Law in Popular Culture

Connelly's new book tops legal drama of his Harper Lee Prize-winning 'Fifth Witness,' say reviewers


Fans of the 2012 Harper Lee Prize-winning legal thriller The Fifth Witness likely have another treat in store.

Michael Connelly’s latest novel, The Gods of Guilt, gives new dimension to trial lawyer Michael S. “Mickey” Haller Jr. and “for sheer courtroom drama surpasses the bestselling The Fifth Witness,” says Paula L. Woods, herself a mystery writer, in a review on the Jacket Copy page of the Los Angeles Times (sub. req.).

Lonely, divorced for the second time and, as Woods puts it, “beginning to showing signs of wear from his hard-charging, hard-drinking lifestyle,” Haller has taken on a new case in The Gods of Guilt that some might see as open-and-shut: A prostitute (once a pro bono client of Haller’s) was allegedly murdered by his new client, “digital pimp” Andre La Cosse, after a violent argument over what she owed him for a visit she made to a no-show client at an upscale Los Angeles hotel.

La Cosse insists he didn’t kill Giselle Dallinger, and Mickey and his team dig deeper into the evidence, constructing an alternative theory of the case that he argues before “the Gods of Guilt” in the jury box. His father’s former law partner, David “Legal” Siegel, helps out with courtroom and life strategy from his nursing home bed. A young associate, eager to escape from the drudgery of foreclosure matters, and a former client now working as a Haller’s driver are also part of the team. Haller’s second ex-wife, Lorna Taylor, manages the case.

Haller fits in a romantic dalliance along the way, but has to watch his 16-year-old daughter’s soccer practice through binoculars, because she is angry with him about his successful defense of a drunken driver who killed a mother and daughter in a subsequent accident, the Boston Globe recounts.

Its reviewer, Daneet Steffens, also gives Connelly high marks, writing that “this latest outing offers unfettered pleasure to regular readers, and a terrific introduction to new ones.”

See also: “Michael Connelly Wins 2012 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction”

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