The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly

Reviewed by L.D.Y.

Hardcover, 425 pages, 200

Rating: 9/10

Reason for Reading: Connelly is the man for busting out of reading slumps. Always good.

Synopsis: Mickey Haller (who we first met in The Lincoln Lawyer) is a criminal defence lawyer who defends the lowest of the low – as long as they can pay. When a former colleague, Jerry Vincent, is murdered, Haller is called back to duty when he finds he has inherited all of his clients. The biggest, richest, and most famous man he’s now going to defend is accused of murdering his wife and her lover, and Vincent seemed to think it was a slam-dunk case. But Haller can’t figure out what evidence Vincent had that would get the client off the hook – or what Vincent knew about one of his clients that got him murdered, and now Haller is worried he may be next to be killed…

Why you should read this book: There are a lot of authors that would love to know Connelly’s secret. Usually when an author can turn out a book or two a year the quality suffers, especially as time goes on and things can start to get a little stale. But Connelly continues to work his magic, this time by bringing together Mickey Haller and his most-beloved character, Detective Harry Bosch. Bosch is assigned to find out who killed Jerry Vincent, and he’s willing to use Haller as bait to catch the murderer, adding a fun twist as we get to see a lawyer vs. cop dynamic when we’re used to thinking of them as (hopefully) being on the same side. Haller is not only a whip-smart character, but he’s super-savvy from his career of sorting out when his criminal clients are lying to him, which allows the story-line to be smart and complex. Recommended for anyone who likes a well-written courtroom thriller that’s not too heavy on the actual courtroom.

Why you should avoid this book: Connelly is better known for his suspense and thriller novels, and while The Brass Verdict definitely has a lot of the same elements, the legal talk slows it down a bit. Still interesting to see how the courtroom works behind the scenes; just not the same break-neck speed Connelly fans are used to reading.

Opening paragraph:

Everybody lies.
Cops lie. Lawyers lie. Witnesses lie. The victims lie.

Fabulous quotes:

‘The detective in charge of the investigation made a good point. He said the evidence suggests that Jerry Vincent knew his killer and probably even allowed him to get close enough to, you know, shoot him. He said that makes it a good bet that it was one of his own clients. So they were going through the files looking for potential suspects when I walked in on them.’
The judge waved one of her hands in a gesture of dismissal.
‘Of course they were. And they were trampling on those clients’ rights as they were doing it.’

‘Well, for starters, you spend a lot of time protesting your innocence. But I don’t think you are taking this that seriously.’
‘You’re wrong about that.’
‘Am I? You understand that if you lose this trial, you are going to prison? And there won’t be any bail on a double-murder conviction while you appeal. You get a bad verdict and they’ll cuff you in the courtroom and take you away.’
Elliot leaned a few inches toward me before responding again.
‘I understand exactly the position I am in. So don’t dare tell me I am not taking it seriously.’

Also recommended: Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith; The Hidden Assassins by Robert Wilson; The Book of Fate by Brad Meltzer.

Also by this author: The Black Echo; The Black Ice; The Concrete Blonde; The Last Coyote; The Poet; Trunk Music; Blood Work; Angels Flight; Void Moon; A Darkness More Than Night; City of Bones; Chasing the Dime; Lost Light; The Narrows; The Closers; The Lincoln Lawyer; Echo Park; The Overlook; Crime Beat; The Scarecrow.

Author’s website:

Fun tidbit: How well do you know Bosch and Haller? Play this game on Connelly’s website to find out.

Would I read more by this author? I will keep reading until I’ve read them all…and then I will wait for new books.

&#169 Lisa Yanaky 2003-2009

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