Not guilty, whatever the cost

Who's the scariest client of them all? It's not a murderer, rapist, or drug dealer. It's an innocent man. At least that's according to Mickey Haller, Los Angeles defense lawyer. There's only one acceptable outcome: a not guilty verdict. And Haller may have been saddled with his worst nightmare.

"The Lincoln Lawyer" hits bookstores just five months after bestselling author Michael Connelly pulled detective Harry Bosch out of retirement to universal acclaim. His first legal thriller should come in for plenty of applause.

The book's title comes from Haller's Lincoln Town Car (vanity plate: NT GLTY). Los Angeles, he explains, generates enough felonies a year to fill the Rose Bowl twice over with potential clients. "You don't want clients from the cheap seats. You want the ones sitting on the 50-yard line." Certainly his newest client, who's charged with assault and attempted rape, can afford a box seat. But while the money's rolling in, so are the complications, and Mickey soon finds himself in danger of growing a conscience. The courtroom scenes are especially good, as Mickey manipulates the case for his own reasons. Overall, "Lincoln" rolls smoothly from start to finish.

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