This book has some elements of what Connelly fans want to see: street-smart insightfulness, like the recognition that “Everybody lies. Cops lie. Lawyers lie. Witnesses lie. The victims lie. A trail is a contest of lies”; or, that “brass verdict” is a term for deadly street justice when the legal system does not deliver; and familiar characters like long-time favorite detective Harry Bosch and recent addition, the Lincoln lawyer, Mickey Haller. The story line is really quite simple. Haller is assigned the entire case load of fellow lawyer Jerry Vincent when he is found murdered in his car, which includes the case of Hollywood mogul Walter Elliot, who apparently shot his wife and her lover at their Malibu beach home.
The story hardly comes charging out of the box. Because Vincent’s laptop was stolen, Haller spends a great of time reconstructing case details and representing clients guilty of a series of petty infractions. Bosch comes on the scene because, unbeknownst to Haller, Vincent has been under scrutiny because of possible shading dealings including the Elliot case. The interactions between Bosch and Haller are bizarrely brief, antagonistic, and awkward, including a scene where Bosch attempts to intimidate Haller with an attempted break-in. Bosch does not come across as the crusty, cool guy that fans are used to. The book is best at watching Haller, step-by-step, undermine seemingly slam-dunk evidence in the Elliot trail.
The only interesting character angle is Haller’s return from a year’s hiatus due to recovery from a gunshot wound and subsequent addiction to painkillers. The plot has a couple of nice twists and one or two improbabilities, but over all is not overly complex. Even Haller gets taken by the lies that he knows always exist. It’s likely that most will be aware well before the end of the book of the person orchestrating the crime behind the crime. The book is nice enough but does suffer from the aforementioned minimalist, if not strange, depiction of characters and not particularly inspired plot.
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Wendy Robards, October 19, 2008 (view all comments by Wendy Robards)
Defense attorney Mickey Haller unexpectedly gets thrust back into the legal arena (after a year recovering from prescription drug addiction) when his colleague Jerry Vincent is found murdered in a parking garage. Vincent’s entire caseload - including accused double murderer Walter Elliot (a famous movie studio executive) - is transferred to Haller in Vincent’s will. Haller eagerly steps into Vincent’s shoes, but quickly discovers that nothing is as it seems…and Vincent’s killer may be one of his own clients. Detective Harry Bosch is the lead investigator on the case and is himself somewhat of an enigma. Before the novel comes to a close, both Bosch and Haller will need to cooperate from both sides of the law in order to catch the killer.
Michael Connelly’s novel is fast-paced and gripping, with twist and turns that will keep the reader guessing until the end. This book is a continuation of Connelly’s previous novels (which I have yet to read). But it is not necessary to have read Connelly’s work beforehand in order to enjoy The Brass Verdict.
Connelly has a firm grasp of the legal system and creates memorable (and believeable) characters who are not always predictable. His dialogue is tight and compelling.
For readers who love suspenseful legal thrillers, The Brass Verdict is one they will enjoy.
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Little Brown and Company -
by Chris Bolton,
Thriller writer extraordinaire, Connelly combines his two most indelible series characters for one white-knuckled novel. The Brass Verdict finds Connelly's storytelling bravado in first-rate form.
by Chris Bolton
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Bestseller Connelly delivers one of his most intricate plots to date in his 20th book, a beautifully executed crime thriller. When L.A. lawyer Mickey Haller, last seen in The Lincoln Lawyer (2005), inherits the practice and caseload of a fellow defense attorney, Jerry Vincent, who's been murdered, the high-profile double-homicide case against famed Hollywood producer Walter Elliot, accused of shooting his wife and her alleged lover, takes top priority. As Haller scrambles to build a defense, he butts heads with LAPD Det. Harry Bosch, the stalwart hero of Connelly's long-running series (The Black Echo, etc.), who's working Vincent's murder. When Haller realizes that the Elliot affair is bigger than simply a jealous husband killing his cheating wife, he and Bosch grudgingly agree to work together to solve what could be the biggest case in both their careers. Bosch might have met his match in the wily Haller, and readers will delight in their sparring. 10-city author tour. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
by Booklist (Starred Review),
"Connelly is justly celebrated for his characters and his ability to create mood from the sights and sounds of L.A., but he's also a terrific plotter, and that skill is in high relief here. Essential for fans; a great read for anybody."
by Library Journal (Starred Review),
"Connelly is firing on all cylinders in this epic page-turner. The intriguing story line, the chance to view Bosch from another perspective, and Haller's reappearance as a main character add up to a fantastic read. One of the best thrillers of the year..."
by Kirkus Reviews,
"The answer to every Connelly fan's dream....Even if the case is less than baffling, Connelly brings his two sleuths together in a way that honors them both."
by Janet Maslin, New York Times,
"The Brass Verdict has the sneaky metabolism of any Connelly book....Like Harry Bosch's mojo, Mickey Haller's is liable to work well for a long time."
by Los Angeles Times,
"Haller is a mixture of light and dark, a flesh-and-blood guy who, as with Harry Bosch, we'll look forward to meeting again."
by South Florida Sun-Sentinel,
"Connelly's skills at melding plot, character and scenery into a cohesive unit shine in this book. The Brass Verdict is gold."
"Connelly writes detective and legal thrillers that elevate the genre with authentic characters, realistic dialogue and knowing details."
by Denver Post,
"Connelly builds to some breathtaking twists before all comes to a close. And a more perfect end to the maze he has drawn is difficult to imagine."
At last, Mickey Haller, hero of The Lincoln Lawyer, Connelly's bestselling hardcover yet, meets the legendary LAPD Detective Harry Bosch. Mickey and Harry are flip-sides of the same coin, one for the prosecution and one for the defense. Each must work with the other before someone — namely Mickey — gets killed.
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