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The Lincoln Lawyer    by Michael Connelly Amazon.com order for
Lincoln Lawyer
by Michael Connelly
Order:  USA  Can
Grand Central, 2011 (2005)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, CD

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Defense lawyer Michael Mickey Haller works out of a Lincoln Town Car in LA County. One of his ex-wives, Lorna Taylor, acts as his case manager, taking calls and tracking clients and appointments for him. The other, Maggie McFierce (McPherson), is a prosecutor, mother of his eight-year-old daughter, and the woman he still loves. Though most of Haller's underdog clients are guilty, he believes in the role he plays in the system. He sees the law as 'a large, rusting machine that sucked up people and lives and money' and himself as 'just a mechanic'. He seems a bit of a sleaze, skirting to the edge of ethical boundaries, but not quite crossing over.

In this novel, Mickey's notions of guilt and innocence are overturned more than once, as he encounters true evil for the first time. It starts with a call from a bondsman who's on Haller's Christmas list. Wealthy Louis Roulet has been arrested for a vicious attack on a woman he met in a bar. He asked for Haller, who sees his potential for a franchise - a long-running trial that will assure his income for the foreseeable future. As Mickey digs, helped by his usual investigator, Raul Levin, layers of lies surface, as well as a connection to a past murder case in which Mickey's client, Jesus Menendez, was put away for life. The plot thickens to put people close to Haller at risk, while the imminent prospect of arrest looms over his own head. It's engrossing to watch the author write his new anti-hero out of this very well-laid trap.

Mickey Haller is an intriguing new character for Michael Connelly - though I can't say I like him as much as Harry Bosch, The Lincoln Lawyer was a promising opening to what I hope will be a new series. Haller started out afraid that he wouldn't recognize innocence, but it was its opposite that almost buried him. I look forward to his next set of cases.

2nd Review by Mary Ann Smyth:

Mickey Haller, lawyer to any and all who need his services, works out of his Lincoln Town Car in Los Angeles. He has to be on his toes to provide support to those accused of drug offenses, traffic violations, spousal abuse, prostitution, and yes even violence. His main worry is that he won't recognize real innocence when he sees it. He handles true evil with the same aplomb as innocence but not with an open heart.

Louis Roulet, accused of savagely beating a hooker and threatening to kill her, asks Haller to represent him. With a fat fee in the offing, Haller agrees and this thriller takes off from the starting block. The Lincoln Lawyer is a hard book to put down, with action on almost every page. The plot is clever a real page turner - and Mickey is a lovable character, even if you don't agree with his philosophy of life.

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