I am a blessed man!
This story revolves around Robert Tarza, a successful and truly snobby 60 year old attorney who finds himself under suspicion of murder. But unlike most central characters, you don't have to identify or even like this man to enjoy his tale. The reason is the astounding characters that surround him, his 30 year old protege and one of the most formidable defense attorneys in L.A.
Not only is he in deep trouble with the law, his case is further complicated by his own arrogant and naive insistence (and against his defense attorney's advice) on investigating his own case. Worse still, his young protege is a brilliant litigator with no criminal experience who insists on being the lead attorney of the defense team. The tensions between the equally brilliant legal minds Tarza and his team leads to a great deal of humor in an ever more mysterious murder.
The trial sequences are truly entertaining as they are suspenseful.
The narration requires the voice of a snob, an impertinent and sexy protege, a frustrated Latino defense attorney, a wise if snarky female judge in prominent roles. He delivers in spades.
Worth your time? It certainly was for me!
I purchased this book on sale and boy am I glad I did. It is read by Dennis Boutsikaris, who slipped my mind when listing my top 5 performers. I love his work because he draws you into every conversation as if you are right there.
The main reason I am thrilled to have read this book is the incredible research Patterson reveals on the Jewish/Palestinian conflict without prejudice. CNN's Jeff Greenberg interviews the author at the end where you will learn, (no spoiler here), that many of the conversations involving participants in the ageless conflict come from real people.
It is ultimately a realistic mystery that has many twists and turns.
Sometimes I find it hard not to be critical of one of my favorite authors, not because the book is disappointing, but because the expectation bar is set too high. Connelly sets the standard for police/crime procedural and it is very high.
The trial work in this book is phenomenally suspenseful. It kept me up late wondering how it would end. In court and in preparation Mickey Haller's is a gritty and smart strategist. My disappointment lies in Haller's shallow and empty personal life. There he is weak, foolish, and a boring, self absorbed whiner. The contrast is remarkable. Thank goodness I don't read these books for the character's personal lives!
I found the narration lacking emotion and borderline deadpan. However, it's important to note that it never took away from the story. I just wish Will Patton or Ray Porter would take over the narration of Connelly's work.
Sorry for the cynical review. The bottom line is that this a really terrific read. An easy 4 star winner!
Not sure why I bought this book -- in general, legal thrillers drive me nuts (do doctors read medical thrillers?) but this was an okay book. Better than okay, in fact. Thoroughly enjoyable.
I think part of the difference was Lescroat's choice of protagonists. Gina Roake, a lady lawyer who'd taken a professional bashing, been out of the game for a time, comes to this case just to help out a friend with what everyone expected would be a simple appearance. Then it rather quickly turns into a murder trial, something she's never done before, ever. What was charming (no other word will quite do) was the lack of arrogance involved here. Roake makes mistakes -- big ones, we see it, she sees it, but instead of covering it up with bluster and blaming everyone else, she admits it. Wow! How uncommon is that? HA -- but there was a kind of touching integrity to her character, something not seen often at all in the halls of justice, either in fiction or real life.
Without issuing a spoiler, Lescroat also targets an very unusual person as the villain -- or one of them, anyway. Political correctness usually shields some people from being portrayed as nasty or criminally inclined, but not Lescroat. That, too, was refreshing.
Okay, so I'm not likely to turn into a fanatic fan of legal thrillers, but this was a very good book -- I'll look for more of Lescroat books, I can say that.