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THE LAW OF INNOCENCE by Michael Connelly: Book Review

It takes a really talented author to write a mystery in which the protagonist is accused of a crime where all the evidence against him is damning, yet the reader knows that he will be proven innocent.  Such is the case in Michael Connelly’s latest novel, The Law of Innocence.

Of course, mystery readers know that Connelly is a creative writer, one who can start a plot with a missing license plate and end it with the defendant on trial for murder.  And in this case the defendant is Mickey Haller, aka The Lincoln Lawyer.  In the first book of the series, Mickey was without an office, working out of his car; that’s how he got his nickname.

Now he’s a well-known attorney, famous for his defense of criminals both major and minor, and not exactly beloved by the Los Angeles police department and the sheriff’s office.  But even Mickey is surprised by the turn his life takes after his staff and friends put together an impromptu celebration following a not guilty verdict for his client.

Following the party, Mickey gets in his car and drives only a couple of blocks when he’s pulled over by a policeman.  He’s told that his rear license plate is missing, which mystifies him, and when he and the officer walk to the rear of the car, they both see something dripping from the trunk.  “Is that blood?” the cop asks.

The officer puts Mickey in his patrol car, then opens the car’s trunk.  Although Mickey can’t see its interior, he can tell from the cop’s expression that there’s a body inside.  And the next thing Mickey knows, he’s in the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles.  He realizes he’s been set up, but he can’t figure out who set him up or why.

Mickey’s team consists of his investigator “Cisco” Wojciechowski, his law partner Jennifer Aronson, and his case manager and second ex-wife Lorna Taylor; the three immediately begin working on his behalf.  As the case progresses, Mickey’s half-brother Harry Bosch, a former detective in the Los Angele police department, and Maggie McPherson, Mickey’s first wife and the mother of his daughter, join the group, convinced of Mickey’s innocence.  Even with this team, things are not looking good for the Lincoln Lawyer, but he’s sticking to the mantra he learned from his late father’s law partner:  Act like a winner and you’ll become a winner.

Mickey Haller is an engaging character, always edging close to the edge of the law but never quite crossing over it.  The Law of Innocence is filled with well-drawn characters and a plot that is clever and engrossing.  As I noted at the beginning of this post, you’re never in doubt of the outcome of Mickey’s trial, but it’s the getting there that makes this novel so enjoyable.

You can read more about Michael Connelly at this website.

Check out the complete Marilyn’s Mystery Reads at her website.  In addition to book review posts, there are sections featuring Golden Oldies, Past Masters and Mistresses, and an About Marilyn column that features her opinions about everything to do with mystery novels.



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