Page Count 368
Publication date July 2020/ Publisher Orion
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
Whilst I do own previous Cavanagh novels this was the first I’ve read. That fantastic synopsis drew me instantly. I love a good mystery and its been too long since I read a criminal trial story.
Fifty Fifty is told in a mixture of first and third person from the point of view of opposing defense lawyers Eddie and Kate as well as the mysterious ‘She’.
She only refers to her sibling as ‘Sister’, never by name so we have no idea whether we are reading about Sofia or Alexandra. Very clever move Cavanagh.
There are several hints dropped as to who ‘She’ might be but I assumed red herrings abound and mistrusted every clue given.
Cavanagh puts the reader in a really tricky position. Not only did I have no idea which sister was guilty, I couldn’t decide which sister I wanted to be guilty. This wasn’t because I warmed to either Alexandra or Sofia, but because their defence teams were such pure kindhearted characters that I didn’t want either side to be wrong!
Each lawyer has an endearing friendship with their assistant, Eddie with Harry the ex judge, and Kate with Bloch the investigator. Adding Clarence the stray dog was icing on a three tier cake.
It was puzzling to be reading a court case involving such a brutal murder yet finding myself against the prosecutor.
In fact my favourite moment of the novel involves a dog and egg on the face of DA Dreyer- you’ll know it when you get to it. I laughed out loud.
Fifty Fifty has everything this reader wanted; A solid whodunit with friendship, loyalty and an unhealthy dose of murderous violence tied up in an intelligent battle of the court.