The Lincoln Lawyer

 , a novel by Michael Connelly

The Lincoln Lawyer Reader's Reviews

The best yet from Michael Connelly

I have long been a fan of Michael Connelly. As far as I'm concerned Connelly is in the top five of modern-day mystery writers. With each book I say to myself that "he just can't top this one." And I continue to be wrong. And The Lincoln Lawyer is no exception. It just has to be the absolute best Michael Connelly novel ever!

Criminal defense attorney, Mickey Haller is a Lincoln Lawyer; meaning he works out of the backseat of his Lincoln Town Car. He's never sure if he would be able to recognize innocence if it stood in front of him. And he's not necessarily concerned whether his clients are innocent or not.

A wealthy Beverly Hills realtor is arrested for attacking a woman in her home. This type of client is what Mick Haller calls a 'franchise case.' It's a big payday and the case appears to be an easy one. But after someone close to Mick is murdered, things become murky before they clear up. Mick is facing down pure evil and he'd better be at the top of his game if he wishes to get out of this case alive.

Armchair Interviews says: The Lincoln Lawyer has everything; great characters, scintillating plot, action, evil, gritty issues, ex-wives and a hero who is unlikely. It is a 15 on a score of one to ten! (Minnesota)

A superb legal thriller

Mickey Haller, defense attorney in LA, has no office but is driven around town in a black Lincoln. Hence the name 'Lincoln Lawyer'. It is, in fact, his office. He defends all forms of low life including drug dealers and prostitutes.He is always on the lookout for a so-called franchise client- one who can pay a large legal fee and keep on coming back. He thinks he might have one when he is asked by a wealthy Beverly Hills real estate agent, Louis Roulet to defend him after Roulet is charged for the brutal beating of a prostitute. Haller agrees thinking of the huge payout. But, things start taking a turn for the worst when Roulet's connection to Haller might be much more than it ominously appears.

The year 2005 is a fortuitous one for Mike Connolly fans. Two books out in the same year. Both are excellent. Mike has proven a modern master of the detective novel, police procedural, thriller and now legal thriller. The book is greatly detailed and much research has gone into it. There is great care taken in descriptions of the trial and, of course, there is the usual Connolly twist at the end. In spite of an unfortunate confession that really made no sense just before the onset of the trial, the reader will be treated to a realistic and carefully constructed tale and, as always, another must read of the year.

Larry Gandle (Tampa, Florida)

A complete suspense novel, enjoyable in every respect

Michael Connelly has written the perfect courtroom drama, this book is every bit as good as anything John Grisham wrote, back when he was on top of his game. Fans of Connelly's acclaimed Harry Bosch series will not be disappointed with this deviation away from Mr. Bosch. Connelly is demonstrating once again his fertile imagination and gifted story telling ability.

The Lincoln Lawyer is the story of a defining case in the life of a defense attorney surfeited by the excess of lowlifes around which his entire practice as been maintained. Twice divorced and cynical attorney Mickey Haller is that lawyer, and his biggest self-described fear is that he won't recognize an innocent client when hired by one. Somewhat of a contradiction, Mickey is in fact a principled lawyer who plays by the rules. The fact that his clients are all guilty doesn't seem to trouble him as much as mistakes made by the legal authorities, who arrest, investigate, and prosecute. Haller likens the prosecution's case to a set of spinning plates precariously balanced atop a thin dowel. In his mind, all Haller needs to do is knock one of those spinning plates down and the whole prosecution case crumbles with it. In Lincoln Lawyer, Haller believes he may have finally found an innocent client, not only that, but a wealthy client actually able to pay for a first class defense. Once committed to the defense Haller slowly discovers that unlike the bumbling rogues, scallywags, and ne'er-do-wells of his past, his new client may well be the very essence of evil, a man to truly fear. Not only is Haller's life in danger, so too are the lives of those closest to him.

Expertly crafted plot with characters that are well defined. This book flows seamlessly from one scene to the next and keeps you in the story with short intense chapters that make it impossible to put aside. And if just one measure of a good a book is how satisfied it leaves the reader, then this book is certainly one of the year's best. It is a book of suspense and drama that literally personifies the genre.

Michael D. Trimble (Connecticut)

Connelly's best so far - and one of the finest legal thrillers out there!

When I learned that Michael Connelly had determined to pen a legal thriller, I was more than a little worried. Here was the author who had delivered superlative Harry Bosch novels like The Closers, now stepping onto ground trodden nearly lifeless by the likes of Grisham and Martini.

To my delight, The Lincoln Lawyer turned out to be an excellent, gritty and powerful novel. Twice divorced and haunted by ghosts of lost cases past, cynical and ethically indistinct criminal lawyer Mickey Haller is a fine invention, at once fascinating, witty and sympathetic. I rather hope this unique character becomes Connelly's next Harry Bosch. (Promisingly, Haller is Bosch's half brother.)

