THE FIFTH WITNESS by Michael Connelly

Book Quote:

“There is a big picture to this case and the defense is going to show it to you.  The prosecution would like you to believe that this is a simple case of vengeance.  But murder is never simple and if you look for shortcuts in an investigation or a prosecution then you are going to miss things.”

Book Review:

Review by Eleanor Bukowksy  (APR 10, 2011)

Michael (Mickey) Haller is still working out of the back seat of his armor-plated Lincoln Town Car, but he now specializes in helping people prevent or delay foreclosure on their homes. In the shattered economy and with housing prices in freefall, business has been brisk. Although criminal defense is his first love, Mickey has changed course, knowing that “the only growth industry in the law business was foreclosure defense.”

It may not be exciting, but it pays the bills. In fact, Mickey has hired an associate, Jennifer Aronson who, along with his driver, Rojas, office manager (and ex-wife), Lorna, and investigator, Cisco, comprise his entire staff.  Mickey does an about-face when one of his clients, Lisa Trammel, is arrested for the murder of Mitchell Bondurant, head of Westland National Bank’s mortgage loan division. Lisa, who had previously hired Mickey to help her stay in her home, is charged with waiting for Bondurant in a parking garage, and attacking him in a fit of rage. Mickey throws himself into Trammel’s case with determination, creativity, and vigor. Opposing counsel is Andrea Freeman, a savvy and ambitious prosecutor who knows all of Mickey’s tricks and has quite a few of her own.   Haller tries to draw attention away from his client, and points out that there are others who had reason to want Bondurant dead.  Freeman sticks to the nitty-gritty—eyewitness, blood, and DNA evidence that point to Trammel as the perpetrator.

The Fifth Witness, by Michael Connelly, is a fast-paced, darkly humorous, and absorbing legal thriller in which everything gels: the lively and memorable cast, the beautifully constructed plot, and the entertaining byplay between the judge and the two opposing attorneys. Haller and Freeman are smart enough to use each piece of evidence, no matter how peripheral or circumstantial, to full advantage. On the personal front, Mickey spends some quality time with his fourteen-year-old daughter, Hayley, and his other ex-wife, Maggie, whom he still adores and hopes to win back.

Mickey, with the help of his able team, uses every device he can think of to get his client off; however, in the back of his mind, he is uncomfortable. Although everyone is entitled to a vigorous defense, how far should Mickey go to sway the jury? In this timely book, Connelly addresses the housing mess that still affects many beleaguered Americans, presents us with an electrifying trial, and proves once again that he is still at the top of his game.

AMAZON READER RATING: from 468 readers
PUBLISHER: Little, Brown and Company; First Edition edition (April 5, 2011)
REVIEWER: Eleanor Bukowsky
AUTHOR WEBSITE: Michael Connelly
EXTRAS: Reading Guide and Excerpt
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April 10, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,  · Posted in: California, Sleuths Series, y Award Winning Author

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