Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Read the Book, Think I'll Skip the Movie

The Lincoln Lawyer: A Novel I won The Lincoln Lawyer from Kathy at along with a movie poster since the movie just arrived in theaters starring Matthew McConaughey. This casting seems right on to me, but I don't think I'll go out of my way to see the movie.

All in all, I liked this book. My problem with it was that I just couldn't stand the major character who I hesitate to call a hero. Mickey Haller is a defense attorney who owns four Lincoln Town Cars which he bought at once when he had a big-paying client. He uses one as an office, driven by a former client he helped big time, and when that Lincoln gets too much mileage on it, he sells it and uses the next one. At this point he has two left in the garage he has been loaned by the father of another client he helped. Meanwhile, his second ex-wife lives in a condo which she uses to be his office staff, answering the phone, sending correspondence, tracking down paperwork he needs, and sometimes showing up in court. They are friends, just can't stand to be married to each other. For one thing, he still loves his first ex-wife, the mother of his only child. That ex-wife is a prosecutor. If you think that causes a problem, you're right.

Haller's clients are invariably guilty and success for him is a deal that cuts down the prison time for them or even gets them off on probation, depending upon the crime of course. His greatest fear is that he'll get a client who is actually innocent and he won't realize it. Well, guess what - he thinks he has one finally and the guy is rich enough to pay staggering fees, but in truth . . . well, you'll have to read the book or see the movie to find out. Meanwhile, a former client sitting in prison really is innocent and Haller thought he had done him a big favor by getting him prison instead of execution. Oops! The plot is a good one.

Michael Connelly has created a believable, if unlikeable, character here. He does show that Haller normally does things legally and that he does have a heart, but the concentration is on how he can skirt the law to get the best deal for his clients. He comes off as an ambulance chaser to me. That's why I doubt if I'll see the movie even though I think McConaughey is probably well cast in the role.

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