The writing here is equal to or perhaps even better than Connelly's previous works, at times lyrical and nearly poetic, yet never encumbering superb storytelling. Mickey Haller's behind-the-scenes manipulations add sparkle to the courtroom drama, and a highly inventive twist is The Lincoln Lawyer's piece de resistance.

If you enjoy the richly researched detail and beautiful prose spun around the fabulous pageturner that is The Lincoln Lawyer, I also highly recommend Connelly's The Closers and The Poet as well as Mute by newcomer Brad Steel.

Jonathan R. Packham, MA, PhD (San Diego, CA)

Great read! a snappy legal thriller with real characters!

I friend in the publishing industry was down my way for a vacation (I live in Cabo San Lucas, Mex), and he left me an advance copy of "The Lincoln Lawyer" but made me to promise to write a review. So here I am! The book is about an eccentric attorney Mickey Haller, who operates amongst the underbelly of Los Angeles, and instead of an office he operates out of his Lincoln Town car (Hence the title). Mickey is the classic antihero, he does not follow accepted legal ethics operating on the outskirts of the law, which puts him at odds with the establishment. When in court Micky lights the place up, some great scenes! And his behind the scenes manipulations make for a great page turner. Connelly has a knack for developing characters which made this a more interesting read then the typical thriller. I have never read the Harry Bosche books but have heard good things. If they are as good as the Lincoln Lawyer I need to check them out.

Curtis Roth (Cabo, Mexico)

Every Bit as Good as the Bosch series

Connelly proves he can do no wrong with a legal thriller that blows Grisham, Martini and company out of the water. This has all the authenticity, grit and soul of the Bosch series, it's just presented from the other side of the system.

David J. Forsmark (Flushing, MI United States)

The law was not about truth... It was about negotiation... manipulation.

In what may be the year's best mystery, this legal thriller quickly captures the reader's attention and holds it, riveted, until the end, not because of issues involving legal procedure, secret information, or questions about the client's guilt, all of which are at issue here, but because the client and his lawyer are ultimately engaged in a chess game in which the lawyer loses if the client wins.

The lawyer, Michael "Mick" Haller, an ethical man, is determined to do right by his client, but he, like many other attorneys, is looking for a "franchise case," one for which the client can pay for all services and appeals, and thereby subsidize his pro bono work for indigent clients. The defense of Louis Ross Roulet, a young man engaged in the family real estate business, on charges of assault against women, may be Haller's "franchise case." His other cases involve a biker arrested on drug charges and a prostitute arrested with possibly planted drugs. An old case involving Jesus Menendez, a man who pled guilty to murder while insisting on his innocence, also becomes important, since some of the evidence in the Roulet case resembles that of the Menendez case.

Living and working primarily from his Lincoln Town Car, Mick, both vulnerable and tough, wants to do what is right but sometimes finds himself caught between competing demands on his time. By the time the trial of Louis Roulet begins, Haller knows that two of his cases overlap, and someone he likes and respects has been murdered.

The give and take of the legal profession, the compromises and agreements made, and the legal slang feel natural in Connelly's hands, conveying the tension and tactics of pre-trial maneuvering. The relationships among defense attorneys, private attorneys, district attorneys, prosecutors, bondsmen, the press, private investigators, and politicians and judges in various court districts are clearly spelled out and show how things work in real life. Though the cast of characters is not large, the case becomes extraordinarily complex as the past and present merge. Roulet and Haller engage in a high stakes chess game of move/countermove, and the conflict becomes intensely personal, challenging Haller, morally and legally.

Fascinating on the level of plot and character, the novel also offers intriguing glimpses of the ethical conflicts of attorneys who defend the sometimes indefensible and challenge the sometimes "cooked" evidence of prosecutors. This novel raises the ante of the legal thriller, revealing the emotional complexities underlying the defense attorney's commitments to his clients. n Mary Whipple

Mary Whipple (New England)

I wish I could give this 6 stars!

When I recently finished The Closers I was excited to see Bosch back and raved about the book. I rushed out and bought The Lincoln Lawyer and discovered this to be even better. Rarely do I finish a book in two days, but I literally couldn't put this one down. I haven't been this excited about a great book since Matthew Farrell's Winter Hill and Harlan Coden's The Innocent. Great Great Great read!!!!

Tiffany P. (Houston TX)

High Octane Fiction!

Great escapist fiction: moves fast and corners well. And, at the end, I even liked the lawyer. Fortunately for me this author has a backlist for me to explore, and I'm looking forward to it.

J. Cameron-Smith (ACT, Australia)

Money talks!

