Mickey Haller #1
Michael “Mickey” Haller is a defence attorney with a reputation and not very liked by law enforcement. He practices out of the back of his Lincoln Town car and is viewed as sleazy and criminal in his own right. However, one day bail bondsman Fernando Valenzuela calls him about a case waiting for him – a case that could garner a lot of interest and a lot of money long term. Naturally Mickey is interested and goes down to the court house to see what is waiting. He finds a millionaire playboy real estate agent in lockup, pleading and begging and afraid, claiming he has been locked up for a crime he did not commit, and is vehement about it too. He is in for beating a prostitute up, threatening to rape her and guaranteeing her that she would die. Could this man, this Louis Roulet, be the innocent man that he has been searching? The elusive client, the fabled man?
Mickey takes on the case, and it looks damn strong. He puts his investigator and friend Raul Levin on it to check their man out. Mickey has his ex-wife, Margaret McPherson, thrown from the case over conflict of interest and replaced with Ted Minton, whom Maggie warns him against for playing dirty. Mickey is alright with it, he has the innocent client after all. But upon the first official meeting with Roulet and his mother, Mary Alice Windsor, and family attorney C.C. Dobbs, it becomes evident that there is more to the case than meets the eye. Mickey has a big fish client here, and is unwilling to lose him.
Raul Levin soon turns up with a whole bunch of unsettling information about Roulet, and Minton blindsides Mickey during discovery when it turns out the knife that was in the police evidence file Mikey and them had is not the right one – the real one has Roulet’s initials on it. Mickey’s perfect case is becoming awfully muddled, and it is doing nothing to improve his mood. Something in the Roulet file sets Mickey off, and he goes through his old case files. He is horrified to learns about the similarities between it and an old case where his client went to prison for life for raping and stabbing a prostitute to death. Mickey pays Jesus Menendez a visit in San Quentin, and Jesus identifies Roulet as being the other man at the bar that night.
Mickey has a whole new set of issues to deal with. He locked up an innocent man and is defending a rapist and murderer to free himself, and the knowledge makes him sick. Sharing his suspicions with Raul, he sets his friend on a mission to dig up as much as he can. Mickey has a serious ethical dilemma and a conflict of interest on his hands, and is furious when Raul is murdered after finding out something that was incredibly important. Mickey is the suspect in question seeing as his gun killed his friend, but Mickey knows that Roulet is playing with him. Roulet also threatens Mickey’s family, and that boils his blood. Will he get the murderer out? Does he have a choice now that Roulet has framed him for the murder of Raul? Is Roulet responsible for more murders? How do you save a man you resent? How can you defend him knowing what he has done and the things he is responsible for?
It was a good read and stayed interesting throughout, and the writing style was alright. It took me a few chapters to get into due to it being first person, but ultimately it worked. It dealt with some interesting issues that people always wonder about – such as is the money enough to defend someone you know to be guilty of something, something that goes completely against your morals? There were a few bits in this book that was nonsensical to me, such as always with the rap music and all that. It was just incongruent to his character, and threw me at the best of times. Typical courtroom drama book, though it has the added bonus of a slightly more interesting twist than the average one. An entertaining read, and Connelly writes with a nice style that I could get on board with. Nothing new or totally revolutionary, but not something that is too generic and simply to overlook. I look forward to seeing how Mickey Haller will progress in future.