Book review: Steve Cavanagh twists tired tropes into a thriller with a vengeance

Master of misdirection borrows the central premise from Strangers on a Train, and ratchets up the tension in his hard-boiled, wise-ass, nail-biting novel

Author Steve Cavanagh: Forever toying with his readers’ emotions, stretching their capacity for suspending disbelief

Early in Steve Cavanagh’s new standalone thriller, a woman surreptitiously enters a forbidden room. Once inside, she discovers “a corkboard above the desk with documents and sticky notes nailed to it with dozens of little red pins”.

This image is a staple of TV crime drama, of course, but as Cavanagh’s story progresses the conviction grows that his writing room must be similarly accoutred. Otherwise, how could he keep track of a plot that features ...