Contains everything readers have come to expect from powerhouse Connelly. Bonus: Additional installments hold the intriguing...

THE LINCOLN LAWYER

Fresh from returning Harry Bosch to the LAPD with The Closers (2005), veteran crime novelist Connelly offers intrigue and bracing twists in his first legal thriller.

Criminal defense attorney Mickey Haller is known as a “Lincoln lawyer” because he does business while being driven from courthouse to courthouse in his Town Car. Scraping by by defending lowlifes, some of whom offer their chauffeur services to work off Haller’s fees, he stumbles across a dream client: a rich boy accused of viciously beating a woman. Most important for Haller, Louis Roulet loudly proclaims his innocence, and his family has the dough to pay top-dollar for representation. But Haller’s father, J. Michael Haller (making Bosch and Haller half-brothers, Connelly’s wink to longtime fans) said there was “no client as scary as an innocent man,” and soon Haller is confronted with the consequences that come from the system’s inevitable compromises. When Haller’s investigator and friend is murdered for getting too close to the truth, he’s forced to confront the cost of sacrificing ideals for pragmatism. To spill more plot detail would spoil a good deal of the considerable fun here; suffice to say the conflict sparks in Haller an epic case of cognitive dissonance. Connelly gets the legal details and maneuvers just right, and Haller is a great character—world-weary but funny and likable—he’s never met an angle he couldn’t play or a corner he couldn’t cut.

Contains everything readers have come to expect from powerhouse Connelly. Bonus: Additional installments hold the intriguing possibility of one day seeing Bosch and Haller together on the streets of L.A.

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2005

ISBN: 0-316-73493-4

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2005

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Nothing original, but in Hilderbrand’s hands it’s easy to get lost in the story.

BAREFOOT

Privileged 30-somethings hide from their woes in Nantucket.

Hilderbrand’s saga follows the lives of Melanie, Brenda and Vicki. Vicki, alpha mom and perfect wife, is battling late-stage lung cancer and, in an uncharacteristically flaky moment, opts for chemotherapy at the beach. Vicki shares ownership of a tiny Nantucket cottage with her younger sister Brenda. Brenda, a literature professor, tags along for the summer, partly out of familial duty, partly because she’s fleeing the fallout from her illicit affair with a student. As for Melanie, she gets a last minute invite from Vicki, after Melanie confides that Melanie’s husband is having an affair. Between Melanie and Brenda, Vicki feels her two young boys should have adequate supervision, but a disastrous first day on the island forces the trio to source some outside help. Enter Josh, the adorable and affable local who is hired to tend to the boys. On break from college, Josh learns about the pitfalls of mature love as he falls for the beauties in the snug abode. Josh likes beer, analysis-free relationships and hot older women. In a word, he’s believable. In addition to a healthy dose of testosterone, the novel is balanced by powerful descriptions of Vicki’s bond with her two boys. Emotions run high as she prepares for death.

Nothing original, but in Hilderbrand’s hands it’s easy to get lost in the story.

Pub Date: July 2, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-316-01858-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2007

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More about grief and tragedy than romance.

FRIENDS FOREVER

Five friends meet on their first day of kindergarten at the exclusive Atwood School and remain lifelong friends through tragedy and triumph.

When Gabby, Billy, Izzie, Andy and Sean meet in the toy kitchen of the kindergarten classroom on their first day of school, no one can know how strong the group’s friendship will remain. Despite their different personalities and interests, the five grow up together and become even closer as they come into their own talents and life paths. But tragedy will strike and strike again. Family troubles, abusive parents, drugs, alcohol, stress, grief and even random bad luck will put pressure on each of them individually and as a group. Known for her emotional romances, Steel makes a bit of a departure with this effort that follows a group of friends through young adulthood. But even as one tragedy after another befalls the friends, the impact of the events is blunted by a distant narrative style that lacks emotional intensity. 

More about grief and tragedy than romance.

Pub Date: July 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-385-34321-3

Page Count: 322

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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