Friday, November 5, 2021

Michael Connelly - The Brass Verdict

Defense attorney Mickey Haller and Detective Harry Bosch must either work together or die as they investigate a Hollywood lawyer's murder in this ''epic page-turner'' (Library Journal).
Things are finally looking up for defense attorney Mickey Haller. After two years of wrong turns, Haller is back in the courtroom. When Hollywood lawyer Jerry Vincent is murdered, Haller inherits his biggest case yet: the defense of Walter Elliott, a prominent studio executive accused of murdering his wife and her lover. But as Haller prepares for the case that could launch him into the big time, he learns that Vincent's killer may be coming for him next.
Enter Harry Bosch. Determined to find Vincent's killer, he is not opposed to using Haller as bait. But as danger mounts and the stakes rise, these two loners realize their only choice is to work together.

Comment: This is yet another book I received as birthday gift. I thought I had read something by the author but found no clues on my notebooks, so perhaps I'm confusing him with another.

In this book we meet lawyer Mickey Haller as he is about to take charge of a bunch of cases following the death of a fellow lawyer and somewhat friend. One of the cases is high profile and Mickey wants to know as much as possible about it before he has to go to court, especially since his client doesn't want to postpone anything. The problem is, his friend was killed and very likely it was because of this case, which means Mickey has to be careful as well as clever in how he goes about investigating and organizing things. There's also the police officer who seems to keep following him, could it be the police knows something they aren't sharing? How will Mickey find a solution while also dealing with personal issues?

This book is part of a series and I have not read any of the others. I'm still debating if I want to read anything else but probably, if I do, it will only happen if I find it at the library. I kind of liked this book, it's very action paced in a way and the author creates a fascinating sequence of events to put the pieces of the puzzle together but in general, I found the characters to be too much obvious within the" mystery thriller" genre.

With this, I mean that the author didn't really developed his characters, he just created them, made them act like one would expect characters in a thriller would behave but I sincerely miss a more complex cast of characters perhaps with a lot more detail regarding their personal lives. Meaning that, while I was glad the protagonist was more or less facing his demons and was clever in how he organized his client's case, he could have been any character, any way. What made him special was pretty much what one would expect of these types of books: alpha hero coming from a shady past, wanting to redeem himself, while being aloof to everything except a daughter....

I could see this easily being turned into an action movie, in the same vein as others with lawyers as main characters. Nothing wrong with it but it's a little too predictable and boring in terms of characterization. I see why many like it, if one appreciates the genre and the writer's style, but...

As for the plot, it was certainly captivating. I tend to be really distracted so the reveals usually surprise me and in this case, I was quite taken with the twists until we learn the whole truth. Something I also liked was the courtroom scenes - I've said before I like these types of stories, where lawyers can find a way to do their job and still force the truth to come out or if by doing things a certain way, the witnesses/those on the courtroom can't help but follow the path they want.

I think the story was very well thought by the author. He has plenty of books published, I can only imagine how the method follows more or less the same patterns when it comes to structure, but it clearly means he has had a lot of imagination to expose plots in a way that can feel captivating, otherwise he couldn't be as successful as he is. 
However, I must say some details weren't that easy to see how they would matter in the end. Usually, even if the reader can't see it, by the end all details, including small ones, make sense. In this case, although this achieved, one or two things still felt like over reaching.
All in all, this was a book I still enjoyed, a little out of my customary genres but appealing because of that too, easy to read, yes, since the plot is in constant change, but I expected secondary elements, such as characterization, to be stronger.
Grade: 6/10

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