Mystery Books for Sale

[ Home ]
[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit | Links ]


by Michael Connelly
Little, Brown, December 2013
400 pages
ISBN: 0316069515

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

One of the joys of reading Michael Connelly’s latest novel THE GODS OF GUILT is watching the moves that criminal defense attorney Mickey Haller makes as he schemes his way through the justice system in search of the right "plays" to exonerate his client. This client is a sympathetic pimp named Andre LaCosse who has been accused of killing Gloria Dayton, one of his girls. He admitted to fighting with her before he realized that the cops would use his words to pin the murder on him. La Cosse hires Haller because the dead girl had at one time mentioned him to LaCosse. It seems that he had been her lawyer in the past. Haller thought that he had helped her get out of the life, but that clearly was not the case.

This is the sixth in Connelly's Lincoln lawyer series, and fans of Mickey Haller will recognize the characters who people his legal practice and his life, including the clever investigator Cisco, Lauren Taylor, the ex-wife who manages his cases, his semi-estranged teen-aged daughter Hayley, and his wise nursing-home mentor, Legal Siegel. Haller operates out of the back of his Lincoln town car, with a printer on a stand in the front seat. He has his driver park in front of a Starbucks to catch the Wi-Fi--although at some point in this book he is forced to use a real office when someone tries to kill him by running his car off the road.

His danger may be connected to the fact that Haller realizes his case is connected to the case of a Mexican cartel boss who is trying to get released from prison on technical grounds. The reason he is imprisoned has to do with a gun that was found in his room—a gun that he maintains was placed there in order to trump up the charges against him. It seems that Gloria may have been the one to place the gun. Haller has to learn why she would do this and why someone wanted to stop her from talking about it. Cisco shoots a video of a DEA agent planting drugs. This agent may be the person behind the fraud.

Much of the action takes place in the courtroom, and Haller's strategies and moment-by-moment handling of witnesses and court procedures is riveting. The gods of guilt are the jury members, who get to decide if the defendant is guilty or innocent. Connelly goes further with this metaphor, however. Haller is carrying around his own load of guilt, stemming from some past actions. He helped to free a man who then drove drunk and killed a mother and daughter. His own daughter stopped talking to him because of that and he lost his bid to become district attorney. He also feels guilty over the death of a colleague. The parts of the novel that deal with his personal issues are less effective than the courtroom drama and the procedural details, but the book as a whole creates a world of twists, intrigue and suspense that will keep you enthralled. Michael Connelly has done it again. Whether you already a fan or new to the series, THE GODS OF GUILT is a book that you will not want to put down.

Anne Corey is a writer, poet, teacher and botanical artist in New York's Hudson Valley.

Reviewed by Anne Corey, December 2013

[ Top ]



Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit | Links ]
[ Home ]