THE BRASS VER­DICT By Michael Con­nelly

Daily Express - - WEEKEND BOOKS -

HOW in­flu­en­tial will Richard and Judy’s book rec­om­men­da­tions be now they have moved to less-viewed dig­i­tal by­ways? Cer­tainly, they have long been the dar­lings of grate­ful pub­lish­ers. Take, for in­stance, Michael Con­nelly’s The Lin­coln Lawyer, the sales of which shot through the roof af­ter its R&J book club se­lec­tion.

At the time ex­ist­ing Con­nelly fans felt a tad su­pe­rior to the new­com­ers. They were al­ready fa­mil­iar with the au­thor’s other hero, a tough de­tec­tive called Harry Bosch who had ap­peared in a dy­namic se­ries of nov­els. How­ever, The Lin­coln Lawyer of­fered some­thing new to them too in the shape of low-rent lawyer Mickey Haller.

Now Mickey’s back in this equally ac­com­plished se­quel – but he’s not alone. When he finds him­self caught up in a mur­der, Con­nelly as­signs Bosch as the homi­cide de­tec­tive. Can the two men work to­gether?

In The Brass Ver­dict Mickey is still smart­ing from the rigours of his pre­vi­ous case. Then fel­low lawyer Jerry Vin­cent is killed and Mickey finds him­self the re­cip­i­ent of a highly un­usual be­quest: he has in­her­ited all of his dead col­league’s clients.

One of th­ese is Hol­ly­wood mogul Wal­ter El­liot, ar­raigned for the mur­der of his wife and her lover. Mickey is well aware that if he can pull off this case the en­su­ing me­dia at­ten­tion will cat­a­pult him back to the front rank of his pro­fes­sion.

Things are not straight­for­ward, how­ever, and when Bosch, the tac­i­turn de­tec­tive on the case, sug­gests that the mur­dered lawyer was killed by one of his own clients, Mickey re­alises that his in­her­i­tance of the client list could be just as deadly to him as it was to Jerry Vin­cent.

All of this is han­dled with the sto­ry­telling panache that has made Con­nelly a reader’s favourite and this sec­ond out­ing for Mickey Haller is equally as en­gross­ing as The Lin­coln Lawyer.

It’s a brave step in­tro­duc­ing his char­ac­ters to each other but the in­ter­play be­tween Haller and Bosch is as sparky as one could wish, al­though I would say the two men are a lit­tle overly sim­i­lar. How­ever, it’s a reser­va­tion that will not trou­ble Con­nelly’s afi­ciona­dos.

So who will he fea­ture in his next book: Haller or Bosch? Or both? Who cares if the writ­ing is as en­er­getic as it is here.

BARRY FOR­SHAW

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