The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly: Book Review

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4.5 Stars
Mickey Haller is a criminal defense attorney living in LA. His bail bondsman calls him up one day with a “franchise” case. A young man with money to burn has been charged with a whole list of crimes, ranging from something like attempted rape to assault with a deadly weapon. Don’t quote me on that. Anyway, Mickey, seeing dollar signs, takes the case and starts his investigation.

I’d heard a lot of good things about this and I bugged a co-worker until he finally let me borrow it. I wasn’t disappointed. The book was a page-turner from the get-go, but about halfway through Connelly threw a huge twist in and I could not stop reading.

As for Mickey himself…He first presents himself as a scumbag who will do anything for money. His first advertising campaign was “Reasonable doubt for a reasonable fee.” Nice guy, right? I wasn’t too sure about him at first. But one of his other mottoes is a saying his dad, another defense attorney, had: “There is no client as scary as an innocent man.” He does his job and he does it well. Throughout the book, he explains his job as he sees it. We’ve all heard about the obviously guilty defendant getting off on a technicality. Had the case been worked correctly, that would not have happened. He keeps the system as honest as he can. But he’s also lost his faith in the truth and the system somewhere along the way. His struggle to make peace with his job and his jaded view of the system are a pretty consistent theme throughout. It’s not too preachy, but it does make you think.

But all that makes the book sound too serious. It was a legal thriller that kept me turning pages. And I’m not a huge fan of legal thrillers. The courtroom stuff was kept to a tolerable level for me, and the mystery is a strong one. I recommend this to anyone who’s in the mood for this kind of thing.

Reviewed Jun 8, 2009

Read an excerpt.

Find author Michael Connelly on his website and Facebook.

Buy The Lincoln Lawyer on

The movie comes out today. Matthew McConaughey is not at all who I would have pictured for Mickey Haller, but I won’t complain. Still, I thought of Mickey as looking a little more…jaded. And older. Not old, just older.

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  1. Awesome rec. I love crime thrillers too (you can see as much on my site, especially this entry about true crime anthologies that I HIGHLY recommend: and a treatise about a Swedish mystery writer who's filling the void Dame Christie has left for us all. And now I have yet another to look into – thank you so much! Have you tried any of the early Lehane, btw? Great blog, nd I'll be following 😉

  2. I LOVE Michael Connelly and can't wait to see this. Like you, I pictured someone a bit older, more jaded, and less "pretty" than Matthew McConaughey, but I think that he can pull it off. The eye candy will be a bonus, just don't tell my guy that;)

  3. My husband has read many of Michael Connelly's books and enjoys them…I started one of them…can't remember which one it was (is there one about a cliff or landing?) and it just didn't grab me. I don't think it was this one though…might give it another try…

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