Review: The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly

Title: The Lincoln Lawyerthe-lincoln-lawyer

Author: Michael Connelly

Publisher:BBC Audiobooks [2005]

ISBN: 978-1-4056-7300-6

Length:14hrs 9mins

Los Angeles defence lawyer Mickey Haller is hired to defend Louis Roulet, a playboy businessman who has been charged with assaulting a prostitute. Roulet vehemently claims his innocence and Haller is attracted to a case where, for once. his client will have no trouble paying his fees.

In the first part of the book as well as the main case we follow Mickey Haller through numerous lesser cases of prostitution, drug dealing and fraud and learn many tricks of the vaguely dodgy trade he carries out from the back of his Lincoln town car. Although this is undoubtedly a more realistic portrayal of life as a defence lawyer than a story with only one case would be, some of the side threads are less interesting than others and my mind wandered a few times. The second part of the book, where action moves to the court room proceedings of the Roulet case, provided a much tighter narrative.

There’s a lot of detail provided in this book and a good portion of it is unnecessary and made the story drag, particularly in the first part of the book where the narrative wasn’t as engaging to begin with. The whole story is narrated by Micky and while that offers a very readable intimacy there are times when every minuscule moment of a scene is included and buildings, meals and clothing are described in excruciating detail. Perhaps some readers enjoy that kind of thing but it didn’t add any value to my reading experience.

However, even when I was bored to tears with the minutiae, Micky Haller kept me reading. His dealing and manipulation of the people around him, including but not exclusively his clients, offered a fascinating perspective on the law. In much fiction the main characters are all or nothing, good or evil, but Mickey is a hundred different shades of grey. He’s not really likable but I developed a grudging respect for him by the end of the book and even if you hate him I doubt you’d forget him in a hurry. There are a bunch of other characters but they’re overshadowed by Haller to a large extent so provide more of a window-dressing role than anything really meaty.

It’s difficult for me to whole-heartedly recommend this book because the first part was such a slog to get through but I did enjoy meeting Micky Haller and pondering the idea that an innocent man is the most dangerous kind of client a lawyer could have. The book provides a unique insight on the law and justice which, at least here, are rarely the same thing and it does rate very highly on my thought-provoking scale.  And the ending’s nicely unpredictable and full of tension which almost makes up for the slow start.

My rating 3.5/5

Other Stuff

Crimeficreader discusses several of Connelly’s releases in an interesting 2005 blog post

You can read an excerpt of the book at Connelly’s website here or listen to a clip of it here(although that’s a different version of the audiobook than the one I read)

This entry was posted in book review, Michael Connelly, USA. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Review: The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly

  1. Beth F says:

    Interesting. I listened to The Lincoln Lawyer earlier this year, and I really liked it. Mickey is such a great character. I plan to listen to the next one, which recently came out.


  2. bernadetteinoz says:

    I am glad I finished it in the end Beth and may even read the next one…but not for a while yet.


Comments are closed.