“I mean, most of the people I defend aren’t evil ... They’re guilty, yeah, but they aren’t evil. You know what I mean? There’s a difference. You listen to them and you know why they make the choices they make. People are just trying to get by, just to live with what they’re given, and some of them aren’t given a damn thing in the first place. But evil is something else. It’s different. It’s like… I don’t know. It’s out there and when it shows up… I can’t explain it ... All I know is I should have been afraid of one thing but I was afraid of the complete opposite.”
The Lncoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly (2005) is a legal thriller set in Los Angeles California and it's the first book in Connelly's Mickey Haller series. Michael (Mickey) Haller narrates this novel. He's a criminal defense attorney who works out of his Lincoln town car meeting with witnesses, reviewing files, making calls etc. His driver Earl takes him wherever he needs to go.
Haller's been a defense attorney for 15 years. He has two ex-wives who he gets along with and a young daughter. He is smart and successful but he has become jaded about the legal system. Haller still does pro bono work but mainly these days he is on the lookout for wealthy clients who can pay his considerable fees. And then he gets the high profile case he has been waiting for.
His client Louis Ross Roulet is the son of a prominent family. Louis has been charged with attempted rape and battery of Reggie Campo, a young woman he met in a bar. Louis insists he is innocent and that he is being extorted because of his family's wealth. Haller is inclined to believe Louis and is sure he can get the case dismissed without even having to go to trial.
Haller is a bit disappointed at this because if the case were to drag on he could continue to bill the Roulet family for his services. But Haller has ethics and so he proceeds to bring this case to a quick close. Or at least that's the way he expects this case will go. I'll just leave it there..
I really enjoyed the Lincoln Lawyer and a major reason was Mickey Haller. He is smart and a good man despite a few flaws. He's also very funny in the way he explains the legal system. I also liked the storyline of The Lincoln Lawyer where you have a narrator for whom the idealistic reasons he became a defense attorney went out the window years ago. Now it's pretty much a game and a nice paycheck until the Roulet case lands in his lap.
Thanks to Lark & Sam at Larkwrites and Bookchase, two very fine bloggers I follow for alerting me to Michael Connelly. I plan to try his other series featuring Detective Harry Bosch. What's interesting is that Mickey Haller and Harry Bosch are half-brothers who meet later in life and after reading Harry's bio you could not find two more different individuals.