The Lincoln Lawyer

 , a novel by Michael Connelly

Editorial review of The Lincoln Lawyer novel

Crime Time

Roll over John Grisham and tell Scott Turow the news! There's a new player on the legal thriller street, and it's Connelly, whose tale of the always for hire at the right price Mickey Haller marks a change of pace for one of the very best detective story writers, into the kind of territory that promises acres of airport space and megastar movie deals. It's all eminently deserved, because Connelly not only has created a character very much different from his usual protagonists, whether they be Harry Bosch, Terry McCaleb, or whomever, but he's also switched smoothly to the other side of the fence, as it were, dealing less with the crime than the aftermath, the repercussions from it. These two points of departure go hand in hand, because it is the character of Haller, sleaze-bag with a heart of gold, that gives Connelly the leeway he needs to give depth to a tale which otherwise might get lost in the twists and turns of a very clever plot.

Spoiled Beverly Hills rich boy Louis Roulet is accused of the brutal murder of a prostitute - and to an ambulance chaser like Haller Roulet represents not only a huge and much-needed payday, but also a publicity-laden pathway into the public eye, which won't hurt business one iota. The ghost of the OJ Simpson trial is never far from Connelly's focus: the operations of law in LA revolve around the demands of publicity, and the kinds of twists and perversions of justice that are commonplace for the usual reasons of money or power in other cities have different motivations here. The outline of Chris Darden or Marcia Clark probably lies embedded in the oil stains of some parking lot of some courthouse somewhere in the Southland. Back to business: the background is right, the characters are suitably venal, and the mousetrap in which Haller finds himself is all the more gripping for being snapped long before the reader expects it. Connelly has made a remarkable debut in the legal thriller sub-genre. If you don't believe me, just read Scott Turow's blurb!

by Michael Carlson, Crime Time

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