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Mystery Books - Michael Connelly - The Fifth Witness - J. Curran Review - April 2011

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Click pic for Amazon page

The Fifth Witness
Michael Connelly
Little, Brown 2011
448 pages

Having read all of Michael Connelly's books, I can say that they are at least good and often brilliant, with the author ranking among the best contemporary mystery writers. However, containing more action, drama, and excitement, his Harry Bosch detective novels are personally much preferred over his newer Mickey Haller lawyer series. The Fifth Witness the third installment in the Haller series
The Fifth witness is inspired by the recent U.S. economic and home mortgage crises and their disastrous fallout, Haller' difficult new client is Lisa Trammel, a woman who could lose her house to foreclosure. A teacher by trade, she has established a protest organization to draw attention to her shared plight. While the group is gaining momentum and membership, she is served a restraining order to maintain distance from WestLand Financial, the holder of her mortgage. When Mitchell Bondurant, the Vice President of WestLand is found brutally murdered in the bank parking garage, Lisa is the immediate suspect. She denies guilt, so is she the victim of the perfect set-up, or is her credibility in question?

Haller presents the facts at the trial, which comprises the bulk of the book. Dialogue and facts abound. Detail oriented, Haller is tough and unpredictable. He plays hardball, and is adept at methodically taking apart witnesses, and engaging in subtle, calculated courtroom theatrics. However, he is fallible, and does not always have the upper hand, especially in his personal life.

There are serious twists, and brushes with the unscrupulous, but in The Fifth Witness, the wow factor is somewhat subdued, until Connelly blows us out of the water and throws us completely off base with a firecracker ending. His powerful, and creative imagination explodes with the exceptional writing many of us know and love.

Connelly is good, and we know it. More of the same exceptional writing throughout would have elevated The Fifth Witness to another blockbuster.

J Curran

Other Michael Connelly Reviews

Crime Beat: An interesting read for true crime fans.

The Lincoln Lawyer Audio Book Version: An excellent departure for mystery writer Michael Connelly

Echo Park: The best Michael Connelly mystery to date and that is saying a lot.

The Concrete Blonde: This third Harry Bosch mystery is solid.

The Overlook: Yet another great Harry Bosch mystery

The Overlook - Another Review: The usual solid and captivating mystery by a master.

The Brass Verdict - October 2008: A lawyer s murder brings Harry Bosch and Lincoln lawyer Mickey Haller together.

The Brass Verdict - A Mickey Haller / Harry Bosch Mystery: 20th Connelly mystery brings Mickey Haller and Harry Bosch together with a bang (from a revolver)

The Black Ice - A Harry Bosch Mystery: Second in the series. Brilliant, of course.

The Scarecrow: Jack McEvoy of The Poet is back in yet another excellent Connelly mystery.

Nine Dragons - A Harry Bosch Mystery: The lesser Harry Bosch mystery.

The Reversal - October 2010: Detective Harry Bosh, Mickey Haller, and their exes on the same case.

The Fifth Witness - April 2011: A solid (of course) Mickey Haller mystery

The Drop - J. Curran review: Although not one of Connelly’s mind blowers from start to finish, The Drop is definitely a good solid read.

The Drop - A Harry Bosch Mystery: Decent enough Connelly but not up to usual standards

Blood Work Blu-ray: Excellent movie adaptation of Connelly novel

The Black Box - A Harry Bosch mystery: This time Bosch investigates a case dating back to the L.A. riots. Good but not great.

The Gods of Guilt - Mickey Haller Novel: The Lincoln Lawyer takes a case that propels him along a journey to face the demons of his past and present.

The Burning Room: You simply cannot put it down.

The Crossing - A Harry Bosch Novel: The Crossing, the twenty-second Harry Bosch, represents a major change in the life of Connelly s foremost character.

The Wrong Side of Goodbye - A Harry Bosch Novel: Harry Bosch is hired by a billionaire to find out if he has an heir and also works for the San Fernandino PD and discovers there is a serial rapist on the loose. This being a Michael Connelly mystery it is of course excellent.

The Late Show - A Renee Ballard Mystery: There is a new kid in town. Dog lover, and surfer by day, Detective Renee Ballard is a tough, tenacious, no-nonsense loner who works the late shift in Hollywood. Due to unsubstantiated accusations thrown at a superior officer, she is not exactly on the warm and fuzzy list of her fellow officers. With limited trust running both ways, her investigations are often solo.

Two Kinds of Truth - A Harry Bosch Mystery: It is a Connelly, of course it is great

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