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Michael Connelly
Read by Adam Grupper
Audio Book
10 CDs
Time Warner Audio Books

The Lincoln Lawyer is quite a departure for mystery writer Michael Connelly. Connelly, best known for the excellent Harry Bosch series as well as Bloodwork and Void Moon, explores the life of a criminal defense attorney named Mickey Haller. For fans of the various Law and Order franchises, this is a great mystery novel and audio book. Those familiar with Connelly’s work will immediately feel they are in good hands and will be brought safely to their destination. If you want to read it Kindle: The Lincoln Lawyer: A Novel (Mickey Haller Book 1)

As an audiobook, The Lincoln Lawyer is better than most. The weakness of the genre is some poor actor, here Adam Grupper, is stuck doing all the voices himself. This can be quite a challenge when there are three or four people in the scene and the voices must be different enough to be recognizable without being cartoonish. Adam Grupper does a very good job with this Michael Connelly mystery. The producers of The Lincoln Lawyer managed to avoid the myriad of he saids and she saids that can make a mystery audio book annoying to listen to and Grupper is pretty good at modulating his voice enough to differentiate the characters. This is particularly evident, if not perfectly done, in the final courtroom scenes where the actor must play Mickey Haller, his client, the assistant D.A. the female judge, and the witness on the stand. Here’s hoping Grupper got a nice rest after this performance.

The Lincoln Lawyer is about Mickey Haller who believes he has found a client who is not only a golden goose but also really innocent. Louis Ross Roulet is a successful real estate salesman who is accused of beating a woman, attempted rape, and attempted murder. Roulet claims his innocence and Haller believes him. This causes Haller to revisit an earlier, similar case also involving a client who claimed his innocence but was forced to take a deal and do some jail time.

This mystery is very much a behind the scenes take on crime. You get to see a criminal defense lawyer’s various machinations to set up his case and defend his client in and out of court. The Lincoln Lawyer is also much more than that as Haller’s case holds a few nasty surprises that will definitely put his life and career in jeopardy. You also get to see the day to day grind and grime as Haller has to work other cases while his big payday case is moving towards trial.

There are a couple of little details in The Lincoln Lawyer that will certainly cause an astute mystery reader to raise an eyebrow a couple of times. Haller sometimes complains of not having enough money to pay for this or for that, including his mortgage, yet he had enough cash to buy three Lincolns in one fell swoop and keep a couple of them in storage while he puts mileage on the first. He can also afford a chauffeur -granted, at a discount.

The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly and read by Adam Grupper is as good as an audio book mystery can get when you have only one actor, no matter how talented he is, doing all the characters. An abridged version would not have been a bad idea but the whole thing is definitely a great listen.

Check out the movie version of The Lincoln Lawyer