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
"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)
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.
Always moving. Always listening. Always learning. "After all this time?" "Always."
A couple of years ago, I went on a weekend long Michael Connelly Audible bender. My kids were with their Dad, and I was doing what single moms do when the kids are out of the house for a few days. No, I wasn't at Sena, the local tapas bar, drinking a cold Pinot Grigio in an oversized, delicate wine glass and eating surprisingly good ceviche on thick home made tortilla chips. I was cleaning, decluttering, and rearranging my house, accompanied by "The Lincoln Lawyer" series.
Mickey Haller's haunts are the tired courthouses of Los Angeles, with the echoes of heels in the marble tiled hallways really built for men in expensive and noiseless loafers; the soft whisper of attorneys and their clients tucked into doorways, agonizing over jury selection; and the hopeful eyes of hallways of petty criminals looking for an attorney to get them out of whatever hole they've dug. Connelly has a way of writing Los Angeles so the sad and fraught places are intimate and special.
In "The Gods of Guilt" (2013) Connelly works the same magic on people on the edges. The murder victim is a prostitute who had a chance to make it out once, but an old life cruelly clawed her back. The suspect is her technologically advanced but guilt wracked pimp, who punishes himself far more than the legal system ever could or would. Connelly's "Gods of Guilt" are nominally the jury, but perhaps they are really the voices of our conscience.
The title of this review is from an Oscar acceptance speech of Matthew McConaughey, the original silver screen "Lincoln Lawyer". Oh, I know McConaughey won for "Dallas Buyer's Club" (2013) and the term 'silver screen' is a 1940's throwback, but Connelly so reminds me of Raymond Chandler (1888 - 1959) and his cynical detective, Philip Marlowe. And Humphrey Bogart was the original Marlowe.
[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks]
I am an avid eclectic reader.
Michael Connelly is an excellent writer. He can grab your attention from the start of the book and keep it until the end. The book starts with Mickey Haller down in the dumps after losing the district attorney election. He got a drunk off a DUI charge only to have him kill a mother and daughter in an auto accident, friends of his daughter so now she will not speak to him at all. Suddenly things look up with a paying client charged with murder. As the case goes along Mickey determines the client is an innocent man and the murderer is rouge DEA agent. As team Haller sets out to solve the cases we have lots of action, courtroom drama, suspense and a bit of humor. This series keeps getting better with each book. I cannot wait for the next one to come out. Peter Giles does an excellent job narrating the book.
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.
Perhaps if it had been written by someone else I would have liked it better. While "OK," it simply did not live up to Michael Connelly. Certainly not to The Lincoln Lawyer.
The story does not have as many surprising twists and turns. And the character development is nowhere near as good.
Some of it has to do with the fact that this is part of a series--and that Connelly feels obliged to explain some of the characters' absences (Like the fact that the daughter is not talking to our hero at this stage of this life…If this were a stand-alone novel, she would not have even been mentioned. Here, her absence is a recurring theme, but the main character is not given enough depth to make his 'anguish' believable). There are also a lot of "fast forwards," where relationships have been established two seconds after you first read about the characters meeting. Obviously, as another reviewer mentioned, this is more the basis for a screenplay than a novel. As such, The Gods of Guilt will probably be more satisfying as a movie.
Once the silly "I work from the back seat of a car" gimmick wears thin, a few minutes at best, we are left we what appears to me a book written by someone other than the author of the Harry Bosch novels. The ill-timed phrasing and awkward reading of this narrator just makes things worse for me.
The story lurches from cliched event/character to another and the author's (I do not believe Connolly wrote this or perhaps Bosch is someone else's work!) inability to make it sound anything but contrived and banal is just to much for me to stomach.
Does an author's fames give him license to bore us to death. Now there's a murder mystery plot worth pursuing!
An oncologist practicing in southeastern Pennsylvania, and a husband and father of four lovely girls.
I grabbed the first Lincoln Lawyer from Audible on a $4.95 sale and immediately liked it a lot. Since then, I have worked my way through all of the Mickey Haller novels, and have been amazed at how they have continued to get better: more intriguing, better character development, more intricate storylines, and Connelly never "cheaps out" by leaving a bunch of loose ends. This one ties together in a very satisfying way, and once again, left me wanting another book to read with the same characters. Connelly is seriously blurring the line between high-quality escapist fiction and legit literature. Looking forward to the next one coming out in November 2015.
Of note: this narrator is not my favorite; he occasionally has the emphasis on the wrong word, and his middle-aged, established police officers often sound more like angry street punks, but he is not the worst by any stretch. I think he does the main character's voice very well, and does not have the annoying habit of making female voices sound like prepubescent boys.
Connelly is with out a peer when it comes to contemporary hard boiled genre writing. Man almighty this dude can write.
The story itself has some deep flaws, but they are overcome almost effortlessly. One of the big flaws here is that everything just tumbles into place for Haller. He was set up to hit a home run with the murder case he took on. No other option was in play. Connelly disguises this with quick taught writing and some back stage plot devices, but I would hope for something more.
So great writing trumps a decent plot. 5 stars. Im a pretty stodgy reviewer. And I have a callous nature when authors take short cuts. But this time, I'm looking the other way and giving a master craftsman his due. Thanks Connelly for another great story.
I usually don't want the end to come but this book had too many things going on in it so I really just wanted it to be complete.
Michael Connelly never disappoints! He keeps the reader intrigued. I love Mickey Haller's series. Can't wait for the next book!
Report Inappropriate Content