The Lincoln Lawyer Review
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Not long ago, film adaptations of novels were generally of the Masterpiece Theater variety. Classic novels or literary fiction were turned into TV movies or art house indies. Now, however, fiction adaptations are everywhere—from award season dramas to summer thrillers. This year, all kinds of popular favorites are coming to theaters—from old standbys like Twilight and Harry Potter to Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum. But before you buy a ticket to see the adaptation of Michael Connelly’s The Lincoln Lawyer, I highly recommend picking up a copy of the thrilling best-seller.

When Los Angeles defense attorney Michael “Mickey” Haller is hired to defend prominent Beverly Hills real estate agent Louis Roulet, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot. Roulet has been accused of assault—and a court case with such a high-profile (and rich) client could earn Mickey his biggest paycheck yet.

  
 
Mickey’s used to working in the grey areas, fighting for drug dealers, prostitutes, and gang members—so Roulet is a different kind of client. Not only does he have the money to pay for his defense, but, from their first meeting, he actually seems to be innocent—an upstanding citizen who was set up for money. The more Mickey talks to his new client, though, the more he suspects that Roulet is lying to him. And he soon discovers that the case is much more than just another paycheck.

And The Lincoln Lawyer is more than just another crime thriller. It’s brilliantly crafted, with a swiftly twisting plot and a well-developed main character.

Mickey is anything but the typical hero. As a criminal defense attorney, it’s often his job to look for cracks and loopholes in the case—to find ways to return murderers, rapists, and drug dealers to the streets. For that reason, cops and prosecutors alike see him as the enemy—a money-grubbing bottom-feeder. And, in a way, that’s what he is; he’s smooth-talking, quick-thinking, and more than just a little bit sleazy. He does what it takes to free his clients and earn his fees—even if his methods aren’t entirely legal (or ethical). He knows all the tricks, and he’s not afraid to use them to his advantage.

Usually, Mickey’s kind of character is the villain: the ruthless defense attorney who stands in the way of justice for a hurting victim. But Connelly turns the tables in the most captivating of ways. He shows readers that there’s more to Mickey than his expensive suits, his criminal clients, and the shiny new Lincoln that he uses as his office on wheels. For one thing, he’s incredibly clever—and even though you may not admire what he does for a living (or how he does it), you can’t help but admire his ability to assess the situation and think outside the box to come up with a solution. He’s sharp, and he’s effective.

As the story plays out, though, Mickey finds himself questioning his career. He isn’t just a heartless bad guy. He’s a hard-working lawyer, a loving dad, and a loyal friend. It’s that depth of character that makes him a flawed but likeable hero—and, in turn, makes The Lincoln Lawyer an engrossing read. The characters—both major and minor—are fascinating and complex, and they all fit perfectly into the plot.

Only time will tell how Hollywood will handle this sharp crime thriller. But before you see the movie, don’t miss the gripping novel that inspired it.

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