Featured Review: ‘Law of Innocence’ by Michael Connelly


Defense attorney Mickey Haller has taken on some of the most difficult cases in LA over the last two decades, but here, if the famed Lincoln Lawyer is going to score another “NG,” he’ll have to beat the toughest murder wrap he’s ever faced . . . and this time around, he is the one on trial.

After celebrating his latest Not Guilty verdict with some defense colleagues at a bar, Haller is pulled over on his way home. Though he initially thinks the police officer assumed he was drunk and stopped him looking or a DUI, it doesn’t take long for Mickey to realize he’s been set up.

First, the officer notes that Haller’s license plate is missing. Then he points out a fluid leaking from the trunk area. Getting out of the Lincoln, Mickey confirms his vanity plate is MIA, then more concerning issue: that blood is dripping from his rear bumper, pooling on the pavement below.

Thinking like the defense attorney he is, Haller tells the officer he has no right to search the trunk, but after claiming probable cause, Mickey is detained while the police pop his trunk—revealing a fresh, folded corpse with several gunshot wounds.

Deciding to represent himself, Mickey exercises his right to a speedy trial. However, the news only worsens when it’s revealed that the dead body is a former client of his who owed him money. Citing overwhelming evidence of first-degree murder, the prosecution secures a five-million-dollar bail amount, which Haller can’t pay. Stuck in Twin Towers Correctional Center in downtown Los Angeles, Mickey enlists the help of his own defense team to help him gather evidence on the outside and form a trial strategy. Also coming to his aid is Haller’s half-brother and former LAPD detective Harry Bosch, whose involvement proves crucial after the veteran investigator provides a promising lead involving the mob and the FBI.

If Haller can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that someone else had the motive to kill his former client, maybe he can pull off a third-party-culpability. But the more he, Bosch, and his team poke around for answers, the clearer it becomes that whoever’s actually behind the murder will stop at nothing to make sure Mickey goes down . . . even if it means killing again.

Nobody writing today has more range than Michael Connelly, who is in top form here, delivering not only the best legal thriller of the year, but perhaps the best legal thriller to hit bookstores in the last decade. Far better than anything Grisham and Turow—two godfathers of the genre—have written in quite some time, Connelly treats readers to a deliciously suspenseful, twisting, unputdownable thriller that begs to be read in a single sitting.

It’s amazing, really, how well Connelly seems to grasp the ins and outs of the legal system when witing Mickey Haller or the inner workings of the LAPD when he’s writing Bosch. Few authors have the ability to write with such authority on matters of which they haven’t actually accumulated any first-hand experience, and yet he makes it look almost effortless. A true American treasure, Connelly’s importance to the genre can’t possibly be overstated, and it’s not crazy to suggest that this generation of readers may never see another writer of his caliber ever again. From crime mysteries to police procedurals to legal thrillers, Connelly’s doing it all at the highest level imaginable while utilizing a deep cast of characters that he’s expertly developed over his brilliant career.

Speaking of which, longtime readers can expect to see a number of familiar, fan-favorite faces popping up in this book, along with some new characters who could return in future stories. One in particular—a former gangster who befriends Haller in prison—flashes real promise and potential for more screentime down the road. Still, Mickey is the star here, serving as both the narrator and the protagionist, and just when you think you know how things will play out, Connelly saves his best surprise for the end.

Masterfully plotted and impossible to put down, Law of Innocence is everything readers have come to expect from Michael Connelly, a once-in-a-lifetime talent who continues to show why he’s one of the greatest writers the genre has ever known.

Book Details

Author: Michael Connelly
Series: Mickey Haller #7
Pages: 432 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0316485624
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Release Date: November 10, 2020
Real Book Spy Rating: 9.95/10



Praised as “One of the hardest working, most thoughtful, and fairest reviewers out there” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). Steck also works full-time as a freelance editor and pens a monthly thriller column for CrimeReads. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.

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