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Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly (Haller #6)

The Gods of Guilt (Mickey Haller, #6)The Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jacket Blurb: Mickey Haller gets the text, "Call me ASAP - 187," and the California penal code for murder immediately gets his attention. Murder cases have the highest stakes and the biggest paydays, and they always mean Haller has to be at the top of his game.

When Mickey learns that the victim was his own former client, a prostitute he thought he had rescued and put on the straight and narrow path, he knows he is on the hook for this one. He soon finds out that she was back in LA and back in the life. Far from saving her, Mickey may have been the one who put her in danger.

Haunted by the ghosts of his past, Mickey must work tirelessly and bring all his skill to bear on a case that could mean his ultimate redemption or proof of his ultimate guilt. The Gods of Guilt shows once again why "Michael Connelly excels, easily surpassing John Grisham in the building of courtroom suspense"
(Los Angeles Times).

Read as an audio book.

It is somewhat fascinating to me, how a courtroom trial - an agreeably dry and tedious process at the best of time - can be turned into a suspense/thriller novel. Which comes around to how many times can our said defense attorney Mickey Haller be physically attacked to keep him off the trail or as a warning not to continue. I'll have to remember to ask the defense attorney I know if things are really this exciting. I suspect not.

Premise of the book is Mickey is defending the online pimp (he handles online website design and escort bookings) of a former client, a professional escort who went by the name of Glory Days. Mickey thought Gloria had moved on and up in the world, moving to Hawaii under the auspicious of a patron (though if he believed that, he's not as smart as he thinks he is...). As Haller and his staff start to dig deeper into case, they discover a decade or more of cover-up involving a trio of escorts, the DEA, and a Mexican cartel member. Now it's up to Mickey to clear his client of murder and expose some dirty agents.

Overall, pretty good. First third of the book is set up, establishing the cast and characters who all played a part to bring this whole scenario to trial. I will say, the DEA and Mexican Cartel aspect was a tiny bit implausible. I'll say that and someone in internet-land will snort and say they read it in the paper.

I also felt there was a bit too much use of phrase "the Gods of Guilt" by Haller. Once or twice to establish the title and as use as a plot devise, but every chapter (it felt that way)? Egads. I don't need to be hit over the head with the concept. I get that the jury represents the "Gods "who will determine if someone is ultimately guilty or not.

There was a scene where Haller's car is forced off an embankment and takes a tumble. Mickey's driver, Earl is thrown from the car and Mickey is roughed up pretty good. Then the accident felt glossed over. The reader finds out Mickey was in hospital, but... that's it. No more mention of aching pain, chiropractic care, physical therapy, etc. Unless I missed a sequway or time jump, which is entirely possible listening to an audio book during a commute, the accident came across as filler. A way to add more guilt to Mikey's already burdened conscious.

I conclude by saying, this is one trial that takes the reader right up to the last pages of the book. There are a couple of very interesting - but not unexpected - twists before everything is wrapped up all tidy like with a big shiny bow.

Recommended if you've read the first five in the series.

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