The Last Legal Book I read…

Last week, for some reason, I said the words, “It’ll be book week here.” This is part of an, albeit weak, attempt at “Book Week.”

We’re going straight up Book Review time to kick things off. I have a couple posts on books ready for the rest of the and I didn’t want to start this off with something akin to “yo, I hear Harper Lee wrote a fantastic book!” So, we’ll start with the last Law Book I read, which was The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly.

Like the prior Connelly book that delved into the law rather than focusing on the cops-side of things, a Connelly legal book is a bit less about the murder that his star, Mickey Haller, is defending, and more about the looming potential for more murder.

I could have figured out where the trial was going if I only had the foresight to punch the book title into Urban Dictionary. (Spoiler Alert: don’t punch the book title into Urban Dictionary). Connelly is best known for his Harry Bosch series of books that date back to the early 90s. Bosch is a detective. Haller is his brother, but, Haller doesn’t piece that together until the end of this one, despite their working together and Bosch, who has knowledge of their being brothers, not saying something like, “I’m your brother, man.”

This seemed a bit more of a legal drama than the previous attempt, as I think Lincoln Lawyer (now a movie!)  was a bit too much like a Bosch-series book, and this one I really found myself connecting with Haller a lot more. The looming murder loomed a little less, I guess. This was more along the lines of standard legal fiction, in a good way.

Here’s where the Haller series is a good read for the legal stuff: His courtroom moments are really good. There are definitely moments where it seems like Connelly is just fitting evidence/facts to what he wants his characters to accomplish, in the sense that as a lawyer I read it and see what he’s doing, but, would know how to respond and his lawyers don’t…yet, overall, there are some really good tendencies in this book. The biggest is probably the way in which Connelly writes misdirection as a trial technique.

It’s fun seeing Connelly write for a defense attorney after all those Bosch books where trust of the legal system is a bit lacking. Like most Connelly books, I don’t think they are great, but, they are paced phenomenally and you’re likely not going to regret having spent the time reading it. Connelly is also solid with generating characters where you want to see what happens next. Haller’s recovery from pain killer addiction in this novel, and his hiring a new driver based on that was a good addition.

I feel like Connelly has pumped out a ton of material and is finding new ways to event himself, the Haller series being one, compared to other writers that we’ll touch on this week in that regard. Connelly has a good grasp on the creative sense of criminal defense work, and that shines through in this book. Overall, a good read.

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