Top critical review
After a long wait, kind of a disappointment.
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on November 30, 2020
After a long wait fans of ‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ Mickey Haller finally have a new novel from Michael Connelly. “The Law of Innocence” is the sixth book in the series featuring the L.A. defense attorney who runs his law practice out of the back of a Lincoln Town Car. Haller is also the half-brother of Connelly’s more famous creation, LAPD Detective Harry Bosch who appears in this story in a small supporting role.
The tables are turned on Mickey this time around when he’s stopped by the police for driving without a license plate on one of his three Town Cars. When the officer observes something dripping out of the trunk and opens it he discovers the murdered body of one of Haller’s former shady clients. Mickey winds up in prison while trying to mount the defense of his lifetime.
Connelly is a good storyteller to be sure and easily lures the reader into the tale and he continues to demonstrate his skill here. The Bosch books, the prior Haller novels, and his newest creation Rene Ballard are not big on action but they are long on procedure; grinding through the evidence, following leads and ultimately catching the bad guy. Having Mickey incarcerated for much of this plot and most of the ‘action’ being confined to the court room unless you’re big on the nuances of legal practice “The Law of Innocence” can be kind of boring to be honest.
Ultimately, not a lot really happens; there’s no big satisfying courtroom triumph and the case concludes in an anticlimactic fashion. At the very end there’s a little bit of excitement where Mickey is in jeopardy but it is quickly thwarted.
A final note; you will see a number of 1 and 2-star reviews here and closer inspection reveals they appear to be written by displeased supporters of President Trump. The subject of their dismay occurs later on in the story during jury selection; Mickey has his investigator stake out the court parking lot to see what the potential jurors are driving and their behavior as a way to weed out potentially unfriendly candidates. For example one guy parks in a handicap space but isn’t disabled. Cisco also observes a car with a “Trump 2020” bumper sticker on it. Connelly then has Haller explain why a supporter of a president who ran on “law & order” might not be the best pick for someone up on murder charges. That’s all there is, it’s not like Connelly published some raging anti-Trump manifesto and it seems petty to condemn the whole novel because of two short paragraphs and a sentence. If you’re easily triggered by political references merely skip the last paragraph on page 264, the first paragraph on page 265, and a passing reference to the president’s messaging on the pandemic on page 313, six lines down, and you’ll be fine. Given how polarized the country has become the past few years it probably was unwise for Connelly to mention politics in any context.
“The Law of Innocence” was a disappointment for me. I want to see Haller cleverly working the legal system defending his client like he did in the debut book, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which is nothing like what transpires here. Much like Bosch is running out of gas after all these years I’m afraid Mickey Haller’s Lincoln is just about on empty too.