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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This #1 bestselling legal thriller from Michael Connelly is a stunning display of novelistic mastery - as human, as gripping, and as whiplash-surprising as any novel yet from the writer Publishers Weekly has called "today's Dostoevsky of crime literature."

Mickey Haller is a Lincoln Lawyer, a criminal defense attorney who operates out of the backseat of his Lincoln Town Car, traveling between the far-flung courthouses of Los Angeles to defend clients of every kind. Bikers, con artists, drunk drivers, drug dealers - they're all on Mickey Haller's client list. For him, the law is rarely about guilt or innocence, it's about negotiation and manipulation. Sometimes it's even about justice.

A Beverly Hills playboy arrested for attacking a woman he picked up in a bar chooses Haller to defend him, and Mickey has his first high-paying client in years. It is a defense attorney's dream, what they call a franchise case. And as the evidence stacks up, Haller comes to believe this may be the easiest case of his career. Then someone close to him is murdered and Haller discovers that his search for innocence has brought him face-to-face with evil as pure as a flame. To escape without being burned, he must deploy every tactic, feint, and instinct in his arsenal - this time to save his own life.

Q&A with Michael Connelly

Q: The Lincoln Lawyer is your second book to be made into a movie. How does that feel?

A: I am very fortunate to have this experience even once. I wish every writer got a chance to see the written work translated to the visual. It is quite thrilling.

Q: You’ve said that Matthew McConaughey nails the character of Mickey Haller. In what ways?

A: I would say it is in many subtle ways that add up to a big performance. Mickey is a guy who is always looking for an angle. He is a bit cynical and cocky. At different times in the movie McConaughey seems to convey these character aspects without dialogue. Then when it comes to dialogue and action he delivers flawlessly. The story is about a cool, calm man being put into a desperate situation. McConaughey makes that leap convincingly.

Q: What was your involvement in the making of the movie?

A: Almost none. I looked at the first and last versions of the script, took a few phone calls from producers and location scouts, and that was about it. I think my biggest contribution outside of writing the book was giving my trust to Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi, the producers. They promised me six years ago that they would keep the gritty realism of the story – the-law-in-the-trenches aspect of it. I trusted them to do that and with Brad Furman, the director, they came through.

Q: What were your immediate thoughts when you first read the script? When you heard about each cast member?

A: Depends on which script. It was a long-running work in progress. I went from not liking the first effort to being blown away by the last version. I am a huge believer in rewriting in my own work so I knew that the more time they spent with the script, the better it would become. As far as casting goes, I don't write with anybody in mind. But I saw Tropic Thunder with Matthew McConaughey in it and immediately thought he would be good at being Mickey Haller. A year later he was cast, so I was happy from the start. The rest of the cast is just fantastic. As each was announced, I became more and more excited. John Leguizamo was in Brad Furman's previous film and was just excellent. When I heard he was aboard, it was a great day. Same with all the rest. Bryan Cranston happens to be the star of my favorite show, Breaking Bad. So I couldn't be happier with him in the cast.

Q: What was your inspiration for The Lincoln Lawyer? Is Mickey Haller based on someone you know?

A: I met an attorney who worked out of his car, not because he was not doing well but because he believed it was the best way to do the job in L.A. That was the spark, and it went from there.

Q: Are there any scenes in the film that you wish were in the book?

A: There are definitely a few lines I wish were in the book. There is a scene where Mickey drops his sleeping daughter off at his ex-wife's home. It is a poignant scene that I really love and could have used in the book.

Q: Did you visit the set while they were filming the movie? What was that experience like?

