The Lincoln Lawyer is quite a departure for mystery writer Michael Connelly. Connelly, best known for the excellent Harry Bosch series as well as Bloodwork and Void Moon, explores the life of a criminal defense attorney named Mickey Haller. For fans of the various Law and Order franchises, this is a great mystery novel and audio book. Those familiar with Connelly's work will immediately feel they are in good hands and will be brought safely to their destination.
As an audiobook, The Lincoln Lawyer is better than most. The weakness of the genre is some poor actor, here Adam Grupper, is stuck doing all the voices himself. This can be quite a challenge when there are three or four people in the scene and the voices must be different enough to be recognizable without being cartoonish. Adam Grupper does a very good job with this Michael Connelly mystery. The producers of The Lincoln Lawyer managed to avoid the myriad of he saids and she saids that can make a mystery audio book annoying to listen to and Grupper is pretty good at modulating his voice enough to differentiate the characters. This is particularly evident, if not perfectly done, in the final courtroom scenes where the actor must play Mickey Haller, his client, the assistant D.A. the female judge, and the witness on the stand. Here's hoping Grupper got a nice rest after this performance.
The Lincoln Lawyer is about Mickey Haller who believes he has found a client who is not only a golden goose but also really innocent. Louis Ross Roulet is a successful real estate salesman who is accused of beating a woman, attempted rape, and attempted murder. Roulet claims his innocence and Haller believes him. This causes Haller to revisit an earlier, similar case also involving a client who claimed his innocence but was forced to take a deal and do some jail time.
This mystery is very much a behind the scenes take on crime. You get to see a criminal defense lawyer's various machinations to set up his case and defend his client in and out of court. The Lincoln Lawyer is also much more than that as Haller's case holds a few nasty surprises that will definitely put his life and career in jeopardy. You also get to see the day to day grind and grime as Haller has to work other cases while his big payday case is moving towards trial.
There are a couple of little details in The Lincoln Lawyer that will certainly cause an astute mystery reader to raise an eyebrow a couple of times. Haller sometimes complains of not having enough money to pay for this or for that, including his mortgage, yet he had enough cash to buy three Lincolns in one fell swoop and keep a couple of them in storage while he puts mileage on the first. He can also afford a chauffeur -granted, at a discount.
The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly and read by Adam Grupper is as good as an audio book mystery can get when you have only one actor, no matter how talented he is, doing all the characters. An abridged version would not have been a bad idea but the whole thing is definitely a great listen.
Other Michael Connelly Reviews
Crime Beat: An interesting read for true crime fans.
Echo Park: The best Michael Connelly mystery to date and that is saying a lot.
The Concrete Blonde: This third Harry Bosch mystery is solid.
The Overlook: Yet another great Harry Bosch mystery
The Overlook - Another Review: The usual solid and captivating mystery by a master.
The Brass Verdict - October 2008: A lawyer s murder brings Harry Bosch and Lincoln lawyer Mickey Haller together.
The Brass Verdict - A Mickey Haller / Harry Bosch Mystery: 20th Connelly mystery brings Mickey Haller and Harry Bosch together with a bang (from a revolver)
The Black Ice - A Harry Bosch Mystery: Second in the series. Brilliant, of course.
The Scarecrow: Jack McEvoy of The Poet is back in yet another excellent Connelly mystery.
Nine Dragons - A Harry Bosch Mystery: The lesser Harry Bosch mystery.
The Reversal - October 2010: Detective Harry Bosh, Mickey Haller, and their exes on the same case.
The Fifth Witness - April 2011: A solid (of course) Mickey Haller mystery
The Fifth Witness - J. Curran Review - April 2011: Third Mickey Haller mystery. This reviewer was not as impressed as the other one was.
The Drop - J. Curran review: Although not one of Connelly’s mind blowers from start to finish, The Drop is definitely a good solid read.
The Drop - A Harry Bosch Mystery: Decent enough Connelly but not up to usual standards
Blood Work Blu-ray: Excellent movie adaptation of Connelly novel
The Black Box - A Harry Bosch mystery: This time Bosch investigates a case dating back to the L.A. riots. Good but not great.
The Gods of Guilt - Mickey Haller Novel: The Lincoln Lawyer takes a case that propels him along a journey to face the demons of his past and present.
The Burning Room: You simply cannot put it down.
The Crossing - A Harry Bosch Novel: The Crossing, the twenty-second Harry Bosch, represents a major change in the life of Connelly s foremost character.
The Wrong Side of Goodbye - A Harry Bosch Novel: Harry Bosch is hired by a billionaire to find out if he has an heir and also works for the San Fernandino PD and discovers there is a serial rapist on the loose. This being a Michael Connelly mystery it is of course excellent.
The Late Show - A Renee Ballard Mystery: There is a new kid in town. Dog lover, and surfer by day, Detective Renee Ballard is a tough, tenacious, no-nonsense loner who works the late shift in Hollywood. Due to unsubstantiated accusations thrown at a superior officer, she is not exactly on the warm and fuzzy list of her fellow officers. With limited trust running both ways, her investigations are often solo.