Monday, December 15, 2008

A Mystery Fan's Favorite

If you're a mystery/crime fiction fan, I don't have to tell you what happened to me in Mexico, my annual reading vacation (where I lie on the beach all day and read novels). I found a NEW author I like, and now I have about a dozen books to look forward to. The "new" author? Michael Connelly.

Because of Mr. C's reputation and bestseller status, we tried one of his books several years ago. Angels Flight, featuring LAPD detective Harry Bosch, left us underwhelmed. Too wordy, I thought. I kept getting bogged down in Bosch's complicated thoughts and feelings.

Lucky for me, I tried something else this week. THE LINCOLN LAWYER. And wow, what a great read. Here's the blurb off Barnes & Noble: "Mickey Haller has spent all his professional life afraid that he wouldn't recognize innocence if it stood right in front of him. But what he should have been on the watch for was evil. Haller is a Lincoln Lawyer, a criminal defense pro who operates out of the backseat of his Lincoln Town Car, to defend the clients at the bottom of the legal food chain. It's no wonder that he is despised by cops, prosecutors, and even some of his own clients.

"From bikers to con artists to drunk drivers and drug dealers, they're all on Mickey Haller's client list. But when a Beverly Hills rich boy is arrested for brutally beating a woman, Haller has his first high-paying client in years. It's a franchise case and he's sure it will be a slam dunk in the courtroom. For once, he may be defending a client who is actually innocent.

"But an investigator is murdered for getting too close to the truth and Haller quickly discovers that his search for innocence has taken him face-to-face with a kind of evil as pure as a flame. To escape without being burned, Haller must use all of his skills to manipulate a system in which he no longer believes."

In his acknowledgments, Mr. C tells of attending a Dodger baseball game and hearing tales from a lawyer he was sitting with. Out came a book, a fascinating look inside our legal system, a tense, conflict driven plot, and enough twists and turns to keep you glued to the pages well past midnight.

Both The Famous Author and I look forward to reading more of Mr. C's work. He's good. He deserves bestseller status.

Click on the headline A MYSTERY FAN'S FAVORITE to get Mr. C's official website.


jnantz said...

I found Connelly the old fashioned way, through his Edgar-winning debut THE BLACK ECHO. Bosch in 3rd person for me is, for some reason, better than in 1st.

Side note: he came through Greensboro on a signing tour, figured out from a comment I made that I was a pre-pub writer, and gave me the best metaphor for writing I've ever heard...surfing. All the pulling and swimming until the wave gets to you, and then you pop up and you're going for the tube. Told me to "get yourself up on that board and get in the pipeline" because I was about 2/3s of the way through. I'll never forget that, it was very cool.

Plus, the guy's a Dodgers fan. Can't go wrong there!

Austin Carr said...

I envy you've been reading him all along, although it's a big treat to find someone so established that I can now look forward to a dozen new good reads.

I like the surfing metaphor. Reminds me of Doheny Beach in the 60s -- there'd be (I'm not kidding) eighteen surfers on the same wave with you.

jnantz said...

Oh wait, don't get me wrong...I just discovered Bosch about 3 or 4 years ago. I had a writing teacher in High School who needs to die that turned me off to fiction altogether for YEARS, and I only recently started getting back into reading anything besides what I teach. So believe me when I say I'm catching up with EVERYONE right now. Reichs, Lippman, Bruen, Connelly, Eisler, Child, Gerritsen, Crais, Deaver, Parker, Hillerman, plus all of those who've debuted in the last 3 years or so. Freakin' all of 'em. Only fiction I read before that was Crichton and S. King. I'm WAAAYYYY behind, I just happened to hit Connelly and Deaver first, so I've read more of theirs.