Books & Literature

Book Review: The Law of Innocence, by Michael Connelly

CRIME: Defence Attorney Mickey Haller faces his greatest legal challenge – defending himself against a charge of murder.

A gripping legal and investigative tale interwoven with current events

Mickey Haller first appeared in Michael Connelly’s The Lincoln Lawyer back in 2005. Since then he has gone on to appear in five more Lincoln Lawyer stories, as well as appearing in four Harry Bosch, novels. Harry has likewise appeared in three of the Haller novels. Harry’s reappearance is due to their familial relationship – they are half-brothers from the same father.

In this sixth novel, the focus sits with what has long been said: that “a man who defends himself has a fool for a client” – and Mickey Haller may be the greatest fool of them all.

In The Law of Innocence, Haller finds himself on the wrong side of the law but the same side of the courtroom, that of Defence Attorney – but this time, he is the one on trial. After leaving a local bar, Mickey is pulled over on what appears to be a routine traffic stop but it will soon be clear that it was much more than that.

The Officer who pulls him over notices a viscous substance leaking from his trunk and, upon opening the rear compartment, discovers the lifeless body of a former client of Haller’s. Here begins a desperate race to save himself from a life sentence for a crime he didn’t commit.

From the moment Mickey enters the hallowed Halls of Justice, he is hamstrung at every turn, from the excessive price tag for bail; to imprisonment in the locally named ‘Twin Towers’ confinement facility; and, as always, the impediments to access of the Prosecution’s discovery material for both himself and his team.

The Law of Innocence is a gripping legal and investigative tale interwoven with current events of the time (the emergence of the COVID-19 Pandemic) and a number of twists and turns that keep the reader wondering if this is the one case Mickey Haller cannot afford to lose but may find impossible to win.

The novel’s initial chapters, after Haller’s arrest, feel a tad long-winded and overtly explanatory. The courtroom scenes, at times, feel lacking in dramatics and verging on repetition – but, one could say, this is the true nature of legal proceedings.

In the end, it is the genuineness and individuality of the characters that provide its heart and soul – and the emotional tidal wave, as they (and Mickey) watch the case unfold, that makes this a must-read for lovers of Connelly and The Lincoln Lawyer, Mickey Haller.

Reviewed by Glen Christie

Distributed by: Allen & Unwin
Released: November 2020
RRP: $32.99

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