While watching a film recently, I saw a preview of The Lincoln Lawyer starring Matthew McConaughey, Marisa Tomei and Ryan Phillippe. The previews looked ok but I thought it was a movie that could be hit or miss. It appeared to be a film where a criminal lawyer gets involved with a case that turns deadly. He's called the "Lincoln Lawyer" because instead of an office, he does all his business out of a back seat of Lincoln Town Car. He's always driving (or being driven) around Los Angeles to go to court or meet with clients and prosecutors.
The next day, I was at the library and was perusing the shelves. I was just killing time, not looking for any title in particular. I saw The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly. Remembering the film trailer, I grabbed the paperback (technically a trade paperback) and started reading. Before I knew it, I had read the first eight chapters. I checked the book out. The next evening, I read the final 39 chapters or 327 pages over a five hour period.
The Lincoln Lawyer is less about a murder or the lawyer being menaced and more about how a cynical lawyer copes with his conscience and maneuvers within the criminal justice system. The novel includes a lot of "inside baseball" scenes from the legal world. I found the novel fascinating; it was an outstanding courtroom thriller. I thought the threats against the lawyer detracted from the story.
As I was reading Connnelly's website, I realized he is the author of the Hieronymus Bosch mystery novel series. I've never read a Harry Bosch novel but the works are famous enough that I've heard of them like Kinsey Millhone or Easy Rawlins. Connelly tied the The Lincoln Lawyer to the Hieronymus Bosch universe. The protagonist, Mickey Haller, is the step-brother of Harry Bosch and in later novels, they make joint appearances.
Now that I have fallen in love with the book, I can't wait for Hollywood to screw up the film. In addition to the aforementioned "big three", John Leguizamo, Josh Lucas, William H. Macy, Bryan Cranston, Frances Fisher and Michael Peña have supporting roles. The cast looks top notch except McConaughey whom I don't recall enjoying in a film since Lone Star (1996). The Lincoln Lawyer will sink or swim depending on McConaughey portrayal of the character. I hope he's up to the task.
The Lincoln Lawyer is scheduled to be released on March 18.
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