Its been a while... I've had a very busy couple of months, but I'll be posting regularly again from now on! The book i'm going to blog about just now is probably familiar, as the film adaptation of this novel was recently released, starring Matthew McConaughey, Marisa Tomei, Ryan Philippe and William H Macy. I always want to read a book before I see its film version, and this was no different. I love a good courtroom drama and was keen to see the film, so I made a point of picking the book up beforehand.
I had previously read one of Michael Connolly's books, The Brass Verdict, which is actually the sequel to The Lincoln Lawyer, and features many of the same characters. I had enjoyed it, but just didn't get round to picking up any of his other novels until now.
Mickey Haller is the Lincoln Lawyer of the title, a lawyer who defends small time clients ranging from prostitutes to con artists, drug dealers and drink drivers, disillusioned and working purely for the money. He operates from the backseat of his Lincoln Town Car, staying mobile and moving from court to court to pick up whatever clients he can find, until one day, a veritable goldmine falls into his lap.
Louis Roulet, a Beverly Hills estate agent from a well-to-do, well-respected family, is arrested for the brutal beating and attempted murder of a girl. He's a franchise client, which means that he can afford to pay for his defence costs, which is rare with the type of clientele Mickey's used to having. He requests Mickey Haller specifically, protesting his innocence, and Mickey believes that he may finally have that elusive catch amongst criminal defence lawyers - an innocent client. This is difficult for Haller, as he was taught by his father that one of the most difficult clients is an innocent man, due to the fact that if they end up being imprisoned, it will remain on the lawyer's conscience. He quotes his father as saying;
"There is no client as scary as an innocent man."
However, as time goes on, Mickey starts finding holes in the case, and a disturbing similarity to a previous case that he has dealt with, and he has to decide whether or not he has a client that he can trust... or one that is guilty of the most heinous crime, and has been manipulating the situation all along?
I thought this book was fantastic! Tightly plotted, this book pulls you through all its twists and turns until you can't wait to find out what happens next and how it all works out. Interestingly, Mickey Haller is not the most sympathetic of characters. He is not shown in a favourable light throughout the novel, making many selfish and foolish decisions, but I like that he wasn't fallible, or perfect. After all, who is? He's shown throughout the book to be looking out for his own interests before others, including vulnerable clients of his, but he's also shown to have a heart, and he does his best to do the right thing. I'm looking forward to re-reading the sequel, as I think i'll view it in a different light with the backstory from this book to add to it, although I believe that all of the novels can be read as standalone books.
A good summer read, if you like a solid courtroom drama, then this is definitely worth a look. I did go and see the film after reading the book, and also enjoyed that. Its one of the best book-to-film adaptations I think I've ever seen, following the book quite faithfully, without butchering the story to a shadow of its former self. Three stars from me - I think this is setting the scene for a strong series of novels, and will stand up to later re-reading.