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The Fifth Witness (A Lincoln Lawyer Novel) Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 2012

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Product Details

  • Series: A Lincoln Lawyer Novel
  • Mass Market Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Vision; Reprint edition (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 044655667X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446556675
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,186 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Connelly's compelling fourth legal thriller featuring Mickey Haller (after Reversal) finds the maverick L.A. lawyer who uses his Lincoln town car as an office specializing in "foreclosure defense." Haller's first foreclosure client, Lisa Trammel, is fighting hard to keep her home, maybe too hard. The bank has gotten a restraining order to stop Trammel's protests, and she becomes the prime suspect when Mitchell Bondurant, a mortgage banker, is killed with a hammer in his office parking lot. A ton of evidence points to Trammel, but Haller crafts an impressive defense that includes "the fifth witness" of the title. Connelly has a sure command of the legal and procedural details of criminal court, and even manages to make the arcane, shady world of foreclosure interesting. While the prose may lack some of the poetic nuance of his early novels, the plot is worthy of a master storyteller. The film of The Lincoln Lawyer, the first Mickey Haller novel, releases in March. (Apr.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Crime-fiction megastar Connelly can always be counted on to try something a little different. In The Reversal (2010), his last Mickey Haller novel, starring the L.A. lawyer who prefers to work out of his Lincoln Town Car, Connelly offered a tour de force of plotting on multiple levels. Here, he narrows the focus considerably, concentrating almost exclusively on what happens inside the courtroom but bringing to the traditional give-and-take of prosecutor, defender, judge, and jury an altogether more complex commingling of personality and legal strategy than is typically on view in legal thrillers. He accomplishes this with a particularly rich first-person narration in which Haller takes us through the courtroom drama as it happens, noting his blunders and praising himself for quick-thinking improvisations. It doesn't hurt, either, that the plot is meaty: a woman whom Haller was representing in a suit against the bank attempting to foreclose on her mortgage is accused of killing the bank official in charge of foreclosures. Combining ripped-from-the-headlines information on the mortgage crisis with a cast of characters that defies stereotypes at every turn of the plot, Connelly shows once again that he will never simply ride the wave of past success. And, neither, apparently, will Mickey Haller, as he reveals a shocking change of direction in the novel's final pages.

HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Connelly's latest Mickey Haller novel will benefit from the release in March of a movie version of The Lincoln Lawyer, the first Haller novel, starring Matthew McConaughey. 750,000 first printing. --Bill Ott

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Michael Connelly decided to become a writer after discovering the books of Raymond Chandler while attending the University of Florida. Once he decided on this direction he chose a major in journalism and a minor in creative writing ' a curriculum in which one of his teachers was novelist Harry Crews.

After graduating in 1980, Connelly worked at newspapers in Daytona Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, primarily specializing in the crime beat. In Fort Lauderdale he wrote about police and crime during the height of the murder and violence wave that rolled over South Florida during the so-called cocaine wars. In 1986, he and two other reporters spent several months interviewing survivors of a major airline crash. They wrote a magazine story on the crash and the survivors which was later short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. The magazine story also moved Connelly into the upper levels of journalism, landing him a job as a crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times, one of the largest papers in the country, and bringing him to the city of which his literary hero, Chandler, had written.

After three years on the crime beat in L.A., Connelly began writing his first novel to feature LAPD Detective Hieronymus Bosch. The novel, The Black Echo, based in part on a true crime that had occurred in Los Angeles , was published in 1992 and won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel by the Mystery Writers of America. Connelly has followed that up with 18 more novels. His books have been translated into 31 languages and have won the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity, Shamus, Dilys, Nero, Barry, Audie, Ridley, Maltese Falcon (Japan), .38 Caliber (France), Grand Prix (France), and Premio Bancarella (Italy) awards.

Michael lives with his family in Florida.

Customer Reviews

It had great plot twists and kept me guessing until the very end.
This story was great, until the ending, and like many of his endings seems too contrived and too quick, with a twist that kind of works but doesn't impress.
The characters are well developed and the story lines interesting.
B. Brown

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

125 of 136 people found the following review helpful By M. McConnell on April 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was another great Michael Connelly story. Mickey Haller was wonderful, especially in the court room scenes and his staff, family and assorted bad guys added depth to the story. The client, Lisa Trammel, was highly unlikeable but she still deserved to be defended. Very enjoyable and fast-paced.

I would like to suggest to Amazon that you separate the reviews where people are complaining about the price of Kindle books from the reviews about the actual story content of the book. The irate Kindle users skew the reviews and don't give a true picture of the popularity of the book unless you wade through all of the negative comments. You could lump them in their own category and send them to the publisher!
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332 of 372 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Newman VINE VOICE on April 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This engaging courtroom thriller is by far Mr. Connelly's best Lincoln Lawyer tale to date! This time Mickey Haller has jumped on the foreclosure bandwagon and is servicing clients who are about to lose their house. One of those clients is Lisa Trammel who has started a protest group that against her bank that garners national attention.

