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The Lincoln Lawyer (A Lincoln Lawyer Novel) Paperback – September 16, 2008
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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. Veteran bestseller Connelly enters the crowded legal thriller field with flash and panache. Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Mickey Haller regularly represents lowlifes, but he's no slickster trolling for loopholes in the ethics laws. He's haunted by how he mishandled the case of (probably innocent) Jesus Menendez, and, though twice divorced, he's on good terms with his ex-wives; one of them manages his office, and the other, an ambitious assistant DA, occasionally tumbles back into bed with him. When Mickey signs on to defend young real estate agent Louis Roulet against charges of assault, he can't help seeing dollar signs: Roulet's imperious mother will spend any amount to prove her beloved son's innocence. But probing the details of the case, Mickey and private investigator Raul Levin dig up a far darker picture of Roulet's personality and his past. Levin's murder and a new connection to the Menendez case make Mickey wonder if he's in over his head, and his defense of Roulet becomes a question of morality as well as a test of his own survival. After Connelly spends the book's first half involving the reader in Mickey's complex world, he thrusts his hero in the middle of two high-stakes duels, against the state and his own client, for heart-stopping twists and topflight storytelling. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
I gave the Lincoln Lawyer a shot and now I've got yet another series of books that I'll be binge reading. Thank Connelly. Now you are going to be getting even more of my cash. We weren't even married for crying out loud.
He is called to defend a rich kid for committing a serious bodily injury against a prostitute. He is convinced his client is not guilty, believing that the victim is only looking for a big payoff. He has his investigator dig in and doubt starts creeping in. The client, Roulet (pronounced Roo-lay) is beginning to look like a serial killer. More and more terrible stuff is beginning to surface, but Roulet has something on him and is relentless to make certain that Haller will get a not guilty verdict. Here is where ethics, conscience, and morality become a true conflict.
I have started reading the whole series again, having just finished "The Wrong Side of Goodbye" (5stars on its own) and will probably re-start again!
Michael Connelly has found a winning format with Mickey Haller and Harry Bosch, the interaction between the two makrs for good reading. The only book in the series I did not enjoy as much as the others was "The Brass Verdict" - a question of law a bit alien to a foreigner like me but each book's court scenes always grip the reader. Keep going MC, we love your books be they HB on his own or in company of MH. Instant best-sellers and they are selling well, in French, on the Cote d'Azur where I live.
I'll just add my own reactions and assessment. The writing is very good. The lawyer's life and cases had a realistic "feel". The plot pacing kept me turning pages, and there were some clever twists and turns. Several characters were well developed and they operated from motives that were consistent with their personalities. The protagonist, Mick Haller, is a defense lawyer struggling along as a cog in the great "machine" of American justice. The trial scenes were among the most convincing that I've read outside a John Grisham novel. I found the ending quite satisfying.
I highly recommend "The Lincoln Lawyer" for adult mystery fans.
The main protagonist is not supposed to be a really likable person, although... by the end of the book he is much less of a scumbag than he presents himself to be at the start. That bit, having a lawyer who represents the guilty, knowingly so, was a very novel twist to this story.
The court procedural was also a lot more realistic, and intriguing, than the usual lawyerly capers found in crime novels. This is not Perry-Mason-solves-the-case lawyering. The protagonist does not magically act like a detective and identify the guilty. Instead, during the trial parts, you get intriguing insights about the calculations a criminal lawyer runs, mostly on jury management.
Outside the court, there was a big plot twist in the middle. Then it became more of a how is he going to fix this, but remained a page turner till the very end.