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The Gods of Guilt (A Lincoln Lawyer Novel) Paperback – May 6, 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 3,733 customer reviews
Book 6 of 16 in the Mickey Haller Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, December 2013: What distinguishes Connelly's Lincoln Lawyer books from the average legal thriller (in the same way his Harry Bosch series transcends "cop story") is the complicated likeability of his flawed hero, Mickey Haller, a criminal defense lawyer who works mostly from the backseat of a chauffeured Lincoln Town Car. In The Gods of Guilt, Haller agrees to defend a former client's pimp on a murder charge, and his messy past comes back to taunt him--an ideal introduction to Haller for newcomers, and catnip for fans. As a former newspaper court reporter, I've always appreciated Connelly's attention to the messy particulars of the legal system, and his ability to convey real courtroom drama, the humanity and inanity of bringing criminals to justice--or not. (The title refers to the imperfect judgment of a jury.) Like his peers, Laura Lippman and George Pelecanos, Connelly writes crime fiction verging subversively on literature, and Haller is becoming an increasingly complex literary figure, cruising LA's darkest corners in a style that feels like a modern twist on Chinatown. (Think Clint Eastwood-Dirty Harry-San Francisco, but in LA, and without the big guns and the unresolved anger.) Incredibly, Connelly just keeps getting better. --Neal Thompson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* When we last saw Mickey Haller (The Fifth Witness, 2011), the hot-shot maverick attorney who works out of his Lincoln Town Car was fed up with defending bad guys and had decided to run for district attorney. Well, that didn’t work out. Too much politics. Now Mickey’s back with the bad guys, defending a high-tech pimp accused of killing one of his “girls,” who happens to be a former friend of Mickey’s. Naturally, the case has multiple levels, involving a bent DEA agent and requiring an unholy coalition with a drug lord. As he’s done throughout the Haller series, Connelly shows a remarkable ability to bring the courtroom alive—not just the details of the case at hand and the procedural machinations but also the personal drama simmering below the surface of the thrust and counterthrust of legal strategy. There is tragedy along the way to a verdict this time, and Mickey must confront his personal “gods of guilt” just as he does the jury in the courtroom. Connelly’s Harry Bosch series has typically dug deeper into personal demons and questions of existential identity than the Haller novels, but this time the fast-talking attorney is forced to look inward, where his tricks of the trade do him little good. A gripping novel, both in the courtroom and outside of it, and a testament to the melancholy maturing of Mickey Haller. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: As always, a national media campaign will support the launch of Connelly’s latest, as it climbs best-seller lists. Connelly’s books have sold more than 50 million copies worldwide. --Bill Ott --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 (Book 5)
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Hieronymus, Inc.; Reprint edition (May 6, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455575992
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455575992
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,733 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Suncoast TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Criminal defence attorney Mickey Haller is back doing what he does best - running his small legal practice from the back of his Lincoln Town Car. He is still recovering from a time when switched sides to be a successful prosecutor, and he nearly became Los Angeles County District Attorney before disaster struck when a defence case went badly wrong and impacted his career and his relationship with his daughter and first wife.

Mickey is always on the lookout for cases with the highest stakes and biggest paybacks and the top of the line are murder cases. One day Andre La Cosse, an internet "pimp" who designs and manages websites for call girls, asks Mickey to defend him on a murder charge. This case is different because the victim, Gloria Dayton, was a former client, a prostitute Mickey thought he had rescued and put on a straight and narrow path - but unknown to him she was back on the game. It is also different because just before Gloria's death she had told Andre he should contact Haller if he ever needed legal assistance. Andre also has the means to pay for his defence - in gold bullion!

What starts off as a straightforward case of providing a good defence for a guilty person quickly changes when Mickey realises that Andre may not be guilty. The case quickly brings back the ghosts of Mickey's past which can have a serious impact on his professional and personal future. As this case develops it will encompass a potentially corrupt DEA agent, a shady Investigator for the District Attorney, a cartel thug and a disbarred lawyer, all with their own personal interests in Mickey's future. To top all of this off Mickey is being watched and followed and he doesn't know who it is.
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Format: Hardcover
The title of Connelly's latest Mickey Haller novel refers primarily to the jury. Paraphrasing can't do justice to how Connelly explains it, but you'll like it.

