for ambiguity and debate about which sister is the killer.

Without giving too much away, we said goodbye to one of my favourites in this book, which is really sad, but we welcome two new amazing characters; Kate Brooks and her best friend, former police officer turned private investigator Melissa Bloch. And a new canine addition to the family! Eddie was Eddie, amazing and clever all the way. Characterisation wise Theodore Levy wins, I love that he’s constantly pulling up his pants.

The entire time it felt like I was on a seesaw, unable to decide who the killer was. And yes, one of them is the killer, no loopholes are used. Constantly swinging back and forth; Sofia, Alexandra, Sofia, Alexandra… The two are polar opposites in many ways and that’s part of why it was so hard to call, the true nature hidden until the end. Once again Steve Cavanagh writes chapters from the killer’s perspective as I briefly touched on earlier, which makes the book that much more exciting and complex.

Fifty-Fifty is a brilliantly woven tale exploring two multifaceted characters who have had a messy childhood that’s defined them in wholly different ways. It has the signature Eddie Flynn class that comes with a well-developed main character, and enough support from other fabulous characters. Fifty-Fifty isn’t a novel you want to miss; if in doubt, go read all of Steve Cavanagh’s other books.

~I received a copy from Hachette NZ and willingly reviewed it~

What’s a mystery/thriller that had you guessing left and right?


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