The Law of Innocence (Lincoln Lawyer #6, Harry Bosch World #34), by Michael Connelly

Eight stars

Michael Connelly is back with his favourite lawyer, whose office is a Lincoln that travels around the streets of Los Angeles, helping those in need. Michael ‘Mickey’ Haller has quite the reputation in his profession, though he is sure to have made some enemies. When he’s taken into custody for murder, Haller will have to use all his skills to defend himself, showing that The Law of Innocence is not just a textbook sentiment. Perfect for fans of Connelly’s loosely interconnected series, as well as though who love a great courtroom thriller.

After celebrating another win, defence lawyer Mickey Haller is headed home, only to be stopped by a traffic cop. What begins as a routine missing plate, soon gets out of hand when blood is seen dripping from the bumper. Before long, the body of Sam Scales is found in Haller’s trunk and the hotshot lawyer is dragged off to jail, about to face a murder charge. While Haller professes his innocence, many feel that this could be a form of retribution for a past client’s not listening to his lawyer.

As Haller tries to work all angles and defend himself, he elicits the help of those in his office, as well as former LAPD Detective Harry Bosch to make sense of it all. It’s proven that the body was dumped and killed in Haller’s garage, but there’s much more to the story than meets the eye, including an angle that has the FBI playing coy.

While Haller is not faring well in prison, his sharp mind helps develop a reasonable defence that seems to be winning over the judge. However, the prosecution refuses to let egg settle on its face and pulls a fast one, citing new and damning charges that all but ensure that Haller will spend a long time in prison. This is not how Mickey Haller imagined spending the winter of 2020.

Working with a co-counsel he knows well, Haller must prove his innocence to a panel of jurors who appear eager to hear what the state has to say. It’s sure to be a cutthroat trial where innocence will come second to the ability to spin tales. Haller has everything to lose as he finds himself in the hot seat, somewhere he’s not used to sitting.

I have always enjoyed the work of Michael Connelly, who is able to develop a story that hits the reader in the gut, using many of his great characters to entertain the reader. This piece, which seeks to put savvy defence lawyer Mickey Haller in the shoes of his clients, opens up some new and exciting avenues for the curious reader.

Mickey Haller is a great protagonist in this piece. He shows off his style and pizzazz, but is also relatable as he does what he knows best, defence work. Like his half-brother, Bosch, Haller gets to the root of the issue and uses those around him as inspiration. A father who is trying to ensure his daughter respects him, Haller seeks to show that there are time when the law is not entirely fair, though he never disparages the system in which he earns his living. Forced to use all he knows to save his own skin, Haller will have to show just how conniving he can be when his life’s on the line.

Connelly keeps things interesting with a slew of other characters, some of whom series fans will know well, peppered throughout the narrative. As with many of his novels, Connelly has crafted the perfect mix of good and bad people to push the story along, all connected to the trial in some form. There are some great subplots that emerge in this novel, utilising these supporting characters to offer poignant angles Haller himself could not develop alone. With a cameo appearance by Harry Bosch, fans of that series get a little dose of their favourite retired LAPD detective.

While the ‘Harry Bosch World’ series is long and drawn-out, those that focus on Mickey Haller have been limited. I love Harry Bosch and all he brings to the table, but his half-brother also have some quirks that are worthy of the spotlight. Michael Connelly does well with this novel to develop a strong legal thriller and propels the story forward with a paced narrative that is full of legal jargon. The reader can easily feel as though they are part of the action, with wonderful banter, both in and outside the courtroom. Chapters of various lengths keep the piece from getting too laborious, though there are times when detail takes time to come to fruition, something that Connelly knows well. This is also the first book I have read where the author uses COVID-19 as an interesting ‘window dressing’ to the larger narrative. Well done and placed perfectly so as to involve but not interfere with the overall delivery. I cannot wait to see what else Michael Connelly has for us, as fans await the next season of Bosch on Amazon Prime.

Kudos, Mr. Connelly, for another winner. I loved the concept and thoroughly enjoyed Bosch’s cameo within the story.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: