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Book Review- “The Gods of Guilt”

January 11, 2014 Leave a comment

Gods of GuiltIn 2005 I was a huge fan of Michael Connelly’s police procedurals starring LAPD detective Harry Bosch. So I begrudgingly let the writer introduce me to a new protagonist, defense attorney Michael “Mickey” Haller, even though court room thrillers were not really my thing. I ended up liking the “Lincoln Lawyer” (the book where Mickey was introduced) though. I also enjoyed Mickey’s return appearances in the novels “The Brass Verdict” [2008], “The Reversal” [2010], and “The Fifth Witness” [2011]. It’s been a couple years since we’ve seen Mickey though and I didn’t realize how much I missed him until I read Connelly’s latest book “The Gods of Guilt” which is hands down the best novel in the Lincoln Lawyer series and one of the best novels he’s ever written.

When we last saw Mickey in “The Fifth Witness” it looked like he was going to turn over a new leaf and run for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office. When we meet him in “The Gods of Guilt” though he’s still a defense attorney. We don’t find immediately find out why, but when we do it’s a pretty shocking reveal and it’s clear that Haller is a haunted and damaged man. It’s fascinating watching him deal with that damage and try to come to terms with who he is and what he does, and of course it’s also fascinating to watch him do what he does best. So “The Gods of Guilt” is a great character study of a deeply flawed, but cunning and brilliant lawyer who has to beat both his personal demons and the evidence that’s stacked against his client.

Mickey isn’t the only great character in “The Gods of Guilt.” We also get to spend some time with some great familiar characters like his imposing investigator Cisco, and his loyal driver Earl, but we also meet some interesting new new faces like young lawyer Jennifer Aronson, the newest recruit to the Michael Haller and Associates Law Firm. The antagonists of the novel, once they reveal themselves, are also quite interesting. They’re believeable and and fun to watch in love to hate them sort of way.

The case Mickey and his colleagues are up against is a labyrinthine and twisting mystery with personal stakes. That’s because a former client of Mickey’s, a prostitute he believe he helped quit the life, is dead and the Lincoln Lawyer must help acquit the man accused of her murder.

Mickey’s quest to clear his client’s name leads to an investigation with a ton of exciting twists and turns. The pacing of “The Gods ofGuilt”is phenomenal. There’s never a dull moment. Even the time jumps are handled perfectly. During those moments you’re left wondering what happened in those gaps and then you slowly find out in exciting, shocking, and poignant ways that reveal the kind of toll a murder trial can have on the accused and his defense team.

The court room scenes are also incredibly riveting. When you hit the portion of the novel where Haller actually mounts his defense of his client I guarantee you’ll be tempted to read that portion of the novel in one sitting. I did! When a chapter break came I had to pause and catch my breath. I was that invested in the story!

So if you’re a fan of Michael Connelly’s writing, crime novels, or court room thrillers do yourself a favor and read “The Gods of Guilt.” It’s a fantastic novel that once again cements Michael Connelly’s reputation as one of the best crime writers in the business.

Categories: Book Review