REMINDERS: (1) Have you taken our polls? (Very bottom of page)
(2) Obtain, Read, and Comment on the current book!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Reaction to The Lincoln Lawyer (Connelly)

I just returned from a book club discussion of The Lincoln Lawyer (by Michael Connelly)... maybe you have read it too?

There was a range of reaction, none severely negative, mostly positive. WARNING!! Some spoiler comments follow.

Some ranked the book quite high- a 98/100 was one score! Now this is the guy who has said that "only Sherlock Holmes merits a 100."

He and all of the members enjoyed the book's description of legal strategies and the courtroom repartee. Personally, I love books that provide an extensive dialog of lawyers examining witnesses. For me, it all began with Perry Mason when I was in the 8th grade! At least 9 of the authors on my favorites list write books about lawyers. BTW, I prefer legal drama (Perry Mason) to legal thriller (The Firm), but I like them both. Id say that The Lincoln Lawyer falls about midway on the continuum between drama and thriller.

None of us work in the "justice" system and can claim the ability to judge the realism in the book, but most of us had the feeling it was accurate. Unlike Perry Mason, Connelley's criminal defense attorney almost never has an innocent client. Indeed, that became the crux of the problem for the lead character who must face the mistake of contributing to the incarceration of an innocent man.

Some interesting plot twists: the attorney's investigator gets killed. Gosh! The author killed his Paul Drake!

In the final twist: we find out how the "bad guy" is able to move undetected across town to commit murder while wearing an anklet alarm system. OK, the author had me fooled, but my peers in the discussion group had figured it out in advance.

Most of the difference of opinion about the book revolved around the central character. Some of us did not feel sufficient attraction to the character. It was suggested that defense attorneys created by J. F. Freedman were more likable/attractive. Other participants liked the development of the character through the book; as the book opens, the attorney is thoroughly jaded and seems resigned to perform a service, no matter how low he must stoop. By the end, he seems just a bit (thus, realistically) reformed by the crisis he underwent with the two principle clients featured in the plot. At the very least, the crisis brought out his more noble side.

The group also exchanged views on the credibility of the evil client and his equally equal mother. This led to a reflection on the different mental states of murderers, including Jeffrey Dommer and Charles Stuart.

I felt the book was a solid "B" and others in the group had no trouble giving the book a solid "A."

If you read the book, how would you rate it?

No comments:

2009 POLL #2--Do Mystery Stories and Political Bias Mix? What is closest to your view?