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Russell J. Sanders
5.0 out of 5 starsBrilliant writing!
Reviewed in the United States on December 17, 2017
There is not much praise I can give Michael Connelly that has not already been heaped upon him by his readers and by critics. His crime writing is absolute genius. His series featuring Detective Harry Bosch is one of my favorite crime novel series. While I prefer Bosch to Mickey Haller, the Lincoln Lawyer, the other main character of several Connelly novels, including the one I review here The Gods of Guilt, I find that Haller is almost as fascinating as Bosch. I think my prejudice for Bosch lies in the fact that he is solving a crime while Haller is presenting a defense—and yes, solving the crime in the process, but somehow the courtroom setting is not quite as appealing to me as all of LA, which the Bosch novels use. That being said, Connelly is a legal scholar. In this novel, his character Haller presents his case in a detailed propulsion of evidence until there is no doubt what the legal outcome will be. And yet, the final scene is a stunner. This is what great writing is about, and Connelly is a great writer. Telling the tale of a high-tech pimp accused of murdering one of his prostitute clients, we grow to love both of them, for we know, as is necessary in a novel like this (so I offer no spoilers) that the pimp is innocent. And we know that Haller will present an explosive defense, even as we know he may bend the law a bit to get the job done. Supporting him are some colorful characters indeed: his biker investigator, his ex-wife secretary, his mentor in the nursing home, his sometimes-con driver Earl, and the brilliant young lawyer Haller has hired to assist him in his firm, a firm that is run out of a Lincoln town car, hence the moniker Lincoln Lawyer. And Connelly doesn’t shy away from several mentions that Haller had been portrayed in a movie—said movie being The Lincoln Lawyer starring Matthew McConaughey as Haller. Being not only a writer, but a prominent source of a Bosch TV series and a couple or more movies based on his books, Connelly embraces that with gusto, endearing his readers for he seems to be saying, “See. I know you saw the movie, so I’ll just use it in the plot.” What fun!
The Gods of guilt are us. We, who have a conscience, a sense of morality, a sense of humanity, and everything that makes us compassionate. Mickey lost his election bid for DA and this is months later. He has become estranged from his 15 year old daughter. She still sees life in black and white, right or wrong, nothing in between. To make matters worse between them, Mickey is called on to defend a digital pimp who is accused of killing one of his girls. He had defended that same girl several years ago and she had a special place in his heart. He had helped her out of the life, or did he? Clearing this client might clear up several crimes from years before and he has his usual antagonists who don't want to stir the pot. He is accused of muddying the water by bringing in evidence and witnesses from seemingly unrelated cases. However, the judge gives him the leeway he needs and things get done, but not before there is collateral damage. I like the method of story telling that leads me to believe that trials are actually conducted in the manner this books talks about. Defense attorneys are the scum of the earth, but, like vultures, they do have their place in society...making sure that their clients are represented and treated fairly in all things related to law.
This was another good solid offering from a highly reliable author. It’s about 50% preparation for trial and then the balance is the trial itself. From the mid-mark to the finish, the book accelerates well. Most importantly, the book unfolds well leaving only a rather startling thread dangling since it deals with the murder of a speaking character. For no obvious reason, this character is mourned heavily but then completely forgotten with his killing left unaddressed and he dismissed.
There’s an error in the law that seemed to be shaping up to play a significant role but then it too was pushed aside so the error never bore on the trial or its outcome. A good deal of the book referred to a previous or maybe several previous books. The narrator/protagonist moans and groans a good deal about things that this reader thinks he understood from inference but they did both annoy and act as spoilers for those older books. I suspect someone who read the previous books a bit ago would find these references to be refreshers but to me they only made me feel as if I were left out of the chat.
Overall a good outing by this author as expected. I’d have liked that loose end tied up, the legal error edited out and whining references to past events excised but I still enjoyed this one as I have others from the author.
It can have more than one meaning when it comes to this story. The guilt that's been placed on Mickey's client; the guilty actions the antagonists take to cover their tracks; or defense attorney Mickey Haller, who lost more than he's run for the DA's office after a former client gets in an accident. The public and his daughter vilified him. Eventually he comes across a client whose been arrested for murder and he wants Mickey representing him. The victim turned out to be Gloria Dayton, a prostitute Mickey had believed had gotten out of the life. He had represented her on multiple occasions in the past. Her suspected murderer is her pimp whom Mickey believes to be innocent and will do everything in his power to defend.
Out of all of The Lincoln Lawyer novels, believe this one to be the best so far. The title has an interesting meaning that I will let the reader enjoy on their own. This is Mickey Hall at his all time low. He's alienated his daughter, the public didn't want him for their district attorney and when things just might be getting better for Mr. Lucky, he will lose another soul he cares about.
An entertaining but not very surprising courtroom thriller from the reliable pen of Michael Connolly. The Lincoln Lawyer packed a wallop - built a world and provided a wonderfully flawed hero in Bosch's half brother, Mickey Haller. I skipped to novel 5, but a lot of the magic of the first Haller has worn thin.
It draws on some of the characters of the first novel to set up this wrongful murder story. This is an asset and a liability. Like with LL, the female characters are poorly drawn Mary Sues that Haller overly praises for doing their jobs (Aronson). The mystery itself is OK, but you know what's coming. There are a couple of surprises that don't really succeed.
That said, its never dull and Connolly obviously relishes the Haller character, so it's worth a read. Just don't expect greatness.
4.0 out of 5 starsGood thriller, not as good as Bosch
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 18, 2019
I loved reading through Connelly’s Bosch series and when they ran out, having been introduced to Mickey Haller in some of the novels as well as the Lincoln Lawyer film, I figured why not try these? Well, as I was coming to the end of the Connelly portfolio, I kinda felt that the Haller series didn’t feel as good as Bosch. A bit less fluid, and not quite as entertaining, but a decent read nevertheless and I’d probably still be reading them if there were more. On to Lee Childs’ Jack Reacher now.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 10, 2020
Having sadly seen Harry Bosch come to the end of his career I started on the Mickey Haller series. Although not as interesting a character as Bosch he is still worth a read. Connelly is an excellent writer and is well versed in taking the reader into the labyrinth of Los Angeles and pulling the plot along with taut dialogue. The first half is a bit slow but it builds up in the second half with the courtroom drama. Yes sometimes it’s a bit far fetched and there are some convenient/hard to believe coincidences.....but it still rattles along. Not up to his best standard but enough to keep me wanting more....
Easy to read, easy to enjoy. Pushes the boundaries of plausibility but that's exactly what a story like this should do. Definitely worth a read even if you know pretty much how it will end from early on in the book. It still will keep you wanting to carry on turning the pages. Connelly is great at filling the book with details that don't matter to the plot but also keeping you interested because it is so easy to enjoy and follow.
4.0 out of 5 starsThe Lincoln Lawyer defends a man who allegedly killed a former client of Haller's.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 8, 2020
I, too, like other reviewers here, prefer the Harry Bosch stories, but although this book had a somewhat slow start, it picked up mid-way and I enjoyed the court scenes. I also like the team Haller has, particularly the new young female lawyer. There were one or two shocks along the way but Mickey won the day so I went to sleep happy!