As it begins, we are brought up to speed on the nightmare that has become Haller's life. The failed campaign. The drunk driver case. The estrangement from his daughter. Add these to Haller's regular issues, and yikes! There are some Guilt Gods at work here as well, perhaps!!

Then, Haller has a murder case dropped in his lap, and off we go. We find out shortly that the victim played heavily in Mickey's past. And it involves characters on both sides that Haller has had run-ins with.

Some people think making Harry Bosch a half-brother to Haller was a bit too convenient. Actually, Connelly's genius in this move is to create two sides of the same coin. If you are a faithful reader of both series, you already know this. If you're new, you'll get it. Both Haller and Bosch understand the cost of doing business as they do, on all fronts. He also gives Harry a fairly significant cameo.

A big difference in the two series is that Haller's stories require a much heavier dose of process, usually in the form of courtroom events. Connelly excels at creating these moments, resulting in excitement, character development and, occasionally, actual knowledge! I'm sure there are a lot of "legal thriller" writers creating more complex and perhaps more accurate courtroom stuff, but Connelly has the right blend.

Connelly shows he's not afraid to wink at himself, with an amusing reference to the hit film of The Lincoln Lawyer, and the effect of its' popularity on the way Mickey rolls.

The case goes forward in typical Connelly style.....fast-paced and informative.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Connelly books are always well-plotted and move swiftly, and The Gods of Guilt is an involving, entertaining read. But this is far from the author's best. The characters aren't that interesting and hero Mickey Haller's motivations get thinner with each book.

There is also an odd secondary plotline that keeps being brought up but never explained, (unless there was an intervening book in the series I somehow missed.) The previous Mickey Haller novel, the Fifth Witness, ends with Haller deciding to run for DA. As The Gods of Guilt opens, we find he lost the election due to a scandal--a client he had freed killed two people close to his daughter. Huh? Where'd that come from? The story just dangles there and functions only to explain why Haller and his daughter are estranged and why his ex has left LA.

The matching daughter plotlines in both the Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller novels are weak. In both cases, the author seems compelled to provide his perennial bachelor heroes with some sort of personal life. But the daughters seem like Barbie dolls, just taken out of the box when dad needs a little humanizing. Interesting that Connelly didn't choose to give either of his characters a son.
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I read all the Mickey Haller novels one after the other in a very short time, curious about the author after watching The Lincoln Lawyer. They were all very nice reads and I had great expectations for this one. I even started reading the Harry Bosch novels while waiting for it, but I really like the legal drama genre.

The Gods of Guilt wasn't a disappointment in itself. The story is solid, there's a constant build up of tension and some "aha" moments, and for those who enjoy the genre, has interesting legal-drama moments too. However, during the whole book I had this feeling that Connelly wrote it with a sequel for The Lincoln Lawyer film in mind, and I never had the same feeling on the previous three books, even though the movie was based on the first one, and those were the actual sequels to it. I was constantly being draw away from the story and thinking about the real world events that led to choices in the story, and that's not something I want when I read a cheap paperback novel for entertainment. This is not The Gulag Archipelago.

The Gods of Guilt is a decent read and was well worth the wait, but Connelly is definitely changed.

UPDATE

Apparently I missed the acknowledgements section, where Connelly thanks the producers of the Lincoln Lawyer for their suggestions on this book. I guess my feeling that this was intended as the sequel to the movie was right.

Just a few points to illustrate what I'm talking about.

SPOILERS

- The book brings back characters from the first book, that weren't in the other three books. Earl, the driver; Gloria, the prostitute who's always in trouble and snitches on the drug dealer; Lankford, the detective who investigates Frank/Raul Levin's murder; Valenzuela, the bail bondsman, etc.
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