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The Brass Verdict-Michael Connelly, author; Peter Giles, narrator
I am becoming a Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller devotee. This book in the series opens with a courtroom case. Mickey Haller is the public defender for Barnett Woodson who has been accused of murdering two men. An ex-con, career criminal, Ronald Torrance is presenting evidence against him for the prosecution. Was he being framed? Was justice served? Jerry Vincent was the prosecutor on this case. When his career faltered, Haller introduced him to defense law, and as the years passed, each would use the other when an associate counsel was necessary. Both defended the indefensible, but it was the right of every criminal to have a fair trial, and the duty of every lawyer to represent them fully.
Mickey Haller had become addicted to pain medication, wrecked his marriage and finally entered rehab. When he got out, he tried to get back to himself, and slowly, possibly even reluctantly, he returned to the practice of law. He had few cases and was limping along. His assistant, Lorna Taylor, was his first ex-wife. Out of the blue, she tells him that Judge Mary Holder had called and summoned him to her office several times. He has no idea why she summoned him, but he doesn’t think it is good news when a judge asks for your presence. From the judge, he discovered that his associate, Jerry Vincent, had been murdered. His cases were left to Mickey. Some of the cases were going to present a problem, but this would definitely provide him with more legal work.
Mickey Haller had a lot of baggage to carry around. His second ex-wife, Maggie McPherson, was the mother of his daughter Hayley. He had limited visitation because of his behavior and past addiction, and he was working hard to control his temper and not resent Maggie’s interference and control over the time he spent with Hayley. She often questioned what they did when they were together and was unhappy with his responses.
After leaving the office of Judge Holder, Haller visited Vincent’s office where he found his secretary, Wren Williams, showing definite signs of grief. She had unwittingly let two detectives look through the office files for clues. One of the detectives was Harry Bosch, a detective well known for his police work. Haller asked them to leave to protect the lawyer/client privilege. After an edgy conversation, they left in a huff, especially annoyed when he asked them to leave the files they had selected. Since Vincent’s laptop, briefcase and calendar had been stolen, Lorna had to reconstruct the cases from the files and she began immediately. Mickey called his investigator, Dennis Wojciechowski, nicknamed Cisco, to help him out as well. He was perfect for the job, and soon they were all deeply involved, not only in Vincent’s legal cases, but also in the criminal investigation of Vincent’s murder. Slowly, Haller realized that he was involved in more than taking over a practice. This was not a simple murder/robbery mystery. In the search for answers, he finds himself working with Harry Bosch. They are both cagey about helping each other, but they provide whatever information they can to see that justice is done without breaking laws, although some are bent and stretched.
One of the cases that Haller inherited from Vincent was the defense of a well-known entertainment personality. Walter Elliot. He was rich, arrogant and brash, a man who hobnobbed with the rich and famous and he was accused of brutally murdering his wife and her lover. From the first, Elliot showed no fear. He simply assumed that he would not be convicted of the crime. Haller wondered why he was so positive. He proclaimed his innocence and demanded that Haller believe him. So who was behind the violent crime? Between Haller and Bosch, the mystery is finally resolved, but its solution remains obscure to the reader until almost the very end. It is what makes this and other novels by this author so exciting. In this book, the reader is given a bonus surprise, because at the end, there is a revelation about the Bosch and Haller