Customer Reviews: The Fifth Witness (A Lincoln Lawyer Novel)
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on April 19, 2011
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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VINE VOICEon April 5, 2011
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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VINE VOICEon April 19, 2011
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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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. The prosecutor thinks otherwise and Mickey's ex, Maggie, a prosecutor herself, sympathizes with both. But what will the jury say and will the trial truly bring justice?

A thoughtful page-turner; don't miss it. (And don't be put off by the overall evaluation numbers. Those who are giving few stars are often expressing their feelings concerning the price of the electronic version of the novel.)
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on April 28, 2011
I get didn't like the book, but to give away the ending?? Some of your criticisms are valid but it is wrong, totally wrong, to give away the ending of a book, especially a mystery/drama. I've read every Mickey Haller book and this one had me on the edge of my seat. The courtroom proceedings and general legal strategy were, to me, the most interesting part of the book. Mind you, I'm in Europe on holiday (rare!) and read this each night after VERY long days of night until 3 A.M.! It's fiction and I usually give fiction writers a bit more «poetic license». Loved this book! So it cost more on Kindle? So what? Buy the hard cover or go to the library. Don't justify your zero stars as an excuse that this is the only forum. Complain to the publisher since most of us can read, too, and know that. Not fair to Connelly.
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on May 4, 2011
I have a serious complaint reg. the last book of Michael Connelly, the fifth witness.
First of all, it is impossible to put aside, so my whole schedule was a chaos (again) until the moment I finished the book. But then, and this is not the first time, near the last pages I became again very sad. Having to say goodbye to some very good friends. Mickey Haller, Cisco, the others whom I have become to know so well.
Better in certain ways then a lot of people, including their unique strengths but also weaknesses, the fifth witness is again more than just a brilliantly written book. It creates the characters to become so much alive that it is hard to so goodbye and so I have this serious complaint. The only thing I Feel Michael Connelly can do to compensate us all for this serious loss of our dear friends is make a strong promise to write at least 1 ! novel per year about Mickey Haller cs and the time in between he can spend on writing about Harry Bosch. Vacation, preferably very limited. In this way he can at least prevent me a bit from starting the whole series over again..............
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on July 19, 2011
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? I know Hollywood can be enticing and the money must be good - really good (a lot more than book sales I imagine) but if this is the future - a new screenplay, thinly disguised as a novel, churned out every six months a la James Patterson - I may have to add you to the list of authors I have given up on. (I know - I can't believe I said it either).

Do me a favor - resist Hollywood and the pressure from the publishing industry - and produce quality, not quantity.
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on May 3, 2011
This is exactly what you want and expect from Michael Connelly. A riveting read that passes all too quickly and leaves you hunting for something else that you can consume with such vigor and intensity with so little care or bother while doing so. Connelly's Lincoln Lawyer series are wonderful diversions, highly intelligent and engrossing but they don't make you work too hard. I felt that this book gave me a great insight into behind the scenes machinations of a courtroom and at the same time there is a sneaky tugging at your emotions by a character you feel real empathy for even though he's a bit of a SOB.

Will buy anything Connelly writes until he disappoints me. Hasn't happened yet.

By the way....the bad reviews because of Kindle pricing are really not helpful. I wish people would find another way to protest these things rather than ruining review scores for good pieces of work. This book deserves a 4 star rating because it's not a great piece of writing....just a fun novel but I gave it 5 stars to help balance the BS a bit.
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VINE VOICEon August 4, 2011
On the surface, Attorney Mickey Haller, brash, cocky, and seemingly amoral, is a hard guy to like. But hey, the position of a defense lawyer is never ethically simple, and once he accepts a client, Haller goes to the mat for her. In this case, the client is the emotionally volatile Lisa Trammel. Mickey has been representing her in a house foreclosure suit, when she's accused of murdering the banker who held the mortgage. He doesn't much like Lisa, but he does believe in her innocence, and he turns over every rock in LA in his quest to cast doubt on her culpability. In the process, Mickey discovers that the long tentacles of organized crime have infiltrated the mortgage business.

The Fifth Witness is populated by a spectrum of colorful, well delineated characters, ranging from Haller's ex-wife (prosecutor Maggie "McFierce", whom he still loves), to his researcher Dennis, to his client. The bad guys are equally well represented. The first half of the novel concerns the investigation, and the second, a virtual battlefield of a trial. Mickey's up against a very sharp prosecutor, and he's in for the fight of his career. In his eyes, his job is to inform himself of "the knowns, the known unknowns, and the unknown unknowns" of each case. During Lisa Trammel's, although he doesn't realize it for quite some time, he's taking a hard look at the cynical "game" he's required to play each time he defends someone, guilty or not. Beneath the surface, there is definitely active conscience. The trial is full of zigs and zags, but the biggest surprise is held till the end.

Michael Connelly has been authoring the best in legal thrillers and police procedurals for more than a decade, and The Fifth Witness is no exception. Fast paced, exciting, intelligent, and endlessly interesting, the pages practically turn themselves.
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VINE VOICEon May 2, 2011
I'm a retired cop, and a decent investigator, so one of my primary criteria for liking a mystery is if I haven't solved the crime(s) halfway through the novel. (Stupid, unrealistic scenarios don't count!)
"The Fifth Witness" fully satisfied me in this and all other respects. I'm not going to rehash the plot here, but I will say that the timely relevance of the triggering situation added to both realism and authenticity.
I also like the interplay between Mickey Haller, his ex-wives, and also his half-brother Harry Bosch. It feels real, not contrived as a plot device.

Finally (pun intended), I really liked the ending! It was eminently satisfying.
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