This is the first book in Connelly's Mickey Haller series.
My Summary. Mickey Haller is a defense attorney in the Los Angeles area. Of course, most of his clients claim they're not guilty, but Haller's not sure he's ever seen a client who is truly innocent. As a DA, he doesn't get much sympathy from police officers or from his colleagues on the other side of the court room.
The book starts out with a case involving Haller's usual type of client: a member of a biker gang who is picked up for growing marijuana. In fact, when he learns that a real estate tycoon who has been arrested for beating up a prostitute has asked for his services, Haller's first reaction is to wonder if he's being set up by someone who wants to test his ethics.
While juggling a couple of other clients, Haller and Raul Levin, his friend and investigator, get going on the big-money case of defending Louis Ross Roulet. Haller soon realizes that a rich client can be a difficult client. To make matters worse, Roulet's mother and her lawyer are keeping close tabs on Haller's work.
My Thoughts. This is the first Connelly book I've read. Court-room drama (or legal thriller) is not my usual sphere. I'm not much of Grisham fan, for example. But this book won me over early on. Mickey Haller may defend scum, but he's good at what he does and he does know the law. Although he toes the line of ethical conduct, he stops short of blatantly disregarding his legal restrictions. As a nice contrast to his defense attorney persona, we also get to know Haller through his relationships with his ex-wives, daughter, and Levin.
There is plenty of action and just the right amount of clues and red herrings along the way, so you're never quite sure if Haller is on track, if Roulet is innocent or guilty, and exactly how the case can be won. I absolutely will be reading the second book in the series and will also check out Connelly's earlier Bosch series.
Audiobook. The audiobook received a 2005 Publishers Weekly Listen Up Award in the Mystery/Thriller category and no wonder! The book was narrated by Adam Grupper, who did an amazing job differentiating among the characters, conveying the proper emotions, and setting the pace and suspense. I highly recommend the unabridged audio of this novel.
I read this book to meet a number of challenges (listed below).
Unabridged audiobook, published by Hachette, 2005
Challenges: A-Z Author, New to Me Author, What's in a Name, 999, Winter Reading, Audiobooks, Buy 1 and Read, 100+