Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Lincoln Lawyer - Book Review

Michael Connelly's The Lincoln Lawyer is the latest book in my California noir reading jag but so far it's the weakest. I'd read a couple of his in years past - the most recent was Echo Park but I can't find that I did a review about it and the only mention I made of it was last year when I started it and then put it down. That should've told me something.

But I thought this one would be different - Connelly stretches himself a bit by expanding into the legal thriller genre but it doesn't quite work for me. To be sure, the inner workings of the legal profession are interesting but the mechanics of the genre work against it. There's no pressing time-table to ratchet up the suspense. Legal proceedings are by their very nature long and drawn out where a typical detective novel is often a race against time. Connelly does his best but when it comes down to it this is just a novel of an attorney talking to one person and then the next. Sure there are twists and turns along the way but, really, it's kinda ho-hum. And for being a journalist, Connelly's prose style can be a little leaden and his ear for dialogue seems made of tin.

Of course, it's just me. Connelly's books are bestsellers without my help so a lot of people think there's something there. I'm just not one of them.

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