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The Gods of Guilt | [Michael Connelly]

The Gods of Guilt

Mickey Haller gets the text, "Call me ASAP - 187," and the California penal code for murder immediately gets his attention. Murder cases have the highest stakes and the biggest paydays, and they always mean Haller has to be at the top of his game. When Mickey learns that the victim was his own former client, a prostitute he thought he had rescued and put on the straight and narrow path, he knows he is on the hook for this one. He soon finds out that she was back in LA and back in the life.
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Publisher's Summary

Defense attorney Mickey Haller returns with a haunting case in the gripping new thriller from number-one New York Times best-selling author Michael Connelly.

Mickey Haller gets the text, "Call me ASAP - 187," and the California penal code for murder immediately gets his attention. Murder cases have the highest stakes and the biggest paydays, and they always mean Haller has to be at the top of his game.

When Mickey learns that the victim was his own former client, a prostitute he thought he had rescued and put on the straight and narrow path, he knows he is on the hook for this one. He soon finds out that she was back in LA and back in the life. Far from saving her, Mickey may have been the one who put her in danger.

Haunted by the ghosts of his past, Mickey must work tirelessly and bring all his skill to bear on a case that could mean his ultimate redemption or proof of his ultimate guilt. The Gods of Guilt shows once again why "Michael Connelly excels, easily surpassing John Grisham in the building of courtroom suspense" (Los Angeles Times).

©2013 Michael Connelly (P)2013 Hachette Audio

What the Critics Say

"The combination of this fast-paced courtroom drama and Giles's steady and consistent narration makes for an engrossing listening experience…Giles's rich portrayals help listeners differentiate the multiple characters as Haller becomes convinced that his client is not only innocent but also the victim of an elaborate setup involving local police and DEA agents." (AudioFile)

"Connelly knows when to put his foot on the gas and when to take it off. Once he has you on board, turning the pages, you won't want to climb off." (Boston Globe)

"Haller is the kind of slick, cynical showman who can't resist making high drama out of every legal procedure....There's always something deadly serious behind Connelly's entertaining courtroom high jinks" (New York Times Book Review)

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  •  
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 12-08-13
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 12-08-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Definitely entertaining. I had some smiles."

    Boy can this author write. I can’t believe after doing so many books, he still comes up with such a good story, and well done, and entertaining. He does NOT use artificial devices to create mystery and suspense. He does NOT use flashbacks, jumping around in time, stopping scenes in the middle to create temporary cliffhangers. There’s no stupidity or characters doing things out of character to create conflict. It’s just a good story, in chronological order, good characters, good dialogue, and I loved the COMPLETE ENDING. It wrapped up well, questions were answered. I had a smile on my face all during the last chapter. Yes that means it was a happy ending. YAY!

    I mention things he does NOT do because I am tired of other authors using those gimmicks. And in my opinion the best writing does not use them. And Connelly should be a role model for any suspense author (including romantic suspense which I love but frequently is not well done).

    Some fun things in this story: I was intrigued with a scene where two characters were making their way into an unspoken agreement, acting it out on the fly, in front of others, without letting others know what they were doing, and also unsure of it themselves. I chuckled at Mickey’s comments about his clip on ties. I liked this neat character Legal Segal.

    I normally do not like first person stories. But Connelly’s I do.

    One minor complaint. Someone hired or forced Sewel to stab someone. I wanted to know more about that, who and how.

    The narrator Peter Giles was very good.

    Genre: legal suspense

    27 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 07-26-14
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 07-26-14 Member Since 2010

    Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.

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    "Luxury Vehicle… Does It All"

    Michael Connelly's Lincoln Lawyer, Mickey Haller is perfectly crafted to fit my tastes. What it's not? Well, great literature. What it is? Well, great fun! Connelly writes this stuff for a living. He's like a successful architect who makes a bazillion bucks by satisfying clients.

    Haller satisfies me this time by working his way through a decently challenging puzzle together with a cast that fills in all the holes… both entertainment and plot holes. From the opening grabber to the no-loose-ends wrap up… I want to know how this accused digital pimp'll get out from under the ton of evidence Connelly pours over his plight.