When the Bank Officer servicing Lisa's loan is murdered, Lisa is the prime suspect and it is up to Mickey to defend her. Through the handling of Lisa's mortgage case against the bank, Mickey knows that there were a lot of "fishy" practices going on and that Lisa may have been set up. The courtroom drama is intense and Mr. Connelly has the reader hooked on every sentence of the narrative.

Mr. Connelly also paints a picture of LAPD law enforcement (with the exception of Harry Bosch) working with "tunnel vision," meaning that once they have a possible suspect, they ignore all leads not related to the suspect and only pursue what will make a case against that suspect. This may in part be due to the economics of doing an investigation. The prosecution in this case seems to only be interested in seeing the accused go down and to discount any other "theories" of what may have occurred, especially if those paths may point to a different individual as the perpetrator of the crime.

Mr. Connelly also gives us more insight into Mickey's supporting team, especially his investigator Cisco. Mickey seems to have evolved from the "sleezy" lawyer we had seen in the first Lincoln Lawyer novel and is now a relentless pursuer of getting to the truth. There are also some surprises with Mickey's evolving "post-married" relationship with Maggie, his ex.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish and look forward to more Mickey stories!
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99 of 110 people found the following review helpful By Michael DENNISUK VINE VOICE on April 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ingore all the 1 star reviews! They are from disgruntled Kindle users (I don't read Amazon Reviews to find out your Kindle issues, I read them to get an idea whether or not I will like the book). Mickey Haller, the Lincoln Lawyer, has taken on a murder case in which one of his clients is accused of murdering a bank exec over a foreclosure. Mr. Connelly continues to successfully develop Haller's character. This is pure courtroom drama. It is the court case that is the story. The writing, as always, is exceptional. The character development is superb and the plotting is excellent. The greatest compliment you can pay a book is - "I couldn't put it down" and I couldn't put it down! Enjoy! GREAT READ!!
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Richard B. Schwartz TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Of course it's court drama; it's the Lincoln Lawyer at work. However, The Fifth Witness is different from the other Haller novels, which are often more traditional crime stories. This is actual courtroom stuff, recalling the earlier work of, e.g., Steve Martini. The novel proceeds day by day, witness by witness and focuses on the workings of a defense attorney's mind. The law and legal strategy are the focal points of the novel. Past surveys have shown that there is a disconnect between readers' interests and publishers' offerings. Bottom line: readers love courtroom drama, but there's too little of it out there. There's too little because you need to be able to think like a defense attorney and you need to know the law and the lore to write such a book. Steve Martini's earlier books were fascinating in their exploration of courtroom procedure, even if the writing was not as polished as in the author's later work. Connelly, however, brings his silk-smooth prose along with the courtroom strategy and lore. The result is something very special (but slightly different from the preceding novels).

Connelly began his career as a journalist, but he has been able to immerse himself in the world of the law and The Fifth Witness is the most dramatic result to date. The subject is also current. A woman who was about to lose her house because of her own defaults and the machinations of a sleazy foreclosure company is accused of murdering a bank official. Although she claims to have never actually met him, his blood is on one of her shoes and one of her tools. Mickey thinks she's been framed because, he argues, she is simply too short in height to deliver the blows to the top of the victim's skull which resulted in his death.
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88 of 108 people found the following review helpful By J. Norburn on July 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Michael, Michael, Michael....

I can't believe I'm giving a one of your books a 2 star review (I've read them all) but here it is.

I don't know what to say Mike. This is an uninspired and tiresome novel that has none of the complexities of your early novels. I couldn't help but notice you included an obligatory attack on our hero by hired goons sending him to the hospital. It's the kind of thing a screenwriter would insert into a script even though it wasn't in the book because the movie needs a `little something in the middle' to step up the action before the big finale. But you made it easy for them by working it right into the novel. That scene will look great in the trailer for the film.

Which brings me to my biggest complaint. The Fifth Witness reads like it was written for the silver screen. The Lincoln Lawyer has been turned into a big budget Hollywood movie and it appears you want to provide Matthew McConaughey with steady work and a franchise character.

And don't get me started on that little `life altering twist' in the final pages regarding Mickey's future. Ugh. That just screams "Hollywood".

I must say, I thought the whole novel felt flat but I was especially annoyed by the ending. The conclusion was as predictable as it was improbable. It may work for a popcorn movie where the viewer's investment is much lower, but for readers (at least this reader) you need to aim higher. The ending has to bear scrutiny and this one doesn't.

I can't help but wonder why you're releasing a new novel a mere six months after The Reversal hit book stores?
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