Wednesday, 13 April 2011

The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly

I opened the new Michael Connelly novel with great enthusiasm and the writing and the plot didn’t let me down. The Fifth Witness is the fourth legal thriller featuring attorney Mickey Haller. Many more people are familiar with Mickey since the film The Lincoln Lawyer was released with Matthew McConaughey brilliantly portraying the irrepressible Mr Haller. The plot of Michael’s novel is timely as it centers around a massive problem in America at the moment, the foreclosure of housing loans.

Mickey’s business is suffering due to the recession and he takes on a case when Lisa Trammel, who is fighting hard to keep her home, receives a restraining order from her bank. Soon after taking on the case Lisa becomes the prime suspect when banker Mitchell Bondurant is murdered. Most of the novel takes place in a courtroom where Michael Connelly’s expertise as a writer of courtroom dramas comes to the fore. There are many twists and turns with evidence being submitted and quashed and the suspense builds at a steadfast and electrifying pace to a dual climax with the killer exposed and Mickey announcing a change of direction in his career.

How Michael Connelly manages to nail two high standard novels a year is mind blowing. One little quip on page 115: Clegg, a film producer, is thinking of including Mickey in a movie on the life of Lisa Trammel. He muses “I was thinking of Matthew McConaughey. He’d be excellent. But who do you think could play you?” To diffuse the situation Mickey replies “You’re looking at him Clegg”.

In the back of the novel there are two chapters from the next Connelly novel The Drop to be published in late October this year. This time Harry Bosch is back working with the Open-Unsolved Unit first mentioned in The Closers in 2005. I was hooked after the first two chapters ….. roll on October! Finally just a taste of trivia for people who love the TV series Castle. Michael Connelly, together with authors James Patterson and the late Stephen J Cannell, make occasional guest appearances in the series as Castle’s poker buddies.

Written by Barbara

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