Read an ARC of: The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly, 2008, no ISBN.
Good book with another interesting look by Connelly at the legal system in Los Angeles. This came in my raffle basket from Muskego. I did not know it was there until I was rifling through the raffle stuff a few days ago.
Criminal defense attorney Mickey Haller is practicing again after a year long break post-Lincoln Lawyer's events. Haller got shot, hooked on pain pills, went to rehab and was about to start taking on clients when a fellow attorney is murdered. Haller and the Dead Dude used to help each other out on cases and the Dead Dude listed Haller as the one to take over his active cases if he dies.
One of those active cases is a big-name murder trial involving a Movie Studio Owner. Studio Owner is accused of killing his wife and her boyfriend and refuses to delay his trial which starts in just a week. Things happen with different characters. Connelly's Detective Bosch shows up. Haller is a dick. Studio Owner is a major jerk.
The legal stuff is the real draw for me. Interesting characters have to carry the story but the methods and tactics employed by Haller are most interesting. Haller is always strategizing; he does it with conversations, with investigations, with discovery of evidence, with court requests, with phone calls, etc. Haller is like Joe Pitt in Every Last Drop by giving nothing away unless he wants to. The difference between Pitt and Haller - aside from the vampire crap - is that Haller is dedicated to his client. Haller takes his duties as an attorney very seriously; even when his conscience starts to rage against him he never fails to carry out those responsibilities.
Connelly (through Haller) gives a real life look at the court system and the process of justice. Jury selection, attorney negotiations, sharing of trial evidence, questioning of witnesses at trial, and other events get real neat dramatizations by Connelly. The fact that some defense clients need to be hounded for payment and are often unreachable with no fixed address.
I assume Haller will appear in another book. If he makes a career change it will be interesting to see what happens. The end of Brass has a set-up for future interaction with Bosch. Maybe Connelly will tie the two tighter together.
EDIT: Something I forgot. The plot falls apart a bit at the end with Studio Owner being murdered by relatives of Dead Boyfriend. I suppose Connelly jut wiped out Studio Owner to clean up a loose end in the plot. The set-up by Secret Bad Guy to kill Haller seemed a bit messy. For that matter, Secret Bad Guy was not too secret and not all that important anyway. Skipping out on the Secret Bad Guy subplot and focusing on Studio Owner's weasel-ness would have been better.