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Friday, August 19, 2011

Audiobook Review: The Lincoln Lawyer series by Michael Connelly

Book cover of The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly (audiobook review)
I don’t really do legal thrillers.  I maxed out on John Grisham in the mid-1990s and have avoided the genre ever since.  However, last month Audible offered a super-sweet deal on the unabridged version of Michael Connelly’s The Brass Verdict, so I decided to give it a try.  Before I knew it, I had listened to all the books in the Mickey Haller series and made a serious dent in Connelly’s backlist.  I even convinced my mom to listen to two Connelly books on our recent roadtrip and the books were so engrossing that we didn't speak for all 1,553 miles.  (Not true, but pretty close.)

L.A. defense attorney Mickey Haller is known around town as The Lincoln Lawyer (yes, the Matthew McConaughey movie was based on the books) because that’s where his office is – in the back of a Lincoln Town Car.  It’s not really standard operating procedure for a criminal defense attorney, but it works for Mickey and his motley crew of employees.  Mickey is smart and street-savvy, and he loves to win.  He has his own sense of justice, though, and just because he defends some really bad dudes doesn’t mean he likes to see the bad guys win.  His personal code of honor motivates him, and he really does serve justice in his own rather ruthless way.

There were two narrators for the books – Adam Grupper for The Lincoln Lawyer and Peter Giles for the latter three books in the series.  Both were excellent – their characterization of Mickey was great and they voiced the secondary characters distinctly.  I’d definitely recommend these books for anyone who’s a fan of legal thrillers or people who just like a darn good listen.

Picture of Matthew McConaughey in The Lincoln Lawyer
Oooh - yes, please!
The Lincoln Lawyer (11 hrs, 35 mins) –Louis Roulet is a wealthy Beverly Hills real estate scion accused of rape and attempted murder, but he has no criminal history whatsoever.  Louis maintains it’s all a set-up or a shake-down to get money out of him, so Mickey and his team do some investigating into the victim.  As their investigation deepens, Mickey realizes that this isn’t the first time a woman has been brutalized in the same way – is it possible he finally has an innocent client?

I watched the movie the other day and thought it was a great depiction of the book.  I was surprised at how faithful the script was to the book’s plot and overall, it was really well done.  And as for Matthew McConaughey…wowza.  That guy sure is easy on the eyes. Grade: A-

Book cover of The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly
The Brass Verdict (11 hrs, 22 mins) –  Mickey’s life has dramatically changed since the events of The Lincoln Lawyer, and he hasn’t been in a courtroom in months.  When an old legal colleague is found dead, Mickey inherits all his clients, including an OJ-like case of a Hollywood mogul who murdered his wife and her young lover.  Connelly definitely shifted Mickey’s story with this one, but it worked, and watching Mickey have to rebuild his legal career was highly entertaining. Grade: B+

Book cover of The Reversal by Michael ConnellyThe Reversal (11 hrs, 25 mins) –  This was my favorite in the series.  Mickey crosses the aisle to prosecute a child killer who was released from jail on a technicality.  Mickey’s a good guy in all his books, but in this one he is the good guy, working to put the bad guy away instead of getting him off.  Plus, Mickey gets to work side-by-side with his ex-wife Maggie, whom he never really got over.  Ooh – sexual tension!  Grade: A-

The Fifth Witness (13 hrs, 56 mins) – This book started a bit slow, but when it got going, it really got going.  It’s very current – Mickey defends a woman who is accused of killing the banker who foreclosed on her house.  There’s all sorts of intrigue surrounding the real estate market and the possible involvement of organized crime.  Mickey does a great deal of soul-searching in this one after a brutal attack, and Connelly throws a huge kicker in the final pages that should make the next Mickey Haller book very interesting reading – and, yes, according to Connelly's interviews, there will be more Mickey.  Grade: B

Book cover of The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly

Nine Dragons (10 hrs, 58 mins, read by Len Cariou) – Mickey only has a cameo in this one, but it’s a good listen nonetheless.  LAPD Detective Harry Bosch is tracking down the murder of a Chinese-American liquor store owner when he gets a call that his daughter has been kidnapped by someone who wants him off the case.  Grade: B-

I’m now biting my nails waiting for the next Mickey Haller book (again, not true but pretty close), and highly recommend these audiobooks for fans of suspense or anyone with 1,553 miles stretching out in front of them.

Have an audiobook review? Check out the weekly Sound Bytes feature hosted by Jen at Devourer of Books for some excellent audio reviews.
Audiobook reviews by Sarah The Brazen Bookworm (michael connelly lincoln lawyer mickey haller)


  1. I have a road trip this month, maybe I will have to pickthis up!

  2. I love when movies actually add up to the book! And I’ll take Matthew any day, thanks!

  3. Good to know this works even for people who OD'd on Grisham long ago.

  4. I think I'd probably enjoy this. It's not very bookish of me... but honestly I'll probably just catch the movie someday. Good review!

  5. Jac ~ It was definitely perfect for a road trip! Suspenseful and performed very well.

    Pam ~ Ha, I know! A little Matthew never goes amiss! :)

    Jen ~ Yep, definitely works!

    Bailey ~ The movie was good, and I was surprised how much I liked it even after I read the book - usually I'm so disappointed.

  6. Michael Connelly's books are wildly popular in the used bookshop...good to know that the audio versions are good as well.

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