Friday, February 06, 2009

The Brass Verdict - Michael Connelly

The Brass Verdict
Michael Connelly
Little, Brown and Company

Legal Thriller/Police Procedural

This novel, which brings together two of Connelly’s best inventions, veteran cop Harry Bosch (ECHO PARK, THE OVERLOOK) and criminal defense attorney Mickey Haller (THE LINCOLN LAWYER) begins with the latter asserting that, in a court of law, everyone lies. In Mickey’s view, this is useful. The trick is to find the one lie that you can use to completely deflate the prosecution’s case and save your client. There was a time when prosecutor Jerry Vincent didn’t agree; then he lost a high-profile case and crossed the aisle to become a defense attorney.

Mickey has been out of the game for over a year, due to a gunshot injury and resulting addiction to painkillers. His call to come back is just about as big as it gets. Jerry is dead; shot to death by persons unknown. Bottom line, Jerry is leaving Mickey his practice and his cases. That includes the very public case of a Hollywood producer accused of killing his wife and her lover. Mickey is trying to play catch-up and suggests delaying the start of the trial. The producer flatly refuses. He’s either supremely confident, or he knows something Mickey doesn’t.

Meanwhile, the investigation of Jerry Vincent’s homicide has fallen to Harry Bosch. Where Mickey sees the worlds in a myriad of shades of grey, Bosch is a moralist. During the course of the investigation, the two men form an alliance of sorts. Both respected Vincent, and both want to nail his killer.

Far too often, an author with more than one successful character will bring the two together with less than stellar results. Not here. Here, it works perfectly, since Harry – the better-known character – is essentially a supporting player. Much of the action centers around Mickey and his court cases. While this might stall a lesser author, Connelly’s brilliant use of set pieces and dialogue make these scenes come to life. Expect to spend a couple of very late nights navigating the twists and turns on the way to The Brass Verdict.

Rating: 9
October 2008
ISBN# 978-0-316-16629-4 (hardcover)


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