Reviews and Recommendations by Mel Odom, Professional Writer

THE BRASS VERDICT by Michael Connelly

Michael Connelly The Brass Verdict

Buy At Amazon The Brass Verdict (A Lincoln Lawyer Novel)

As much as I love Harry Bosch and the push/pull world of the LADP and detective work, I think I love Mickey Haller more. Bosch is infallible, larger than life, a force of nature when he gets on the case, though he has to be clever and thorough.

But Mickey is like a kid brother to me, the same as he becomes of Bosch during the course of the novels. To a degree. I know that’s not exactly true, but I think Bosch has moments where he feels the same way about Mickey that I do.

After reading The Lincoln Lawyer, I don’t know why I didn’t pick up The Brass Verdict years ago. I did, actually, I just didn’t get around to reading it. Connelly is one of those writers I habitually buy when he comes out (deep discounts at lots of book stores) and put away till I get to him.

Mickey is a more frail character in this second book. He’s been through a lot that we weren’t privy to between the first book and this one. His life has been dropped into the toilet and he’s working on getting his feet back under him. Before he can catch his breath, though, a fellow attorney’s death – a murder, no less – drops Mickey back onto the fast track with over thirty cases to deal with. It’s a windfall, but it’s also a disaster in the making.

I love Connelly’s books about Mickey because the storytelling is on the other side of the wall than the crime investigation. Mickey has investigators out working the cases he’s involved with, but he wants to stay in the dark as much as possible because anything he knows he has to give to his legal adversaries as soon as he gets hold of it. That way, in a way, Mickey has to deal with being as surprised as the prosecutors he goes up against. He knows a surprise is coming, but he doesn’t always know what it is.

I also enjoy the way Connelly establishes the cases, explores the law, and exposes how Mickey sets his defenses into play. The “magic bullet” in this one was really cool, and I liked it best of all because I figured it out before it got exposed. Connelly always plays fair with his readers, and there’s a lot of enjoyment in that. The more clever readers figure things out, but there’s still the blue smoke and mirrors of the moment of revelation that kick into play. Things don’t always go as predicted, and I have to admit that I got sucker punched in this one as much as Mickey did. I could feel his pain.

The really great subplot in this one for me was the culmination of the Mickey/Bosch relationship. I could feel for both of them. I have to admit that I wanted a little more out of it than was presented, but I know there’s more to come in both series. In fact, the next book has Bosch and Haller teamed up on the same side of the courtroom. I’m looking forward to it.


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