The Lincoln Lawyer

by Michael Connelly | Mystery & Thrillers |
ISBN: 1409156052 Global Overview for this book
Registered by cluricaune of Armagh, Co. Armagh United Kingdom on 2/2/2023
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Journal Entry 1 by cluricaune from Armagh, Co. Armagh United Kingdom on Thursday, February 2, 2023
First published in late 2005, "The Lincoln Lawyer" in Michael Connelly's 16th novel. Although, like the majority of Connelly's other books, it is set in LA it is only his fifth not to feature Harry Bosch. Instead, it introduces Mickey Haller, a Lincoln-driving defense attorney.

Haller has two ex-wives, both of whom appear in the book. The first, Maggie McPherson, is the mother of Mickey's daughter and a prosecution lawyer. Not only did this keep their marriage lively, but it also contributed to her nickname - Maggie McFierce. His second, Lorna Taylor, plays a smaller role - she continues to work as his case manager and bookkeeper. Haller doesn't have any false illusions about the legal system or his role in it - in the early part of the book, there was very little I found admirable about him. He acknowledges the law isn't about truth, but rather about negotiation and manipulation. He realizes how unpopular the legal profession is, but chooses to see himself as a 'greasy angel'. More honestly, he generally doesn't care about who committed the crime - so long as he can either get his client off or cut, what he feels, is the best deal possible. The events of this book do have an impact on his thinking though...

Louis Ross Roulet appears to be exactly what Haller has been dreaming about - his first franchise client in a very long time. (A franchise client is one who wants to go to trial and can afford to pay the lawyer's top-of-the-line fees). Tipped off about Roulet by Fernando Valenzuela, a bail bondsman on Van Nuys Boulevard, Haller's new client has been charged with assaulting Regina Campo at her apartment. It's a charge he vigorously denies : he makes no secret of meeting her at a bar and arranging to meet her later at her apartment. However, he claims to have been stitched up, the victim of someone hoping to make a small fortune from a subsequent civil case. The more and more Haller and his investigator Raul Levin look into the case, however, the more and more dangerous it appears. It also makes Haller increasingly uncomfortable on a personal level. Two years previously, he'd represented Jesus Menendez on a similar charge - in that case, though, the victim had also been murdered. Menendez had always insisted he was innocent, but Haller barely even cared. Haller cut his client the best deal he thought possible - no death penalty and the chance of parole - but that involved Menendez taking a guilty plea. The Roulet case has now raised some doubts and woken Haller's long slumbering conscience.

This is a very enjoyable book, and - after Harry Bosch - features Connelly's strongest 'hero'. There's also a nice twist that'll please Connelly's fans. Haller was only five years old when his father died, and although he doesn't know much about the man, there appear to be some similarities between them. Mickey's father, J. Michael Haller, was a very famous defense attorney. The bar also requires all lawyers to carry out some pro-bono work. One of our hero's pro-bono clients is Gloria Dayton, a high-priced prostitute. Mickey also discovered, browsing through the account books of his father's old law practice, that Mickey Senior also had something of a "soft spot" for LA's prostitutes - he, too, had defended many and charged few. This "soft spot" also means that Mickey Junior has a half-brother he doesn't know about. (His mysterious half-brother, by the way, is called Harry Bosch). Definitely recommended.

Journal Entry 2 by cluricaune at Armagh, Co. Armagh United Kingdom on Thursday, February 2, 2023
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