Wednesday, March 16, 2011

THE LINCOLN LAWYER by Michael Connelly

Mickey Haller is the type of lawyer that gives lawyers a bad name. His number one priority is getting paid. Under his jaded surface is a code of ethics of some sort, although he does give cash gifts to bail bondsmen and others who might send clients or favorable verdicts his way. He does, however, respect the law, and he even holds a bit of compassion for the underdog. He doesn't do pro bono work, though, except in the case of one drug-addicted prostitute, and he is allowing a former client to work off his fee as the driver of his Lincoln Town Car. There's a reason this book has been made into a movie: legal thrillers don't come any better than this. A wealthy realtor named Louis Roulet enlists Mickey's services, claiming innocence to a charge of assault and attempted murder. Quite a bit is made of the adage that an innocent man is the most difficult to defend, because no plea bargain is acceptable; the only satisfactory outcome is a "not guilty" verdict. Is Roulet really innocent, though, or just a privileged sleazeball? The book answers this question fairly quickly, and Haller faces more than a few conundrums, as he finds that Roulet's case is related to that of a previous client, who is currently serving time and still maintaining his innocence. Of course, there has to be a woman somewhere, and that would be prosecuting attorney Maggie McPherson, one of Haller's two ex-wives. She's seldom his court adversary for very long, though, because she is obligated to recuse herself when she and Haller are assigned to the same case. Haller's other ex-wife, Lorna, is essentially his office manager. His relationship with these two women is very revealing, with regard to his relationships in general. He doesn't burn his bridges, because everyone has a purpose. He does become more likeable as the book steamrolls to its conclusion and his meticulously laid plan unfurls.

No comments: