23 January 2010

Review: THE BRASS VERDICT, Michael Connelly

Allen & Unwin, 2008, ISBN 978-1-74175-544-2, 422 pages

The murder of his old colleague Jerry Vincent is a stroke of luck for defense lawyer Mickey Haller. Jerry has left instructions that Mickey should take over all his clients. There are over 30 cases on Jerry's books including a very high profile murder case: a Hollywood film mogul accused of the double murder of his wife and her lover.

After a bout of drug addiction and 12 months rehabilitation and slow recovery Mickey has been considering whether he is ready to go back to work, but now he has to hit the ground running. As he takes up the reins, he finds LAPD Harry Bosch sniffing around the edges. But is he interested in Jerry Vincent or Walter Elliot, the movie mogul?

This is a book full of twists and turns. There is no doubt that Mickey Haller is a clever lawyer. A slight complaint I have is that though it is written from Mickey's point of view, the reader is not entirely in his confidence. Connelly uses Harry Bosch to sling a few other arrows into the mix, and so right until the end you don't really know the full story.

THE BRASS VERDICT is #14 in the Harry Bosch series (even though for the most part Harry's role seems minor) and #2 in the Mickey Haller series. #1 was THE LINCOLN LAWYER, and my mini-review is below. The pair will meet again in NINE DRAGONS.

In 2009 THE BRASS VERDICT won the Anthony Award for Best Novel, and all I can say is that I can really see why: interesting story tightly plotted, good characters, keeps the reader interested right to the end.

My rating: 5

Check Michael Connelly's own site for complete lists, blurbs etc.

Other reviews to check:
  • Caribou's Mum: fast-paced and gripping, with twist and turns that will keep the reader guessing until the end.
  • Petrona: a superb novel. It is Michael Connelly’s nineteenth, displaying all the hallmarks of an author at the peak of his powers.
  • Crime Scraps: a very well constructed not too complicated legal thriller ... an excellent holiday read
My mini-reviews of other Connelly titles

THE CLOSERS (2005) my rating: 5
After 3 years of retirement, Detective Harry Bosch is once again on active duty with the LAPD, this time assigned to the newly formed Open-Unsolved Unit. His former partner Kizman Rider and he are charged with using new technologies to find the answers to previously unsolved murder cases. A DNA hit has found a link between a weapon used to kill a beautiful mixed-race teenage girl seventeen years earlier and a man with White Supremacy ties. Although there were too few clues to solve the murder when it occurred, Bosch and Rider, using modern police resources, now uncover evidence that leads them to suspect and pursue several potential murderers before they arrive at the truth.

ECHO PARK (2006) my rating: 4.9
#12 in the Harry Bosch series. For 13 years Harry has kept in mind the disappearance of Marie Gesto. Marie disappeared when she left a supermarket. Harry has kept in touch with her parents but they all long ago gave up hope that they would ever see Maria alive. Now in the LAPD Open Unsolved Unit, Harry gets a phone call from the District Attorney: a man accused of killing two other people has put his hand up to Maria's murder. Since then he has murdered 9 others. Apparently the killer contacted Harry's partner at the time and they missed making the connection to Maria's murder. Harry does not like the guilt being laid on him. An excellent read. Just when you think you have it all worked out, the plot takes another turn. I'll certainly be looking for the next one (due out May 2007)

THE LINCOLN LAWYER (audio CD) (2006) my rating: 4.5
Los Angeles defence lawyer Mickey Haller gets his first high-paying client in years when a Beverly Hills rich boy is arrested for brutally beating a woman. His case quickly falls apart and Mickey is under personal pressure which makes him dangerous to work for. The CD case says this is an abridged version. The gravelly voice of the reader Michael Brandon took a bit of getting used to.

THE OVERLOOK (2007) my rating: 4.6
Harry Bosch has recently moved from LAPD's Open Unsolved Unit to the prestigious Homicide Special squad. He has a new partner, a youngster Ignacio Ferras, who regards him as a bit of a dinosaur, and this is their first case. A body has been found at the overlook above the Mulholland Dam, and it's rather obviously a murder. The victim is a medical physicist who supplies a radio active substance called cesium for use in medical procedures that use radioactive therapy.
Alarm bells go off for Harry when FBI agent Rachel Walling turns up at the scene of the crime. Rachel is attached to one of the FBI's Homeland Security operations called the Tactical Intelligence Unit. The body is easily identified and once the fact that a large quantity of cesium is found to be missing, the case becomes a tussle between the LAPD and the FBI. The FBI are saying this is a possible terrorist killing.
My full review: THE OVERLOOK


Maxine Clarke said...

Lovely review- bought a smile to my weary friday night face. I love Michael Connelly. I suppose there are one or two flaws, but I don't really mind, I think this author delivers almost everything, time and time again. He definitely should win the Golden Dagger.

Anonymous said...

Kerrie - I agree with Maxine, both about Michael Connolly and your wonderful review : ). Wasn't that a terrific read!?

Kerrie said...

I have NINE DRAGONS out on the shelf - must make time for it.


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