Marcie's Reviews > The Brass Verdict

The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly
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's review
Oct 24, 08

it was amazing

The front of the book touts Connelly as "The Best Mystery Writer in the World" according to GQ magazine, and I must agree. He is The Man. I want to marry him. Oh, I already am (I think he is, too). Okay, I'll just settle for admiring his talent from afar.

This is not a Harry Bosch novel, per se, as it is not written from Harry's Point of View. This time we're in the head of his half brother Mickey, the reformed slimebag lawyer from "Lincoln Lawyer" who recently found his integrity and got shot for his trouble. And I loved seeing Harry through the eyes of another, instead of reflected in their eyes back through Harry's filter. At one point, we even get a more distant POV, from a newspaper article following the trial in court written by a reporter, fed info from Mickey, who was fed info from Harry. (Which is a nod to Connelly being a former newspaper crime reporter.) Brilliant.

There's a careful treatment of the story's "facts," that only a journalist can manage, meaning remember who said what to whom where and who saw what with their own eyes. And continue to re-check it again as more "facts" come to light. Only another journalist can truly appreciate his skill at presenting the many layers of "facts" faithfully.

Connelly is magic to me -- what happens between getting a concept and fleshing out a story that engages so completely from Page 1 to the last.

Another testament to his skill -- other writers annoy the crap out of me with too many characters and sidelines. Sometimes by the end, I don't give a damn "who did it" because I can't remember who they are anyway. "Brass Verdict" has 3 separate cases/ mysteries going on in addition to the personal ones (what do the brothers know about each other?). First, there's the murder of the lawyer who wills his case load to Mickey (that Bosch is investigating). Then there's the major murder trial he inherited, defending a Hollywood producer. And finally, the other case file that contains the "magic bullet" for the murder trial. And everybody, everywhere is lying about almost everything. Including Harry and Mickey. And then there's the "fake" attempt on Mickey's life, then the real one.

A fascinating study in "point of view" and "truth."

God, I love this book, a gem, that begins with: "Everybody lies. Cops lie. Lawyers lie. Witnesses lie. The victims lie. A trial is a contest of lies. And everybody in the courtroom knows this. The judge knows this. Even the jury knows this. They come into the building knowing they will be lied to. They take their seats in the box and agree to be lied to." Didn't you just hear Bogie's gravelly voice in the back of your head in the voiceover for the opening scene? MARVELOUS.

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