THE LAW OF INNOCENCE
Grand Central Publishing (April 27, 2021)
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The Law of Innocence
by Michael Connelly
Review by Tim Suddeth
When Mickey Haller got pulled over leaving his party after celebrating winning a big case, he wasn’t too worried. He hadn’t been drinking, so it shouldn’t have taken long. But the night took a decidedly different turn when the police officer opened his trunk to discover a recently shot body.
The Lincoln Lawyer was about to take on his most serious case with the outcome as big as it gets, his own life. And everything seemed to be in the prosecution’s favor. Especially when he had to prepare for trial in a prison with some of the very men he had put there.
Michael Connelly takes us into a courtroom and shows us some of the dirty tricks used by both sides of the aisle. For courtroom drama enthusiasts, this is a must read.
And for fans of Michael Connelly, which is a whole lot of us, this is a sure-fire delight. It combines half-brothers Mickey Haller and Harry Bosch from both of Connelly’s popular series. We get to see the deep devotion he has for his family, including his college age daughter. (Who is attending law school. Mr. Connelly, please don’t miss this opportunity for a future series.)
We, also, see his first wife taking leave from her job at the DA’s to help with his defense. Does this mean she will work with him in the future? What kind of fallout will she face for helping the other side? What a great cliffhanger.
Two things stuck out to me from this novel. One, the legal tactics by Haller and the prosecutor and the line the judge had to walk to make sure that not only were the rules being followed, but that it is also fair for both sides. Connelly obviously knows more about the law than just the Cliff Notes.
Also, this is the first novel I’ve read that deals with the COVID pandemic. Connelly is known for bringing real events into his other books. In The Law of Innocence, he didn’t try to explain the details of the virus and the governments’ reactions to the reader. Instead, he showed how Haller, stuck in his cell with little outside contact, saw the protocols beginning to take place at the prison. When his ex-wife showed up to meet with him at the prison wearing a mask, it added another layer of tension and realism.
This novel is Michael Connelly at his best, which is saying a lot. And it’s a good example to writers of how to include current events without letting them take over the story.