Drew's Reviews > The Brass Verdict

The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly
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Mar 26, 2010

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I d known who Michael Connelly was, but had passed by the Harry Bosch novels on a number of occasions in order to work my way through other books and mystery series. There was no rhyme or reason to that decision. Perhaps I didn t find the descriptions on the book jackets compelling enough to lure me away from the large stack of books on my bedside table (there still is a stack, and it never seems to get any smaller).[return][return]In October, 2000, I found my reason to deviate from the book pile and give Connelly, and Bosch, a chance.[return][return]While in Cleveland, at a bookstore managers conference, I listened to Michael Connelly talk about the newest book in the Harry Bosch series-  A Darkness More Than Night. It was an amazing thing to listen to an author talk so passionately about, not the book, but the character- about Bosch. He explained who Bosch was, what drove him, and how Connelly sometimes felt he was just along for the ride. He didn t try to sell us on his book, so much as he sold us on Bosch. So, I picked up the books and went for the ride.[return][return]Connelly is a highly talented writer who has created a complex character whose faults are balanced by his drive to do his job, and do it well, coming out the victor (of sorts) in the end. His character has been developed over years, and a dozen and one novels, and is one of the most interesting homicide detectives in the mystery genre today.[return][return]When I learned that Connelly was coming out with a second book about Mickey Haller,  The Brass Verdict , and this book would include Bosch, I was excited to see how he would mix these two characters, a lawyer and a detective. Connelly didn t disappoint. [return][return]Mickey Haller inherits an entire practice when his former prosecutorial rival turned criminal defense friend, Jerry Vincent, is shot and killed. Of the thirty-odd cases that are currently active, one is a whale- the trial of the century (at least for this year). Walter Elliot, a high powered movie mogul, is accused of killing his wife and her lover when he catches them in flagrante delicto. His alibi for the time of the killing is weak and he was the one who reported the crime to the police after finding the bodies. Yet, he is adamant about his innocence, but strangely uninterested in the trial that could put a needle in his arm. Haller must keep Elliot, whom he doesn t know whether to beleive or not, focused on his own defense, while worried that his own life may be in danger from the individual who killed Jerry Vincent.[return][return]Connelly introduces Bosch early in the book, in a way that is both expected (as you know Bosch is going to show up), yet brilliantly unexpected. We get to see Bosch through the eyes of Mickey Haller, not as a cop pursuing justice, but as an antogonistic detective, who occasionally seems willing to throw Haller under the bus.[return][return]As much as I liked the story and the way Connelly used Bosch within it, I had difficulty with Mickey Haller. I liked him. I liked him too much. I liked him much more than I should like any attorney. He has a precarious but decent relationship with his first ex-wife, a strangely initimate and non-physical relationship with his second ex-wife, who also happens to be his administrative assistant, and he gives a brand new homeless client a job as his driver and a place to sleep in his own home. There are some minor internal conflicts with his former prescription drug addiction, a hint or two about his relationship with his father, and his attempts to keep his young daughter happy while trying to work out his relationship with his first ex-wife. But, Mickey is too easy going, too brilliant, too intelligent, too slick. I d like to see Haller developed into a more complex character over the course of a few more stories.[return][return]After all Hieronymus Bosch wasn t painted with full brush strokes in the first couple of novels.[return][return]I recommed  The Brass Verdict, with one caveat- read  The Lincoln Lawyer (the debut novel in the Mickey Haller series) first.[return]See the original review at: http://blog.booksliesandalibis.com/?p=57
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Jjanovyak Sounds like a great time, getting to hear Connelly speak about Bosch. What fun!

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