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Bookmarks Issue: 
38-Jan-Feb-2009
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A-The Brass VerdictMichael Connelly introduced lawyer Mickey Haller in The Lincoln Lawyer ( 4 of 5 Stars Selection Jan/Feb 2006). Here, he brings together Haller and beloved series homicide detective Harry Bosch (last seen in The Overlook, 3.5 of 5 Stars Sept/Oct 2007).

The Story: "Everybody lies," says Mickey Haller. "Cops lie. Lawyers lie. Witnesses lie. The victims lie. A trial is a contest of lies." As he ruminates on the justice system and recovers from a difficult last two years, Haller inherits a sensationalized upcoming trial after the accused man’s lawyer, Jerry Vincent, is murdered. The case has shades of O. J. Simpson: Walter Elliott, a prominent Hollywood producer, stands accused of murdering his wife and her lover. While Haller prepares for Elliott’s defense, Harry Bosch starts investigating Vincent’s murder. As the two men work together, they discover that Haller might have been Vincent’s killer’s next victim.
Little, Brown. 432 pages. $26.99. ISBN: 0316166294

Los Angeles Times 4 of 5 Stars
"Attentive readers of The Lincoln Lawyer will have gleaned that there is a blood connection between Haller and Bosch, a theme that Connelly develops here, letting us observe the relentless and downbeat Bosch, usually seen in close-up, at more of a distance, through Haller’s eyes. … All the devices that can seem worn in other writers’ hands—the estranged wife, the teenage daughter, the assorted sidekicks—are again made fresh here by Haller’s point-of-view in which cynicism commingles with the determination never to quit." Richard Rayner

NY Times Book Review 4 of 5 Stars
"If this were no more than a standard legal thriller, it would still be hard to put down. But for all the glee we might take in watching Mickey in action—psychoanalyzing the jury pool, shredding the credibility of a prosecution witness or faking civility to a powerful judge—The Brass Verdict is not just a conventional legal thriller but also a complicated morality play." Marilyn Stasio

South FL Sun-Sentinel 4 of 5 Stars
"Connelly’s skills at melding plot, character and scenery into a cohesive unit shine in this book. The Brass Verdict is gold." Oline H. Cogdill

Washington Post 4 of 5 Stars
"If at first encounter [Connelly] seems primarily an exceptionally accomplished writer of crime novels, at closer examination he is also a mordant and knowing chronicler of the world in which crime takes place, i.e., our world. … Though the novel has some serious things to say about the workings, and occasional failures, of the jury system, it is primarily an entertainment, and more than welcome purely as such." Jonathan Yardley

Philadelphia Inquirer 3.5 of 5 Stars
"Connelly has said he wanted to give readers a glimpse at the back doors of the American justice system. In pairing his lawyer and detective characters, he offers a suspenseful tale of a sensational celebrity murder trial, as well as a peripheral murder investigation." Paul Davis

Chicago Sun-Times 3 of 5 Stars
"Connelly is a superb storyteller, solid but unflashy, letting out information the way you’d lay out fishing line, then reeling you in, another pleased reader. … The book lacks sweaty-palm tension—with the exception of one scene early in the case, and that turns out to be a ruse." Randy Michael Signor

Critical Summary

Critics were pleased to see two of Michael Connelly’s protagonists—the relatively new Mickey Haller and world-weary homicide detective Harry Bosch—come together for the first time. They agreed that while this union of sorts could have been clichéd, it succeeded for the most part by adding a new layer—the evolution of a relationship forged by protagonists of different series—to Connelly’s oeuvre. Haller’s presence adds a lighter tone to the story, which balances Bosch’s darker, more ruminative outlook. Both play against each other nicely as Connelly writes at once a police procedural and a captivating legal thriller. The Washington Post called The Brass Verdict primarily entertainment, with deeper undertones—just right for Connelly fans.