The Gods of Guilt
by Michael Connelly
Little, Brown and Co., 2013. 387 pgs. Mystery
Mickey Haller, the Lincoln Lawyer, is back, cruising the streets and haunting the courtroom in defense of his often sleazy clients. In this outing, Haller is called upon to defend a kind of virtual pimp, Andre La Cosse, a guy who arranges liasons with prostitutes by computer. He is supposed to have killed one of his "girls" in a dispute over money. Haller takes the case because he thinks La Cosse innocent, but he also knows the victim, a former client whom he thought he had helped to a better life. Haller is not the most likeable of Connelly's characters. He spends considerable narrative strength telling the reader how amazing and tricky he is in the courtroom, including squishing a fake blood capsule in his mouth to get a mistrial. Still, this puzzle mystery has its charms, with Mickey for once defending the innocent and following a crooked and dangerous path into the realms of power. Connelly is one of our finest writers of police procedurals and legal thrillers, so The Gods of Guilt is a fine diversion for the dark of the year.