Monday, February 10, 2014

Review: The Gods of Guilt

Summary: Mickey Haller gets the text, "Call me ASAP - 187," and the California penal code for murder immediately gets his attention. When he learns that the victim was a prostitute he once represented and thought he had rescued, he knows there is no way he'd let this one go. He soon finds out that she had been back in LA and back in the life. Far from saving her, Mickey may have been the one who put her in danger.

Mickey must follow his gut instinct directly into a dark, dangerous world to get justice for both of his clients, living and dead. As he faces the "gods of guilt"-the jurors who will ultimately deliver the verdict in court-he's forced to struggle with his personal demons for a shot at his own redemption. THE GODS OF GUILT shows once again why "Michael Connelly excels, easily surpassing John Grisham in the building of courtroom suspense" (Los Angeles Times). -- Little, Brown

I don't know if I can even express how excited I was to receive a copy of THE GODS OF GUILT by Michael Connelly. Mr. Connelly is my absolute favorite crime/mystery writer, and probably one of my very favorite authors of any genre. I adore his novels -- from the complex characters, to his amazing storytelling abilities, to his writing style.

THE GODS OF GUILT is a Lincoln Lawyer novel, rather than a Harry Bosch one; and truth be told, I've come to love this series just as much as Mr. Connelly's Bosch books. Mickey Halley, also known as the Lincoln Lawyer, isn't in a good place when the novel opens. Business is down, his teenage daughter wants nothing to do with him, and he's facing some serious personal issues having to do with guilt. However, he receives a text that could change everything.

Gloria, a former prostitute and client of Mickey's (from a prior novel) is found dead; and the suspected murderer (basically an on-line pimp) hires Mickey to defend him. Mickey believes that his client is innocent and that there is more to her death than what meets the eye. He even begins to wonder if Gloria's testimony which put a drug cartel leader in prison had anything to do with her murder or if what she knew might have put her at risk.

This case becomes personal for Mickey because he held a special place in his heart for Gloria and credited himself with turning around her life. As he learns more about the case, he discovers that everything he thought he knew about her is in question. When Mickey finally takes this case to a jury of twelve men and women (aka the Gods of Guilt), he must manipulate the legal system to the best of his abilities to uncover the truth and, in the process, save his client.

I know I'm going to sound biased when I say that I loved this book! I always seem to say something along those lines when I review a book by Mr. Connelly, and this time is no exception. But I can honestly say that this book is outstanding on so many levels. Not only is the plot fantastic, but there are plenty of twists and turns along the way to keep things interesting. I truly had no idea where this book was going to go or who was trustworthy -- I love it when that happens!

If you've ever read one of Mr. Connelly's legal thrillers, then you already know that he has major skills when it comes to writing the courtroom scenes. I love how he explains the legal tactics as well as the courtroom procedures, and his exploration of the "gods of guilt" theme was equally impressive.

In addition, I think the character of Mickey Haller is fascinating. He's really coming into his own as a complex character -- much along the lines of Connelly's other protagonist Harry Bosch. Mickey definitely has a little sleaze factor to him and he's not afraid to push the boundaries, but in this novel, I saw a more sensitive and troubled side to his personality. Mickey was almost pitiful at times in this novel, like when he was watching his daughter play soccer through binoculars because she won't have anything to do with him; and his guilt over the consequences from a past case is so severe that my heart just broke for him. Mickey is definitely a complicated man and it was nice to see that he has a softer side.

THE GODS OF GUILT is another outstanding novel by Mr. Connelly. The story was definitely intriguing, and I especially enjoyed the insight into Mickey's character. Highly recommended.

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read. Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.


bermudaonion said...

I love Mickey Haller too and can't wait to read this!!

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

Hi Julie,

I have several Michael Connelly books on my shelves, however I have only actually read one or two of his very early stand alone stories.

You mentioned Michael's character Harry Bosch in your post and I noted that there was another new book in this series published back in January 2014, however 'Switchblade' is classified as a novella.

You have definitely whetted my appetite to delve into one of hs books now.

Nice review of a book which you so obviously enjoyed,

Have a good week,


Carin Siegfried said...

I am so looking forward to this one!

Sandy Nawrot said...

Connelly never lets you down. He always has interesting characters and lots of action. I read more of the Bosch novels but I think I've read a couple of the Haller ones too. I'm going to have to make sure I listen to this one.

Beth F said...

I loved this one too! I really like Mickey -- he's such a complex character.