Thursday, December 15, 2016

Review of "The Gods of Guilt" by Michael Connelly




Attorney Mickey Haller has problems. He regularly represents (and gets off) criminal lowlifes and a released drunken driver killed a classmate of Mickey's 16-year-old daughter, who no longer wants anything to do with him. Lacking good cases Mickey is also low on cash and drinking too much. Things start to look up when Andre La Cosse, a 'cyberpimp' who runs websites for prostitutes, is accused of murdering a client, Giselle Dallinger.

Turns out Giselle is really Gloria Dayton, a woman Mickey represented on a drug charge eight years before. At the time Mickey got Gloria off by arranging for her to give up a member of a Mexican drug cartel who's now serving a life sentence. The Mexican criminal claims a gun was planted in his apartment at the time and is appealing his sentence. As Mickey prepares to defend the cyberpimp his investigations reveal that Gloria may well have helped set up the cartel member at the behest of a DEA agent. Moreover, Mickey comes to believe Gloria's death may be related to this involvement with the DEA.

Pursuing this line of inquiry Mickey is soon harassed, threatened, and attacked. Eventually the La Cosse murder case gets to court and Connelly presents a lot of detailed courtroom activity including legal motions, questioning and cross-examination of witnesses, interactions with the judge, and so on. This is interesting but does seem to go on and on at times. When Mickey (the first person narrator of the story) says at one point that 'the jury seems to be getting bored' I empathized with the sentiment.

All in all this was a compelling mystery, well-written with interesting characters and a satisfying conclusion. Good book.  

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