To begin with, since there are quite a few reviews here complaining about the fact that this book, in the Kindle edition at least, is in fact two books packaged together, here is what it contains:
- the full length novel
, which is Michael Connelly's latest (2015) Lincoln Lawyer (Mickey Haller) novel and runs to about 400 pages in the hardcover edition
- the full length novel
The Brass Verdict
, which was originally published in 2008 and is the second Lincoln Lawyer novel. The hardcover edition of that novel was just over 600 pages in length.
In other words, you get over 1000 pages equivalent in this Kindle edition, which I think is an excellent value particularly if you haven't already read the earlier Brass Verdict.
Some purchasers have misunderstood this packaging and jumped to the conclusion that this was two short novels or something like that, but that is absolutely not the case. That impression is not helped by the way the Kindle edition tracks progress when reading, because once you complete The Crossing and begin to read The Brass Verdict, the page count stays at 394 and does not increase even as you progress through the second book. The percentage count does follow the progress correctly, though, so I don't know what the reason is for this peculiarity with how the Kindle edition of these two books has been packaged, but that is what I observed as I was reading it.
To be clear, I've read this from beginning to end and I can attest to the fact that this is two complete books, and you can go to the links above to see those separate listings here on Amazon if interested.
So, with that explanation out of the way, what about the stories here?
The Crossing finds Harry Bosch now retired and drawn somewhat against his will and better judgement into helping Mickey Haller with a defense case that Haller is working on. Bosch had vowed to never 'cross the aisle' and work on the defense side, but Haller draws his interest by pointing out that if his client is guilty then the real killer is still at large, something that attracts the detective in Bosch and causes him to take the case on.
The majority of the dialogue concerns Bosch and it's a fine example of Michael Connelly's writing, combining descriptive scenes of Bosch following leads and tracking down the killer, with Haller's cynical lawyer personality adding spice to the interplay between the two. It's a fine balance with both characters and one of the more enjoyable Connelly novels I've read.
The Brass Verdict takes us back to a much earlier point in Haller's life, with Bosch also present in the story but only to a very minimal extent. Haller has just completed a year away from practicing law, taking the time to recover from gunshot wounds and painkiller addiction. He's suddenly thrust back into the practice of law when a former colleague is murdered and Haller finds himself inheriting all of the colleagues cases, most significantly a prominent murder trial that is just about ready to begin. Unable to delay the trial, Haller is in the courtroom just a couple of weeks after taking the case on, scrambling to reconstruct the trial strategy of his now dead friend. There are some very good twists and turns throughout, as Haller is never sure what motivated the killing of his friend and whether or not he now has that same risk.
I've always enjoyed Connelly's books, and this two-for-one combo is an especially good read.