A: I went four different times and scheduled the visits to coincide with the shooting of some significant scenes. I loved what I was seeing on both sides of the camera: a lot of dedication to the project. Everyone on the crew felt like they were making something good. It was great to witness.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Connelly's first legal thriller has gotten virtually universal raves for its courage, plotting and humor—and those qualities also make the audio version a triumph. Grupper vividly brings to life Connelly's large cast of characters: from the shrewd, hard-working criminal defense lawyer Mickey Haller—whose office is the back seat of his Lincoln Town Car and who spends his advertising budget in the Yellow Pages—to the sleazy collection of biker outlaws, con artists and prostitutes who make up most of his clients. Grupper is especially subtle as he reads the words of Louis Ross Roulet, a Beverly Hills real estate agent charged with attempted murder—a character whose guilt and motives darken at every appearance. Haller distrusts Roulet almost immediately, but he also sees the man's wealthy mother as the source of the long-running financial franchise every criminal lawyer longs for. Grupper's take on Connelly's scenes between Haller and Roulet is taut and fascinating: an audio tour-de-force of the highest order. Equally compelling are Haller's scenes with his two ex-wives; his friend and investigator; and a compelling client from the past who went to prison because Mickey couldn't believe he was innocent.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: A Lincoln Lawyer Novel
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition (September 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446541133
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446541138
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,149,002 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Connelly was born in Philadelphia, PA on July 21, 1956. He moved to Florida with his family when he was 12 years old. Michael 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 followed up with three more Bosch books, The Black Ice, The Concrete Blonde, and The Last Coyote, before publishing The Poet in 1996--a thriller with a newspaper reporter as a protagonist. In 1997, he went back to Bosch with Trunk Music, and in 1998 another non-series thriller, Blood Work, was published. It was inspired in part by a friend's receiving a heart transplant and the attendant "survivor's guilt" the friend experienced, knowing that someone died in order that he have the chance to live. Connelly had been interested and fascinated by those same feelings as expressed by the survivors of the plane crash he wrote about years before. The movie adaptation of Blood Work was released in 2002, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood.

Connelly's next book, Angels Flight, was released in 1999 and was another entry in the Harry Bosch series. The non-series novel Void Moon was released in 2000 and introduced a new character, Cassie Black, a high-stakes Las Vegas thief. His 2001 release, A Darkness More Than Night, united Harry Bosch with Terry McCaleb from Blood Work, and was named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Los Angeles Times.

In 2002, Connelly released two novels. The first, the Harry Bosch book City Of Bones, was named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times. The second release was a stand-alone thriller, Chasing The Dime, which was named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Los Angeles Times.

Lost Light was published in 2003 and named one of the Best Books of 2003 by the Los Angeles Times. It is another in the Harry Bosch series but the first written in first person.
Connelly's 2004 novel, The Narrows, is the sequel to The Poet. It was named one of the Best Books of 2004 by the Los Angeles Times. His 11th Harry Bosch novel, The Closers, was published in 2005, and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. The Lincoln Lawyer, Connelly's first-ever legal thriller and his 16th novel, was published in 2005 and also debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. This book introduced Mickey Haller, a Los Angeles defense attorney who works out of the back seat of his Lincoln Town Car. The movie adaptation, starring Matthew McConaughey as Haller, was released in 2011. This is the second film adapted from a Connelly novel.

Crime Beat, a non-fiction collection of crime stories from Michael's days as a journalist, was released in 2006, as was the Harry Bosch novel, Echo Park. The Overlook, Michael's 18th novel, was originally serialized in the New York Times Magazine. This Harry Bosch story was published as a book with additional material in 2007.

Michael's 19th novel, The Brass Verdict, was released in 2008, and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. It introduces Lincoln lawyer Mickey Haller to LAPD Detective Harry Bosch in a fast-paced legal thriller. Michael's 20th novel, The Scarecrow, was released in 2009, and reunites reporter Jack McEvoy and FBI Agent Rachel Walling for the first time since The Poet. It too debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Michael released a second book in 2009, the 15th Harry Bosch novel, Nine Dragons. In this story, Bosch goes to Hong Kong to find his missing daughter.

In 2010, The Reversal was released and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. This book has Mickey Haller and Harry Bosch working together on the high-profile retrial of a brutal child murder. The Fifth Witness, a Mickey Haller novel, was released in 2011 and also debuted at #1. Michael's 2011 novel, The Drop, a Harry Bosch novel, debuted at #1. Another #1 ranked book, The Black Box, focuses on Harry Bosch once again and is Michael's 25th novel. Its release came in Michael's 20th year in publishing, 2012. The Gods of Guilt , a Mickey Haller novel, was released in 2013, and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. The Burning Room, a Harry Bosch novel, was released in 2014 and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.

Fifty-eight million copies of Connelly's books have sold worldwide and he has been translated into thirty-nine foreign languages. He has won the Edgar Award, Anthony Award, Macavity Award, Los Angeles Times Best Mystery/Thriller Award, Shamus Award, Dilys Award, Nero Award, Barry Award, Audie Award, Ridley Award, Maltese Falcon Award (Japan), .38 Caliber Award (France), Grand Prix Award (France), Premio Bancarella Award (Italy), and the Pepe Carvalho award (Spain) .

In addition to his literary work, Michael is one of the producers and writers of the TV show, "Bosch," which is streaming on Amazon Prime Instant Video now. All 10 episodes can be watched here: http://amzn.to/1A1czNc

Michael lives with his family in Florida.

