The Lincoln Lawyer is back! No worries, Harry Bosch makes a few appearances as well, but this is Mickey Haller’s story. And it is personal.
Haller is pulled over by a cop for a missing rear license plate. When the cop approaches, he sees what looks like blood dripping from the trunk of the car. He puts Haller in the back of his squad car and opens the trunk to find a dead man dripping blood from gunshot wounds.
Haller is arrested and bail set for $5 million so he remains in prison, separated from the other prisoners. He decides to defend himself and his partner, ex-wives/girlfriend, private investigator Cisco, and Harry Bosch step up to help. His daughter, Maddie, is also around. Now a law student, she takes some time off to learn from her dad, and of course to support him.
Haller knows he’s been framed but the evidence is all pointing his way and he has no idea who would have done it. Luckily, he is shrewd and smart and fighting for his life, with a team equally committed to securing his freedom. He wants the “NG”, not guilty verdict but more than that, he wants to be proved innocent. Interestingly, there is no law of innocence, but Haller knows finding the actual murderer will go a long way towards proving his innocence.
The ins and outs of a murder case are illustrated in the most interesting way as we are invested in Haller’s innocence. He has a formidable opponent in the D.A. but feels a kinship for the judge, a former defense attorney. Lots of legal action here and with the twists and turns of the case, the pages fly by.
This was a one night read for me as I couldn’t stop turning the pages. Connelly keeps getting better, and I didn’t really think that was possible. If you haven’t read him, you can easily start here. Don’t miss it.
NOTE: This is the first book I’ve read that has touched on the pandemic. It is set in the fall of 2019 through the end of February 2020, just as we were starting to understand that the coronavirus was going to be a major problem. I wouldn’t call it a plotline, but rather it lurks insidiously in the background, just as it did while we were living it. I’m mentioning it because I believe it means Connelly went back to his manuscript to update it. Most books are turned in about a year prior to publication, which would put the finished manuscript submitted to the publisher in late 2019. Kudos to Connelly and Little, Brown for being flexible enough to make these changes. I really think it added to the tension, probably more for the reader than the characters. It was incredibly well done.
11/2020 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
From Paul Lane:
This novel featuring “Lincoln Lawyer” Mickey Haller is the prolific Michael Connelly’s 31st published book. Similarly, to his previous works, it incorporates his gifted sense of plot, and his ability to frame events in a manner that keeps his readers glued to the pages unable to put the book down until finished.
Mickey has just successfully concluded a trial and has joined his staff and friends in a celebration of the win at a local club. He pays the tab and leaves by himself to drive home. On the trip home (in one of his three Lincolns of course) he is stopped by a police officer who checks his documents and then gets him to open the trunk of the car. In a totally unexpected occurrence, a body is found in the trunk; a man that has been shot to death. The police begin an investigation and proceed in charging Mickey with murder.
The main part of the novel is devoted to the trial and Mickey’s defense. For a good part of the time, he is incarcerated when he is not in court and has to work with his associates with the disadvantage of not being able to meet during the evening or weekends.
The machinations of the prosecution working to convict Mickey are well documented as are the defense rebuttals and strategy. Connelly brings out the psychology of a trial, the attempts to color any evidence based on who is presenting it, and on the other side who is in opposition to it. Mickey has elected to use his right to demand a speedy trial. He knows that he not only must convince a jury to exonerate him but even more important has to get a clear not-guilty verdict to forever remove any cloud accruing to him and clear his reputation as a defense attorney in order to continue trying cases.
As in any real-life situation, the court action is always accompanied by personal events occurring outside of the trial. In Mickey’s case his daughter, a law student, comes to court to cheer her father on. His partner in his law firm experiences her father passing away and must leave to attend his funeral. One of his two ex-wives arrives to help out in the trial by taking over for his partner and Mickey finds that he still is in love with her.
Engrossing, yes, an all-nighter, of course. The only question is how soon can we have the pleasure of getting Connelly’s next book.
THE LAW OF INNOCENCE by Michael Connelly. Little, Brown and Company (November 10, 2020). ISBN 978-0316485623. 432 pages.
I don’t think you can write a novel that takes place during this time without mentioning Covid-19. Sure, lots of novels have no date attached to them, but I have an idea for a novel which I have completely changed to put in 2020 in the middle of the pandemic. But it’s not ALL about the pandemic.