    And Peter Giles directs this cast that he creates for us in perfect synch with Connelly's craftsmanship.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Russell Keswick, ON, Canada 01-10-14
    Russell Keswick, ON, Canada 01-10-14 Member Since 2005
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    "Connelly Connects Again"

    Michael Connelly has always been dependable in delivering a top notch Harry Bosh or Mickey Haller story. His detective and lawyer yarns have been so good, I never bothered to write a review in this forum. Most everybody loves chocolate, so why rave and try and convince more people to partake in this pleasure.

    I've noticed a number of reviewers indicating that this book about the lawyer is not up to the standards of one or more previous books. My only question for them is - did they really read the same book that I did!

    I was fascinated by the intricacies of the trial, I got choked up near the end of the book (good thing I was alone in my car at the time and nobody saw that), and was blindsided by how a major witness ended up testifying. This was very entertaining from start to finish.

    The neat thing about a Mickey Haller book is you never know if his client is really guilty or innocent until you are well into the story. Mr. Connelly is willing to expose that person you have been rooting for as a villain. This author is also willing to show our hero lawyer as not so praiseworthy in defending and freeing obviously guilty criminals.

    You will have to read "The Gods of Guilt" to find out if he pulls any of those stunts in his latest book. I'm sure the majority of you will be glad you did.

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elkay Annapolis, MD 12-11-13
    Elkay Annapolis, MD 12-11-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Surprisingly "Meh.""

    I love Michael Connelly, have read everything he's written, and, for the most part, enjoyed it. "The Gods of Guilt" was a real disappointment.

    The story is complex and, if this were up to the standard of Connelly's previous work, I think it would be satisfying - but the detail, the characters, the driving suspense that I expected were all absent here. This came off as a straight-to-screenplay outline for the next "Lincoln Lawyer" movie, which, extrapolating from the afterword, is exactly what it is.

    Still, it's a Connelly novel and wasn't awful. Peter Giles is a solid narrator, if not terribly nuanced. If you like Connelly and have enjoyed prior installments in this series, it might be worth a credit.

    12 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 12-10-13
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 12-10-13 Member Since 2005

    I am a blessed man!

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    "Not quite The Lincoln Lawyer, but still great!"

    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!

    10 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Regina Seattle, WA, United States 98109 12-05-13
    Regina Seattle, WA, United States 98109 12-05-13 Member Since 2007
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    "No Gods Here"

    Had "Gods of Guilt" been written by a lesser talent, it would be five stars all the way. But considering the source, it's a bit of a disappointment although well worth the credit.

    Connelly debuted Mickey Haller as the star of "The Lincoln Lawyer," one of my favorite books in any genre. It's smoking good on every level. I listened to it twice, read it and watched the movie. Never a let down.

    Since then, Haller has not been living up to his potential. If he were a property, he'd have moved from an ocean view to a tract home in the valley. Connelly's not giving him the wide view such a magnificent character deserves. In the first book, Haller lived in his head, and it was big lens. Since then, he's going through the motions. Where's the fabulous trickster sensibility? Greatly diminished.

    "Gods of Guilt" (pretentious title for the jury) starts slow and gains speed. By the half-way point, I was engrossed without ever being in love.

    Another thing. Without giving away anything about plots featuring Haller, it's safe to say this criminal defense attorney would be a wash-out at the personal injury bar. In "Lincoln Lawyer," he doesn't even consider the possibility of a big payday from a tort against himself. And the injury comes from a fabulously wealthy and totally guilty family.

    This time out, Haller congratulates himself for getting a little money for a grievously injured client. Mickey: You got pocket change. Your client almost died in the hands of criminals, and you're boasting about what you got him? If those dollars were 1950 dollars, maybe. In the 21st century, for a guy who's supposed to be good at the bottom line, you're verging on malpractice.

    Michael Connelly should consult with a few plaintiff lawyers before his character blows any more chances to get the money. John Grisham never makes these kind of mistakes, but then, he is a lawyer. For my money, Connelly is the better writer.

    Bravo for narrator Peter Giles. Flawless.

    14 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joann Red Wing, MN, United States 05-05-14
    Joann Red Wing, MN, United States 05-05-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Good Reader/Good Story"

    Good story line with plenty of twists to keep you interested. The reader could be understood. He had a pleasant voice and did a good job with all the different characters. Recommend to anyone looking for a good mystery.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathi Sterling, VA, United States 01-27-14
    Kathi Sterling, VA, United States 01-27-14 Member Since 2010

    Love books! Classics and lighter fiction, mysteries (not too violent please :-). And selective non-fiction--whatever takes my fancy.

