Friday, 31 August 2012


Has this guy ever writen a dud novel? If he has, I certainly haven't read it. He is my very favourite crime novelist. His writing is consistently brilliant – exciting plots with breathtaking pace, vivid characterisations, visually descriptive settings and all with a sound understanding of the American legal system and law enforcement agencies. And The Brass Verdict is no exception.

I could be wrong, but I think that this is one of his first novels. His main character is Mikey Haller who is a defence lawyer. Having taken time off to overcome alcohol dependency, he receives an unexpected windfall: he has been given all of the cases of an old colleague, Jerry Vincent, recently murdered. And Vincent's biggest case is an absolute whopper. He is to represent a Hollywood director, Walter Elliot, who has been accused of murdering his wife and her lover. Mikey can hardly believe his luck but soon realises that he has actually been given a poisoned chalice.

He reluctantly works alongside detective Harry Bosch, both of whom do not reveal the full extent of their knowledge. And what follows has enough twists and turns to make it a thrilling read. The only problem with the book is that it does eventually end! Luckily, Connelly is a prolific writer so there are plenty more to read or listen to.

What I found fascinating was that although we learn a lot about Haller in The Brass Verdict, Bosch only plays a small part. Having read a number of Connelly's novels which feature Bosch, I enjoyed seeing the seeds being sown about Bosch's character (maserfully done in an incredibly sparse way).

And the meaning of the title is only revealed at the end, which worked really well for me.

If you want to read a crime novel which doesn't disappoint, read The Brass Verdict or any of Connelly's novels.

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