The Brass Verdict

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A brief ad: this Kindle Edition of this book is available for $2.99 as I type, which is an insanely good deal. You know how it works, just click over there … (Unless you're blocking Pun Salad ads. Don't do that, they're unobtrusive and attractive Amazon links.)

Anyway, this book is from prolific writer Michael Connelly, who's been a Pun Salad fave for years. It is the second entry in his "Lincoln Lawyer" series, featuring flawed hero Mickey Haller, criminal defense lawyer.

After getting gut-shot in the previous book, Mickey is only just now crawling back from a sad addiction to painkillers. Things happen quickly when his shady colleague Jerry Vincent is murdered by an unknown assailant: due to a previous contractual agreement, Vincent's open cases are awarded to Mickey by default. Among these is the well-publicized case of movie tycoon Walter Elliot, who is alleged to have caught his wife in flagrante delicto with a younger man, shooting and killing them both.

There might be interesting stories to tell about lawyers whose primary purpose in life is to defend hapless, hopeless little folk being railroaded by an implacable legal juggernaut. Mickey is not one of those guys. He is interested, most of all, by the income the Elliot case will bring in. The case against Elliot is pretty good, but not airtight; Mickey must find a way to establish reasonable doubt, all while dodging his personal demons and skating on the edge of conduct that might get him disbarred.

And there's the annoying fact—remember—that Elliot's previous lawyer, Vincent, was murdered. Is Mickey travelling down the same path? Fortunately, the primary detective on the Vincent case is none other than Harry Bosch, the dour, dogged police detective from thirteen previous Connelly books. In this book we see him through Haller's eyes, which could have been corny, but Michael Connelly makes this work well. Neither Bosch nor Mickey is entirely honest with the other, they both know it, and their relationship alternates between contentious bickering and mutual, grudging, respect.

Mickey is a pretty good detective too, and things eventually get figured out. But the very end contains a twisty shock that I did not see coming.


Last Modified 2014-12-23 12:02 PM EST