A Review by Chris High

A chance meeting at a baseball game and a need to fulfill a desire to write a legal thriller prompted Michael Connelly to write The Lincoln Lawyer and to produce one of his finest pieces of work to date.

They're called Lincoln Lawyers: the bottom of the legal food chain, the criminal defence attorneys who operate out of the back of a Lincoln Town Car, taking whatever cases the system throws in their path. Mickey Haller has been in the business a long time, and he knows just how to work it. When a Beverly Hills rich boy is arrested for brutally beating a woman, Haller has his first high-paying client in years. The evidence mounts on the defence's side, and Haller might even be in the rare position of defending a client who is actually innocent. But when his case starts to fall apart and neither the suspect nor the victim are quite who they seem, Haller quickly discovers that when you swim with the sharks, it's easy to wind up as prey.

Everything about this novel works. The dialogue whips the story onwards in a whirl of anticipation. The characters are real; slimy, loveable, dangerous and naive in equal measure according to their roles to be closely acquainted to anybody, while the settings are so vividly drawn that to anybody unfamiliar with Los Angeles, the court buildings, roads and bars in which The Lincoln Lawyer is set leap from the page to leave the reader with an astonishing and bewildering sense of deja vu.

Where Grisham plods Connelly fairly sprints, aided no doubt by his time served as a legal reporter for the LA Times and by the doubtless countless hours spent in courtrooms, researching for this book alone

That Harry Bosch is an exquisite creation of Crime fiction is unquestionable. Look at the awards the cop has won for the author. That Mickey Haller – who need not contend with the day-to-day drudgery of police work and all that it entails to meet his ends – is a masterpiece of lightening-quick fiction is undeniable.

A novel to be read in a flurry of anticipation, The Lincoln Lawyer is surely only a first outing for the unconventional lawyer who works from the back of his car and a freeway-fast return of Michael Connelly: The Legal Thriller Writer should be demanded from on high, as loudly as humanly possible.

Chris High’s interview with Michael Connelly can be read here


Formerly a Chef, publican, shop manager, supermarket shelf-filler, library employee and deliverer of lambs, Chris High now dedicates most of his time to writing and journalism. He has successfully collaborated with singer Chris de Burgh on a collection of song based short stories available from his Website, and is currently in the process of completing his first Crime novel. Chris lives on Merseyside, England, with his cat Tigger and his dog, Duke.

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