A virtuoso performance even by Connelly’s high standards.

THE LAW OF INNOCENCE

Mickey Haller, the Lincoln Lawyer who’s mostly played second fiddle to his half brother, Harry Bosch, in recent years, gets a most unwelcome star turn when he’s arrested for murder.

The evidence is neck-deep that Haller’s ex-client, chronic con man Sam Scales, was dumped into the trunk of the attorney’s trademark car and then shot to death inside his garage as Haller slept above—or, as prosecutor Dana Berg, a true believer in Haller’s guilt, maintains, watched it all from a lot closer. The noose fits so tightly around Haller’s neck that it’s got to be a frame-up, but why, and by whom? Identifying the most likely perp as Louis Opparizio, a Vegas mobster Haller made look guilty on the stand nine long years ago, doesn’t clear things up. It just leads his law partner, Jennifer Aronson, and his investigator, Cisco Wojciechowski, to the FBI investigation of BioGreen Industries, a firm in which Opparizio owned a major stake, and up against FBI agents Rick Aiello and Dawn Ruth, who make it clear that they have no intention of complying with the subpoena issued by Violet Warfield, the meticulous and fair-minded judge trying the case. As Haller plots his own defense, sometimes from within a jail cell, sometimes when he’s out on bail, he’s haunted by the old adage about how any lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client. Of course Connelly’s not going to convict his franchise hero of murder; of course Opparizio and the FBI are mixed up in the case; of course there’ll be loose ends left hanging. None of that matters. For sheer courtroom inventiveness and suspense, Haller has never shone brighter.

A virtuoso performance even by Connelly’s high standards.

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-316-48562-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2021

Did you like this book?

Perhaps A-list screenwriters will be able to spin TV gold from this sketchy treatment.

THE LIONESS

An actress and her entourage are kidnapped by Russians in Bohjalian’s uneven thriller.

In 1964, Hollywood’s gossip rags are agog as movie star Katie Barstow marries gallerist David Hill and takes her inner circle along on her honeymoon. And an adventuresome honeymoon it is—on safari in the Serengeti with aging big-game hunter Charlie Patton, who once helped Hemingway bag trophies. But Katie is not the star of this ensemble piece. The populous cast—a who’s who at the beginning is indispensable—includes Katie’s publicist, Reggie Stout; her agent, Peter Merrick; her best friend, Carmen Tedesco, a supporting actress who plays wisecracking sidekicks; and Terrance Dutton, Katie's recent co-star, a Black actor who's challenging Sidney Poitier's singularity in Hollywood. With obvious nods to Hemingway’s worst fear—masculine cowardice—Bohjalian adds in Felix Demeter, Carmen’s husband, a B-list screenwriter who reminds his wife of Hemingway’s weakling Francis Macomber. Felix seems a superfluous double of David, who feels inadequate because Katie is the breadwinner and his father is CIA. Then there’s Katie’s older brother, Billy Stepanov, whose abuse at the hands of their mother shaped the psychologist he is today; Billy’s pregnant wife, Margie; and Benjamin Kikwete, an apprentice safari guide. Thus, a proliferation of voices whose competing perspectives fragment rather than advance the story. The kidnapping plot seems less designed to test each character’s mettle than to exercise Bohjalian’s predilection for minute descriptions of gore. The most heartfelt portrayal here is of the Serengeti and its flora and fauna, but none of the human characters net enough face time to transcend their typecasting. The motives behind the kidnapping might have lent intrigue to the proceedings, but foreshadowing is so slight that the infodump explainer at the end leaves us shocked, mostly at how haphazard the plot is.

Perhaps A-list screenwriters will be able to spin TV gold from this sketchy treatment.

Pub Date: May 10, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-385-54482-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Generations may succeed generations, but Sandford’s patented investigation/action formula hasn’t aged a whit. Bring it on.

THE INVESTIGATOR

A domestic-terrorist plot gives the adopted daughter of storied U.S. Marshal Lucas Davenport her moment to shine.

Veteran oilman Vermilion Wright knows that losing a few thousand gallons of crude is no more than an accounting error to his company but could mean serious money to whomever’s found a way to siphon it off from wells in Texas’ Permian Basin. So he asks Sen. Christopher Colles, Chair of Homeland Security and Government Affairs, to look into it, and Colles persuades 24-year-old Letty Davenport, who’s just quit his employ, to return and partner with Department of Homeland Security agent John Kaiser to track down the thieves. The plot that right-winger Jane Jael Hawkes and her confederates, most of them service veterans with disgruntled attitudes and excellent military skills, have hatched is more dire than anything Wright could have imagined. They plan to use the proceeds from the oil thefts to purchase some black-market C4 essential to a major act of terrorism that will simultaneously express their alarm about the country’s hospitality to illegal immigrants and put the Jael-Birds on the map for good. But they haven’t reckoned with Letty, another kid born on the wrong side of the tracks who can outshoot the men she’s paired with and outthink the vigilantes she finds herself facing—and who, along with her adoptive father, makes a memorable pair of “pragmatists. Really harsh pragmatists” willing to do whatever needs doing without batting an eye or losing a night’s sleep afterward.

Generations may succeed generations, but Sandford’s patented investigation/action formula hasn’t aged a whit. Bring it on.

Pub Date: April 12, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-32868-2

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2022

Did you like this book?

more