Mickey Haller is what's known in legal circles in the US as a "Lincoln Lawyer" i.e. he works from the back of a huge Lincoln town car where he keeps his records and a lap top. These lawyers who don't operate from commercial premises are felt to be at the bottom of the legal food chain, with most of them barely scraping a living, so when Mickey receives a call to represent a Beverly Hills rich boy in a case, he's sure that his luck has changed. The rich young man, Louis Ross Roulet is the pampered son of an extremely wealthy realtor, a mother who has given her son everything that money can buy, but not much of herself. Roulet is accused of savagely beating a known prostitute, a claim that he vehemently denies, leaving Mickey to wonder if this is his first genuinely innocent client. As the investigation progresses, other incidents of violence emerge around this young man, muddying the waters in what Mickey had hoped was an open and shut case and a source of large money. I loved this book as the hero has a bit of the larrikin about him which reminded me of the Mickey Spillane type adventures. Michael Connelly is a splendid writer and one whose writing is very easy to read (which is not always the case).

everley Strong (Australia)


Just when some thought the estimable Michael Connelly had peaked with his popular Harry Bosch series and might just retire to a tropical isle (his own, of course), he introduces lawyer Mickey Haller in a SUSPENSE driven novel "The Lincoln Lawyer."

It must be a thrill for a voice performer to have first crack at interpreting a character's vocal patterns, especially a character that's sure to be as well received as Haller. They couldn't have chosen a better reader than Broadway and film actor Adam Grupper. His crisp, powerful delivery heightens the drama in this dynamite thriller and does justice to Connelly's incomparable dialogue.

Haller's a lawyer who operates out of his car - he runs a sizable ad in the local yellow pages and attracts clients with his bus stop painted touts. He long ago shed any idealistic notions about the law - well aware that it's about "...negotiation, amelioration, manipulation..." His Dad was a famous attorney, but Haller didn't know him very well. With two marriages behind him he sees the world through jaundiced eyes. Problem is most of his clients are low-lifes - drug dealers, and the like.

Then, he gets a call. Louis Roulet appears to be a long awaited jackpot. He's a well-to-do Beverly Hills realtor accused of bludgeoning and raping a call girl. But, just as Haller's feeling a hefty fee's on the way, he discovers some things about Roulet that cause him to rethink the realtor's defense.

A top flight reading of a first-rate thriller - enjoy!

Gail Cooke (TX, USA)

Connelly brings light to the world of criminal defense law

Michael Connelley is well known as a master of the police procedural. In "The Lincoln Lawyer," he sets aside his very successful Harry Bosch character and instead focuses on Mickey Haller, a criminal defense attorney. Haller defends those most of us would consider lowlifes: drug dealers, pimps, prostitutes, burglars, garden-variety murderers. No TV cameras or celebrity journalists after his story: just the day to day workings of affording the accused a defense against the power of the state.

Haller doesn't lie for his clients. He doesn't want to know from them of their guilt or innocence. His focus is on defending them, working the system, insisting that the prosecution meet the heavy demands placed upon it.

Mickey does most of his work from the backseat of a Lincoln Town Car. Nothing nefarious in that: Haller has cases to cover in the numerous courts in the Los Angeles area. Working from the backseat of a Lincoln is a good idea and it provides, if you'll forgive the expression, a perfect vehicle for Connelley's genius.

One day, Haller gets the call his kind dream about: the possibility of a "franchise" case, a case that pays top fees and goes to trial. Haller is a bit puzzled because his client is the wealthy son of a wealthy real estate doyen and already has representation by a pricey, reputable civil lawyer. Mickey is the kind of guy who advertises on bus benches.

Louis Roulet ("roo-lay," you know) is accused of attacking a woman and threatening her with rape and murder. Within moments, Mickey Haller finds himself in a wonderland of ethics (yes, he has them), utter evil, ferretting out guilt and innocence and resolving his feelings about his ex-wife (who happens to be a prosecutor) and his young daughter.

The pace is set high at the outset and never slows down. Haller is in for a harrowing, frightening roller coaster rideer Connelley keeps piling it on. The plot has more twists and turns then a mountain road and Connelley never falters once.

Louis Roulet is pure evil, but as a criminal defense lawyer, Michael Haller is beholden to the system. The cops hate him; the prosecutors (except for his ex-wife) hate him. Mickey has his investigator, Raul Levin, and another ex-wife in his corner and a few other friends to call on.

How Haller meets and defeats evil is the essence of Connelley's story and he tells it brilliantly. Definitely a different kind of legal thriller and a welcome breath of fresh air. Connelley is simply brilliant and "The Lincoln Lawyer" is a feast for the reader.

Jerry Saperstein (Evanston, IL USA)

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