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    "Mickey Haller on the job again!"

    In this sequel to Lincoln Lawyer, Connelly has done it again. Keeping the usual cast of characters, he is still working out of his Lincoln, this time representing a man he feels sure is not only innocent, but discovers the murdered woman is a client he has represented as well in the past, which leads to having to go back to that case to help solve the present one.

    The story flows well, never slow. But if I did have just the smallest of criticisms (and this is very small--but was slightly annoying) for some reason, Connelly used an unusual number of phrases (such as calling a courtroom strategy a "depth charge") over and over--causing them to lose their "punch" a bit. However, that does not detract from a great story--hard to stop listening to it (in fact, stayed up into wee hours of morning to finish it.

    Unfortunately, I think Adam Grupper (who narrated "Lincoln Lawyer") did a far better job than Peter Giles--who seems a so-so reader. Not bad, but lacked a little something.

    This is still a really good book, and I do truly recommend it--if you like Michael Connelly's works, you will enjoy this one.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. Giorgio Illinois 12-30-13
    P. Giorgio Illinois 12-30-13 Member Since 2001

    TheWriter

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    "Adequate entry into the series."

    I think it is about average for the series. There is much repetition, seemingly filler. There is no real "suspense" to speak of, no twists or turns. These books are getting too soft, too nicey-nicey and not enough bad behavior. Mikey Haller is despicable, he lies, cheats and pretty much bends the law to his needs, which is not only not appealing, but a little ridiculous. Connelley gives the judges much better standards of behavior, *always* belittles the prosecutors and generally makes the women characters very likeable. I think he is being a little too PC, it feels contrived. His client is claiming innocence of the murder, which is Mickey's case in this book, but the client is not someone I would root for--not because he is into bad stuff but because he's a wuss and I couldn't have cared less if he died in jail. Of all the characters, I think I liked Sly Sr. the most. He was the most authentic, but even he caved to Mickey's brilliant wheeling and dealing.

    The plot to this one took some brain mapping. I don't know why, but I had a difficult time believing the tie-in between the (at least) three separate crimes.

    Like I said, no surprises, no tears of sadness or joy, no real threats to anyone -- twice Mickey ignores the judge's admonition to quit running her courtroom and doesn't get in trouble. Mickey spends a good deal of time pinpointing his main juror, but it didn't matter anyway... why plant that seed? Bad use of red herring.

    Anyway, I'm a fan of the series and of Connelley's past performances, so I am an eternal optimist. Maybe in the next installment he should kill off Mickey, so we don't expect more of a good thing that apparently is not forthcoming?

    I have run into this syndrome in the past, favored authors' series and characters growing stale. It could be a matter of boredom by the author who may have publishing contracts to fulfill. Lee Child may be approaching this milestone, Jonathan Kellerman has gotten close too. Even Preston & Child's Pendergast series is getting a little predictable -- except that they have strong stories and AXP Pendergast is generally very much alive on the page and remains as likeable as a rock star.

    It's kind of like knowing when to leave the party. I think it's time for Mickey Haller to pack up his boring self, his bad fathering, his womanizing, his self-pity and his tricky courtroom hijinks and drink himself to death.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronna United States 12-27-13
    Ronna United States 12-27-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Great courtroom scenes!"

    I love the Mickey Haller mysteries, but this one seemed a little bit like lazy writing to me. Though I did enjoy this book, I think much of my enjoyment was based on memories of earlier books, plus the expert trail scenes. Connelly definitely is an expert on handling the inner workings of the courtroom, and the thought processes of the lawyers actions and motivations in handling clients and witnesses.

    It's hard to state my problems with this book without giving away parts of he story. I disliked Connelly's choice to write out one of his characters. I also felt he missed out on the emotions and connections to his family as he handled them in this book.

    Essentially, a past case has come back to haunt him as he is called upon to defend an accused murderer of one of his old prostitute clients. Haller focuses much of his thoughts and actions on his affect on the jury--the Gods go Guilt--as twelve inexpert people decide each defendant's fate in every trail. Having said all this, I will definitely be amongst the first fans to read the next Mickey Haller book!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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