Customer Reviews

The characters are very vivid and, to me, the plot was well developed.
High Mountain Cook
Very fast paced and engaging, I had a hard time putting this down, due to the unexpected plot twists and turns, a great read!
DebbieL
This is an easy, enjoyable read and if you like a good legal thriller then I would definitely recommend this book.
AlexisF

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

560 of 584 people found the following review helpful By G. Ware Cornell Jr. VINE VOICE on October 7, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Abraham Lincoln is revered by lawyers everywhere for his courtroom skills and practical wisdom. The Lincoln Michael Connelly refers is not Abraham, but rather the automobile.

Mickey Haller, son of an original Los Angeles superstar lawyer, owns several. At times the limousine business seems preferable to his own. But finally he gets, to his eternal regret the "franchise case", the kind of case that not only pays the bills but causes other clients to want his services.

A young rich real estate broker is charged in the attempted murder of a hooker. His insistence in his innocence causes Haller to realize he may have what he has always dreaded, the actually innocent client. But he finds his defense efforts in disarray as the case sours, and he himself becomes a murder suspect.

Non-lawyers usually do not write good legal thrillers. Michael Connelly, a former reporter and America's best mystery writer, is the exception that proves the rule. He has a great ear for the courtroom and a sense of the professional and economic dilemmas trial lawyers face.

I will say this, however, in real life no matter how secret the client confidence, lawyers are ethically able to access the expertise necessary to know how to respond to any dilemma in an ethically sound way. The real Mickey Haller would have picked up the phone to the Bar's hotline for an ethics opinion. That simple act would have destroyed a helluva tale.

I hope we will see more of Haller. He has his demons but he is not as dark a protagonist as Harry Bosch. The reality is, in his first legal thriller, Connelly has produced a book every bit as good as John Grisham's A Time To Kill. That is saying a lot.
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210 of 224 people found the following review helpful By T. Slaven VINE VOICE on February 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Mickey Haller is a dirty-shirt criminal defense lawyer who cleans up well. He has a narrow life that is lived within the parameters of the criminal justice "machine". His friends are investigators, bail bondsmen, and other lawyers. His principal challenge is finding enough clients to enable him to make the mortgage payments and otherwise cope with the high cost of living in LA. That focus predisposes him to cut some ethical corners, ignore some people who should be more central to his life, and put aside questions about purpose and the higher good. It's all about the buck.

The buck is all Mickey sees when he lands a wealthy client accused of assault and attempted rape. He worries that the case will be too easy, and his chance for a big score will evaporate in an early plea or a dismissal. However, that turns out not to be the case as Mickey's "franchise" client leads him through a troubling hall of mirrors that both continually distorts the truth and leaves Mickey staring at reflections of himself that he would rather not acknowledge.

This novel is well written and imaginative, and contains some surprising plot twists. It also has some story elements that just don't hang together. There's no credible explanation for why exactly this case fell into Mickey's lap. The surprise climax left me saying, "aw, c'mon!" In the end, the solution was a lot short of what I stayed up until 3 in the morning hoping to see revealed.

But then again, the story did keep me up reading until 3 in the morning. That doesn't happen often. Despite its flaws, this is a book to recommend.
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128 of 144 people found the following review helpful By Tucker Andersen VINE VOICE on November 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This novel is definitely on a par with the best of the fifteen stories in Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch series; any initial disappointment that might be experienced by Bosch's fans when they discover that Connelly has at least temporarily abandoned Harry in favor of Mickey Haller, a criminal defense attorney whose seemingly guilty clients often benefit from police errors, will almost immediately be replaced by the recognition that Connelly has created another character at least as complex and interesting as Harry. Mickey's persona is almost the opposite of Harry's, for him the law is about the art of the possible, his clients are often individuals who are down on their luck and on the wrong side of the law. Harry concentrates on identifying the guilty in order to provide justice for the victims and their families; Mickey is afraid that some day he will be hired to defend a client whose innocence he will be incapable of recognizing and thus he will simply pursue the "best deal" as opposed to throwing all his effort into gaining a "not guilty" verdict.

The story opens with Mickey receiving a telephone call from Fernando Valenzuela (no, not the pitcher, but the bail bondsman) in his office while on his way to a court hearing for Harold Casey, a member of the Road Saints motorcycle gang who is awaiting trial on multiple drug and weapons charges. (The Lincoln Town Car which is his office is an integral element both in his life and also eventually becomes an important detail in the particular case which is at the center of this story.
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