x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Michael Connelly's The Fifth Witness: Following procedure

The latest novel about Michael "Mickey" Haller Junior – now ensconced in an office instead of working out of the back of his Lincoln – proves gripping as he defends a woman accused of killing the mortgage banker who foreclosed on her home.

The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly (Orion)
The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly (Orion)

Even as The Lincoln Lawyer remains in cinemas, the character himself - Los Angeles criminal defence attorney Michael "Mickey" Haller Junior - returns for his fourth starring appearance in Michael Connelly's new novel.

Connelly fans know that the author cut his teeth as a crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Thus, the inner workings of cops and courts - and the from-the-streets love/hate affair with the sprawling, sleazy City of Angels - smack yet again of authenticity in this, his 23rd work of fiction.

The Fifth Witness is a courtroom procedural, and the clever machinations of Haller - now ensconced in an office instead of working out of the back of his Lincoln - prove gripping as he defends a woman accused of killing the mortgage banker who foreclosed on her home.

Even more rewarding are the smooth (if expected) climactic plot twists, and Haller's moral evolution. Never fully comfortable in playing the system on behalf of clients who may be guilty, he is, at novel's end, heading in a startling new direction that merely whets the appetite for his next appearance.