NY: Little, Brown, 2010.
The idea here is an interesting one — Mickey Haller, hardcore defense attorney and protagonist of The Lincoln Lawyer, is invited by the DA to sign on as a special prosecutor in the re-trial of a convicted murderer sprung from San Quentin after twenty-four years by genetic evidence that didn’t match. Haller has misgivings but it’s a challenge he finds he can’t resist –
as long as he’s allowed to have his ex-wife as second chair (the first wife, a real prosecutor; his second ex-wife works for Mickey as his office manager) and his half-brother, Harry Bosch, as chief investigator. The plot is pretty straightforward, following the prosecution team as they build a case without making any mention of the previous trial (that’s a no-no), watching Haller predict from his own experience what the defendant’s grandstanding defense lawyer will do next, and following Harry in alternate chapters as he struggles to locate witnesses and others from the original investigation a quarter-century ago. And that’s about it. There’s a neat bit of courtroom strategy involving a “silent witness” which the reader assumes will lead into a greater dramatic scene — but that never happens. Instead, the author goes off the rails completely and destroys the entire progression of the plot. It’s like Connelly couldn’t think of a good way to end what had become a thoroughly telegraphed climax and just pitched a hand grenade into the middle of things instead. After his previous book, Nine Dragons, I have to wonder if Connelly has simply used himself up.