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Library Journal Review
Mickey Haller defends a woman accused of murdering the banker responsible for her foreclosure. Connelly's outstanding legal thriller offers an insightful portrait of the current economic crisis. (LJ 2/15/11) (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Connelly's compelling fourth legal thriller featuring Mickey Haller (after Reversal) finds the maverick L.A. lawyer who uses his Lincoln town car as an office specializing in "foreclosure defense." Haller's first foreclosure client, Lisa Trammel, is fighting hard to keep her home, maybe too hard. The bank has gotten a restraining order to stop Trammel's protests, and she becomes the prime suspect when Mitchell Bondurant, a mortgage banker, is killed with a hammer in his office parking lot. A ton of evidence points to Trammel, but Haller crafts an impressive defense that includes "the fifth witness" of the title. Connelly has a sure command of the legal and procedural details of criminal court, and even manages to make the arcane, shady world of foreclosure interesting. While the prose may lack some of the poetic nuance of his early novels, the plot is worthy of a master storyteller. The film of The Lincoln Lawyer, the first Mickey Haller novel, releases in March. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* Crime-fiction megastar Connelly can always be counted on to try something a little different. In The Reversal (2010), his last Mickey Haller novel, starring the L.A. lawyer who prefers to work out of his Lincoln Town Car, Connelly offered a tour de force of plotting on multiple levels. Here, he narrows the focus considerably, concentrating almost exclusively on what happens inside the courtroom but bringing to the traditional give-and-take of prosecutor, defender, judge, and jury an altogether more complex commingling of personality and legal strategy than is typically on view in legal thrillers. He accomplishes this with a particularly rich first-person narration in which Haller takes us through the courtroom drama as it happens, noting his blunders and praising himself for quick-thinking improvisations. It doesn't hurt, either, that the plot is meaty: a woman whom Haller was representing in a suit against the bank attempting to foreclose on her mortgage is accused of killing the bank official in charge of foreclosures. Combining ripped-from-the-headlines information on the mortgage crisis with a cast of characters that defies stereotypes at every turn of the plot, Connelly shows once again that he will never simply ride the wave of past success. And, neither, apparently, will Mickey Haller, as he reveals a shocking change of direction in the novel's final pages. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Connelly's latest Mickey Haller novel will benefit from the release in March of a movie version of The Lincoln Lawyer, the first Haller novel, starring Matthew McConaughey. 750,000 first printing.--Ott, Bill Copyright 2010 Booklist
Kirkus Book Review
Just in time for his movie debut this spring, Connelly brings back the Lincoln Lawyer for a satisfying case that pits him against a real-estate foreclosure mill.Lisa Trammel never met Mitchell Bondurant, but the two of them had reason to loathe each other. As senior vice president at WestLand National Bank, Bondurant made the call to foreclose on Trammel's house after her husband left her and their 9-year-old son and her mortgage went underwater. Nothing daunted, Trammel started a grassroots organization called Foreclosure Litigants Against Greed (FLAG) to fight WestLand and its allies in the media, and hired Mickey Haller (The Reversal, 2010, etc.) to fight WestLand in court. Both the legal battle and the media circus take a dramatic new turn when Bondurant is found bashed to death in a parking garage and a witness places Trammel half a block away within a few minutes of the bashing. Det. Howard Kurlen, LAPD, immediately picks up Trammel, questions her and then arrests her for murder. Digging in her heels, she insists that she didn't kill Bondurant; she never even met Bondurant; she's never changed her story one bit; and every bit of forensic evidence against herand by the end, there's plentycan be explained as part of a frame-up. It's the job of Mickey, his investigator Dennis ("Cisco") Wojciechowski and his new associate Jennifer ("Bullocks") Aronson to dig up someone who could plausibly have framed her. As the evidence piles up against Trammel, evidence casting suspicion on Bondurant's other associates piles up alongside it. Mickey is beaten up by two guys who clearly don't like the questions he's been asking. The mountain of paperwork prosecutor Andrea Freeman reluctantly shares with Mickey discloses an unsavory connection that could well point to another killer. And the third-party suspect Mickey zeroes in on obligingly behaves exactly like a guilty party."With me, it's don't ask, don't tell," Mickey tells the starry-eyed Bullock, who wonders why this junkyard dog never asks his client if she's innocent. Though the answer isn't as mysterious as you might like, the courtroom scenesthrust, parry, struggle for every possible advantageare grueling enough for the most exacting connoisseur of legal intrigue.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.