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:
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.
Published by Little, Brown & Company, 2008