Review of “The Brass Verdict” by Michael Connelly

This was my first book by Michael Connelly, whose suspense series involving Michael “Mickey” Haller concerns a defense attorney (Haller) who operates out of the back of his Lincoln (thus calling himself a “Lincoln Lawyer”).

I liked the quirkiness of Haller. After a gunshot wound he became addicted to oxycontin, and now has completed a stint in rehab, but he still struggles with temptation. His primary employees are his second-ex-wife and the ex-wife’s boyfriend. He also has a first ex-wife, with whom he has an eleven-year-old daughter. His daughter asks him uncomfortable questions about defending the guilty, causing him career-doubting angst. He knows that he does indeed occasionally enable the guilty to go free, but sometimes “street justice” then follows – known by police as “the brass verdict.” But that doesn’t help his conscience.

In this “episode” of the series, Haller inherits some cases belonging to a lawyer that was murdered. One of them is a very high profile case involving a movie industry mogul who allegedly shot his wife and her lover. Haller joins forces with a policeman improbably named Hieronymus Bosch to solve the crime. Haller knows what he is up against:

“Everybody lies.

Cops lie. Lawyers lie. Witnesses lie. The victims lie.

A trial is a contest of lies. And everybody in the courtroom knows this. The judge knows this. Even the jury knows this. They come into the building knowing they will be lied to. They take their seats in the box and agree to be lied to.

The trick if you are sitting at the defense table is to be patient.”

I pretty much figured out who the bad person was immediately, but that didn’t hamper my enjoyment of the book too much. I like suspense, but I also value details of legal practice and litigation proceedings, so I could derive pleasure out of the latter if not the former.

Evaluation: If you like legal murder mysteries, Connelly is not a bad choice. I would read another if I happened upon it, but would probably not go out of my way to do so.

Rating: 3.5/5

Published by Little, Brown & Company, 2008

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12 Responses to Review of “The Brass Verdict” by Michael Connelly

  1. I don’t read too many books like this, but he sounds like an interesting character. I’ll keep this in mind.

  2. zibilee says:

    I have never read anything by Connelly, but have a few friend who just eat his books up. This review makes me think that Connelly is like a more debauched version of John Grisham. This book might make a good Christmas gift for a certain reader I know, so thanks for sharing this review!

  3. carleen says:

    You won a signed copy of CHILDREN OF THE WATERS. Please send me a snail mail address. carleenbrice AT gmail DOT com. Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for stopping at my blog!

  4. Sandy says:

    I’ve been a fan of Harry Bosch, but have yet to read anything involving Haller. But Connelly has good a job with Harry so I trust his character development. Unfortunately, I recently read Nine Dragons and was disappointed with the result. I don’t know if Connelly was just off his game temporarily, he is getting burned out, or what. It really read like 99% of the airplane novels out there. Bah.

  5. Margot says:

    I read my first Michael Connelly book a year ago and I’ve read several since. I just find them fun to read. I like both the Mickey Haller and Harry Bosch characters a lot so I know I’ll like Brass Verdict with both of them in this book.

    I actually like Mickey Haller’s cynicism as shown in the quote in your post. I’m sure that’s the way Mickey Haller sees the trial process along with lots of other defense attorneys. It’s not how I see the process but it’s fun to live in his head for a few hours,

    By the way, Lincoln Lawyer has been made into a movie, coming out next Spring, I think. Mickey Haller is played by Michael McCaunahy. (Not sure I spelled his name right but he’s the guy that played in How To Lose a Guy In 10 Days.) I can see him as that character.

  6. Julie P. says:

    I love his books. Have you tried THE LINCOLN LAWYER?

  7. bermudaonion says:

    I really like Connelly’s work and do think they’re more about the journey than the mystery.

  8. Staci says:

    I used to read a lot of legal thrillers, mainly Grisham, but I’m a bit burned out him. So I may have to try this author sometime.

  9. i like a solid series book–this sounds good for my commute on audio. i’ve run through so many and need some fresh blood. 🙂

  10. Stephanie says:

    I love Michael Connelly’s mysteries, and I remember enjoying this one, though it wasn’t one of my favorites.

  11. Tina says:

    This was my first Michael Connelly also, and I really enjoyed it. I’ve gone on to read a couple others and they are just as good. So glad you enjoyed it.

  12. WildWave says:

    Loved this one though I thought ending was little too emotional. Not sure why author had to make the lawyer and investigator half brothers. Concept of inhering cases was pretty nice..I dont know how come I had never heard of this write. Came to know abt him through my library.

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