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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. Kindle: The Fifth Witness (Mickey Haller Book 4)
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.

Connelly introducing The Fifth Witness: