Summary and book reviews of The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly

The Lincoln Lawyer

by Michael Connelly

The Lincoln Lawyer
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2005, 416 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2006, 528 pages

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Book Summary

A stunning display of novelistic mastery - as human, as gripping, and as whiplash-surprising as any novel yet from the writer Publishers Weekly has called "today's Dostoyevsky of crime literature.

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 attorney who operates out of the backseat of his Lincoln Town Car, traveling between the far-flung courthouses of Los Angeles to defend clients of every kind. Bikers, con artists, drunk drivers, drug dealers - they're all on Mickey Haller's client list. For him, the law is rarely about guilt or innocence - it's about negotiation and manipulation. Sometimes it's even about justice.

A Beverly Hills playboy arrested for attacking a woman he picked up in a bar chooses Haller to defend him, and Mickey has his first high-paying client in years. It is a defense attorney's dream, what they call a franchise case. And as the evidence stacks up, Haller comes to believe this may be the easiest case of his career.

Then someone close to him is murdered and Haller discovers that his search for innocence has brought him face-to-face with evil as pure as a flame. To escape without being burned, he must deploy every tactic, feint, and instinct in his arsenal - this time to save his own life.

The Lincoln Lawyer is a stunning display of novelistic mastery - as human, as gripping, and as whiplash-surprising as any novel yet from the writer Publishers Weekly has called "today';s Dostoyevsky of crime literature."

ONE

Monday, March 7

The morning air off the Mojave in late winter is as clean and crisp as you'll ever breathe in Los Angeles County. It carries the taste of promise on it. When it starts blowing in like that I like to keep a window open in my office. There are a few people who know this routine of mine, people like Fernando Valenzuela. The bondsman, not the baseball pitcher. He called me as I was coming into Lancaster for a nine o'clock calendar call. He must have heard the wind whistling in my cell phone.

"Mick," he said, "you up north this morning?"

"At the moment," I said as I put the window up to hear him better. "You got something?"

"Yeah, I got something. I think I got a franchise player here. But his first appearance is at eleven. Can you make it back down in time?"

Valenzuela has a storefront office on Van Nuys Boulevard a block from the civic center, which includes two courthouses and the Van Nuys jail. He calls his business Liberty Bail Bonds. His ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  1. "There is no client as scary as an innocent man." This is the very first line of the book, spoken by J. Michael Haller, a famous criminal defense attorney and the father of Mickey Haller, the main character in The Lincoln Lawyer. Did you understand what this meant? Why would an innocent man scare an attorney?

  2. "Don't do the crime if you can't pay for my time." When we are first introduced to Mickey Haller, we find out that he is a criminal defense attorney who knows how to play all the angles. He has been in trouble with the California Bar before. His clients are gang members, drug dealers, prostitutes and con men. He does his best for his clients as long as ...
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Reviews

Media Reviews

The Washington Post - Jonathan Yardley

Mickey Haller...is as cynical about the law as any of Grisham's lawyers, but one doesn't sense that this cynicism is drawn out of the deep well of experience that enriches Grisham's work. Still, if the best of Grisham's legal novels grade in at a solid A, The Lincoln Lawyer gets an equally solid B+, which isn't exactly bad for the first time out...it's not a pretty story, but the world in which Mickey Haller works isn't a pretty place. Michael Connelly knows it all too well and writes about it with chilling authority. He's not a ';genre' novelist but the real thing, taking us into parts of the real America that most of our novelists never visit because they don't even know where, or what, they are.

The New York Times - Janet Maslin

The book is haunted by Mickey's worst nightmare: the thought of having to defend an innocent man. He starts out without the foggiest idea of what to do with someone like that. But by the end of the story an Honest Abe conscience has begun to kick in. That's when Mickey becomes a Connelly character through and through.

Library Journal - Jeff Ayers

Connelly...proves he can handle even the legal thriller genre with this intricate and cynical look into the criminal justice system.

Kirkus Reviews

Contains everything readers have come to expect from powerhouse Connelly.

Booklist - Allison Block

Starred Review. It has all the right stuff: a sinuous plot, crisp dialogue, and a roster of reprehensible characters.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Veteran bestseller Connelly enters the crowded legal thriller field with flash and panache.

Reader Reviews

debbykc

what a great read!!!
What a fun book: Fast, quirky and a real page turner.

Elizabeth

Excellent
When I picked up the book I thought for sure they were going to be talking about an attorney that Abraham Lincoln used, and when I mention the book to others, they think the same thing. But....the Lincoln is his car. :) This book was the first...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

Michael Connelly decided to become a writer after discovering the books of Raymond Chandler while attending the University of Florida. Once he decided on this direction he chose a major in journalism and a minor in creative writing.  After graduating in 1980, he worked at newspapers in Florida, primarily specializing in the crime beat. In 1986, he and two other reporters spent several months interviewing survivors of a major airline crash. The resulting magazine story was short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing and landed him a job as a crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times.  After three years on the crime beat, he began writing his first novel to feature LAPD Detective Hieronymus Bosch. The novel, The ...

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