The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly

the-lincoln-lawyerI don’t latch on to traditions very well. I’m pretty comfortable doing something different every year for holidays. However, when it comes to reading about certain characters I fight the change. If I like a character and the author changes viewpoints I hate it. If an author writes a book about a different character I will studiously ignore its existence.

This is why, even though I have read Tolkien’s grand masterpiece over and over, I have never read the Silmarillion.

However, sometimes circumstances force my hand.

I tried to check out a Michael Connelly book from the library to listen to while I was doing a lot of driving. The only ones available were ones I had read before and The Lincoln Lawyer. The Lincoln Lawyer is not about Harry Bosch. I wasn’t interested.

But it was that or nothing (or something else but I really wanted a good thriller to keep me awake).

It’s really not surprising that twenty minutes in I was hooked on Mickey Haller as a character and fully invested in the story of his job as a defense attorney working in Los Angeles. Michael Connelly is that kind of writer. His characters are instantly understandable and real. His story unfolds quickly and what looks like a mystery turns into a psychological thriller with chunks of courtroom drama thrown in for good measure.

Mickey Haller is a defense attorney who works out of the back of his Lincoln Continental in order to save money on office space. He’s a savvy and intelligent defense lawyer and, as such, is not liked by the police or prosecutors. He lives with that.

Then he gets a case that he thinks is a great opportunity to net him a huge fee but it all turns sideways on him and he starts to realize some of his own blind spots and mistakes that he’s made over the years.

Things come back to haunt him and his case turns out much more complicated than he expected. What follows is a desperate ploy as he tries to expose a murderer, clear an innocent already convicted, and do it without violating his confidentiality laws.

It’s a Michael Connelly book so it’s intense and exciting and filled with flawed characters who want the right things. It’s also full of intense and scary moments when Haller starts to figure out just how deeply he’s gotten into a moral hole.

The tropes and formulae that Connelly employs are clever because they don’t feel like repetition. They are story elements, rather than story pieces. They are types rather than descriptions.

I didn’t want to but, at the end of the book, I knew I was going to look for more Mickey Haller books. This is Michael Connelly in top form.


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