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Saturday, May 3, 2008

Book Review: "The Lincoln Lawyer" by Michael Connelly

"The scariest client a lawyer will ever have is an innocent client. Because if you [screw] up and he goes to prison, it'll scar you for life." Mickey Haller's father, a renowned attorney gave him this one piece of advice. He always remembered it and, of course, this is the base of his trouble.

Michael Connelly, the author of Harry Bosch novels has created a new character that is likeable, has many personal problems, likes to stick it to the authorities when needed, and understands that a defense attorney is the man who puts up with shit from his clients, from the oppositon and anyone else who feels the need.

I knew not far into this book that Mickey Haller will do what it takes to win the case. He insists that his clients be honest with him, and he will go to the end of the earth for them. Most of his clients are drug dealers, homeboys or prostitutes. He defends them, insists that they play straight and will help them out however he can.

He is upfront that he needs to be paid, and most of these people find the money somewhere. He doesn't make enough money to really pay his bills, child support and the two mortgages on his home. But he survives.

He has an interesting office, his Lincoln Town car. As he states "Have Case Will Travel," and he moves from one southern California city to another in his car. One of his clients who had no way to pay his bills is working it off by acting as his driver. The client wears his I-Pod and listens to his homeboys, like Tupac, when Mickey has a case to discuss over the phone or needs to listen to tapes. This arrangement works out well for both of them.

Mickey's current client is a very rich real estate agent, Louis Roulet, who is accused of attempted murder to a woman he picked up for sexual attention. The entire case leaves Mickey with a queasy feeling, and he enlists his private investigator friend, Raul Levin in learning all about this man. What he finds out is not pretty, but Mickey is smart and at the same time he is defending his client, he is working up a scheme to have his client booked for another murder. One of his former clients, who is serving life at San Quentin, is involved surreptiously, and this case becomes one of the most fascinating mysteries I have read.

Mickey Haller is the kind of attorney I want to be on my side. He is divorced from the woman he still loves, They share a child together, and even though they are separated they are together in many ways. Mickey hopes that he will soon grow up enough to appreciate what he gave away.

"The Lincoln Lawyer" is a very clever play on words. Even though I miss Harry Bosch, I believe that there are enough similarities that there may be a relationship here between Mickey and Harry that will grow. Michael Connelly always leaves a few clues in his books that I need to follow up. I am fascinated with Mickey Haller and want to follow him more closely. Looking for the next book, Michael Connelly. Highly recommended.

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