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Posted: March 14, 2021

Fifth Lincoln Lawyer novel is a fun read

Book Review

By Derryll White

Connelly, Michael (2013).  The Gods of Guilt.

Michael Connelly is always an enjoyable read. He is comfortable enough with himself as a writer and with his success that he can laugh about it.

Mickey Haller, the main character in this novel, comes out of the courthouse and faces a whole string of Lincoln town cars. The success of the movie ‘Lincoln Lawyer’ has, according to Connelly, spawned a plethora of Haller imitators, all working from the backseat of Lincolns just as he does.  Always good reading.

This is the fifth ‘Lincoln Lawyer’ novel and Connelly has created a rich enough background that he can pull characters and incidents forward to enrich the ongoing work.  For regular readers, it is akin to giving the nod and smile to old friends.

In this novel Connelly explores the shifting marketplace of “women for rent.”  Haller searches for the murderer of an old friend, a prostitute who he had assumed he had helped to leave the life, and in doing so is exposed to cyber-pimps and websites featuring escort services.  He encourages the reader to think about the usury such a system entails.

The writing moves at a fast pace, matching the streets of Los Angeles and the frenetic energy of the street life there.  The author certainly succeeds in removing the reader from small town America and presents both the perils and pleasures of urban life.  It is a fun read.

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Excerpts from the novel:

SICARIO – “There is no real English translation for the word, but it’s what they call the cartel assassins down in Mexico.  Sicarios.

“Thanks for the education.”

“Down there the laws are different than we’ve got up here.  Do you know that they have no legal code or provisions that allow a teenager to be charged as an adult?  No matter what they do, no charges as an adult and no incarceration beyond the age of eighteen for the crimes they commit as children.”

“That’s good to know for the next time I’m down there, Marco, but I practice law right here in California.”

“Consequently, the cartels recruit and train teenagers as their sicarios.  If they get caught and convicted, they do a year, maybe two, and then they’re out at eighteen and ready to go back to work.  You see?”

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BUSINESS PRACTICES – He gave me the number and I wrote it down on my palm.

“You have her number memorized?  Most people don’t remember numbers anymore because they’re on speed dial on their cell.”

“If I put everybody’s number in my phone, the police would have all of that right now.  We change phones and numbers often, and I commit them all to memory.  It’s the only safe way to do it.”

– Derryll White once wrote books but now chooses to read and write about them.  When not reading he writes history for the web at www.basininstitute.org.


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