Book Review – The Gods of Guilt
I can distinctly remember reading John Grisham as a teenager and really getting into the legal thriller but as his books began to resemble movie pitches rather than novels and as I began to discover more authors and other books I drifted away. When I got back into crime fiction I wasn’t after clearly defined genre and I gravitated to the darker side of crime where right and wrong are hard to define. The legal thriller generally is all about right and wrong. It is either about someone innocent trying to clear their name or a guilty person being brought to justice. They can often throw up some interesting moral dilemmas but at the end of the day the law manges to right all wrongs. Which as we all know is total bs.
I started ready the Mickey Haller series because I wanted to try Michael Connelly but didn’t want to commit to his extensive backlist. So when he began this series a few years back with The Lincoln Lawyer I found my way in. While the series isn’t as black as I usually take my crime it is nice and grey. Mickey Haller is one leg up from ambulance chaser. He’s a defence attorney who works out of his town car. He knows the law isn’t perfect and uses that to his advantage whenever he can. He also knows he’s an asshole and isn’t shy about who he defends. He gets manipulated about as much as his manipulates others and you can debate if justice was actually served at the end of each book.
What I love most about the books is the tactics of a trial. The to and fro between the defence and the prosecutor plus the permutations thrown up by an individual judge. Haller must navigate a minefield while on a tightrope and it makes for compelling reading. In the last book Connelly even switches things around by having Haller work for the District Attorney.
The other thing I like about the books is Haller himself. He is not self-righteous (although he is extremely cocky) and his personal life is a complete disaster.
In the latest book Haller must defend a pimp accused of killing one of his escorts. Haller has a stale in the case as he knew the victim and knows there is more to this case than the police allege. Haller soon enters a high stakes game involving a Mexican drug cartel and corruption. As Haller’s case comes to head you are right in the thick of it and I found myself cursing and admonishing Haller for some of his decisions.
Perfect reading for this time of year.