12 February 2009

Review: The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly

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
ISBN-13: 9781594830884
Challenges: A-Z Author, New to Me Author, What's in a Name, 999, Winter Reading, Audiobooks, Buy 1 and Read, 100+
YTD: 12
Rating: B+


Unknown 2/12/09, 8:44 AM  

Glad you posted the review, I have never read Connelly either but always wanted to and your review helped me to actually want to pick it up at the library.

Unknown 2/12/09, 9:09 AM  

I've never listened to a thriller on an audio book before. I always think that with a thriller it is good that you can race through the exciting bits! What is it like listening to them? Does the fact that you have to wait to find out what happens build up the suspense, or is it sometimes frustrating?

Anonymous,  2/12/09, 9:33 AM  

I absolutely LOVE Mickey Haller! This is my favorite series and I have THE BRASS VERDICT (audio) on my shelf. Can't wait! :) I am so glad you love Haller too.

Sandy Nawrot 2/12/09, 9:42 AM  

I read all the Harry Bosch novels by Connelly, and really enjoy it. He's a great writer. I haven't listened to anything on audio thought...hmmm. I may have to pursue that, especially knowing they are award caliber!

Beth F 2/12/09, 9:52 AM  

Lily: I hope you do read it. I'll be interested to know what you thought.

Jackie / Farm Lane: I think audio adds to the suspense because I'm "forced" to listen to every word. When I read thrillers or mysteries, I tend to start to skim the action scenes because I want to know what happens. Of course, you may not have the same experience.

J. Kaye: Can't wait to get to Brass Verdict.

Sandy: Happy to hear that the Bosch series is good. I'll have to seek out the first one.

Nely 2/12/09, 10:17 AM  

I'm not much into the legal thriller's either but this sounds good (everyone else seems to think so too). Making note to check this one out. Thanks for the review.

Cathy 2/12/09, 11:34 AM  

Connelly's Harry Bosch is one of my all-time favorite characters. I've had The Lincoln Lawyer on my TBR shelves for a long time because courtroom dramas just really aren't my thing. Your review has given me a sense of urgency about reading it...that and the fact that I'm about to receive The Brass Verdict via PBS!

Anonymous,  2/12/09, 11:54 AM  

This is the book I bought after lunching with other book bloggers. I can't wait to read it.

Louise 2/12/09, 12:26 PM  

Great review. I used to like Grisham's books, but the latest ones were pretty weak, so I sort of grew tired of his style and stories. I do like a legal thriller once in a while though and it is nice to know that this is a number one in a series. I will look for it next time I need something legal :o)

Anonymous,  2/12/09, 1:58 PM  

What a timely review - for me. I just bought this book the other day as part of a Valentine's Day gift for my husband. I'm not familiar with Connelly but now I know Jay will like it. I also didn't know it was a series so it looks like I will have some follow-up gift ideas. Thanks.

Beth F 2/12/09, 4:56 PM  

Berumda / Kathy and Margot: I must be on the cutting edge! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Louise: I never really liked Grisham, but I did like this.

Melody 2/12/09, 9:37 PM  

I don't think I've read anything by this author. Thanks for the review, Beth!

Michele 2/12/09, 11:30 PM  

I am an admitted Grisham fan (at least his old stuff, not so much the recent). This sounds like it may be a good replacement for him!

Just Mom 2/14/09, 11:35 PM  

When I saw this title on the audiobook list, I thought for sure it was going to be you checking off another president! I'm sure you are miles ahead of me there.

I was very proud of my goal to listen to 12 audiobooks until I saw you listened to somewhere around 80 last year - go Beth!

Ladytink_534 2/16/09, 11:42 PM  

Love a good audiobook! I don't think I've read anything by this author before. I do have the 10th book in his Harry Bosch series though.

Anonymous,  2/23/09, 5:03 PM  

I read *The Brass Verdict* last year and loved it; it was my first Michael Connelly. Several people recommended that I go back and revisit *The Lincoln Lawyer*, so I've put it on my wish list. Great review, thanks!

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