Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Brass Verdict, by Michael Connelly

The "Lincoln Lawyer" returns. After a year's hiatus, during which time defense attorney Mickey Haller goes through rehab and stays straight, Haller is abruptly thrown back into the world of law when a fellow attorney is murdered. Haller takes over most of the cases, including the "franchise": a prominent film producer accused of murdering his wife and her lover.

In addition to having to get up to speed quickly, to sort out what is going on in each of the cases, Haller is concerned that his own life may be threatened. In part for this reason and in part because the murdered attorney had been his friend, Haller begrudgingly lets LAPD detective Harry Bosch in. Haller wants the murderer caught as much as Bosch does, but is limited by law in what he can do to help Bosch. Their alliance is an uneasy one but one that seems to develop into almost a mutual respect.

As is the case with other Connelly novels, this one is replete with the details, is exacting in getting them right. Thus we can step right into Haller's shoes and feel the pressure as he takes steps to reconstruct a calendar, to track down clients. We also can breathe with him as he resumes his habit of working out of his Lincoln Town cars (three of them, rotated), watching the Suitcase City pass by as he is driven from one appointment to another.

It was a pleasure to read a Mickey Haller novel in which Bosch figures so prominently. It gives us a different perspective on the sometimes-explosive man-on-a-mission. It was also a pleasure to get to know Haller better, to follow his efforts to get back into the real world and perhaps to take steps to win his ex-wife back.

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