The Brass Verdict
Unabridged, 10CDs, 11.5hrs
Read by Peter Giles
Hardcover, 432 Pages
Little, Brown & Company
New York Times Bestselling author Michael Connelly takes a leap of literary faith uniting two well known characters in one novel and lands softly amid adoring fans and rave reviews. Actor Peter Giles narrates, bringing the characters to life with special wording, accents and voice inflections, individualizing each, making the characters recognizable and believable.
In 2005’s The Lincoln Lawyer, we were left with Haller’s promise that he would return – and return he has…albeit divorced, estranged from his daughter and recovering from both the gun shot wound and an addiction to pain killers. With his ex-wife (Lorna) as secretary/manager and her fiancée (Cisco), as his lead investigator, Mickey plans to slowly recoup his clientele and rebuild his rolling practice. Operating a lucrative law office from the backseat of a Lincoln town car was but one of his signature tricks and he was determined to reassert himself as the quintessential Lincoln Lawyer.
But his plans for a slow comeback are fast tracked when fellow attorney Jerry Vincent is found murdered in the parking garage adjacent to his office. Summoned to a closed door meeting with Chief Judge Holder, Haller is unceremoniously informed he has inherited Vincent’s practice and is responsible for his case load. A laundry list of cases was the last thing Haller wanted, so he quickly disposed of most of them. However, there was one case he hoped to maintain – that of millionaire, studio executive Walter Elliot, accused of murdering his wife and her lover.
It would appear Vincent’s untimely demise handed Haller the goose that laid the golden egg, wrapped in box with a beautiful bow…but, then again, nothing is ever as it appears, is it?
Attorney Mickey Haller, from The Lincoln Lawyer’s and Detective Harry Bosch (33 year veteran of the police dept), from the celebrated Bosch series, share the spotlight in this murder-mystery-legal drama, sparring and teasing each other throughout with bits of carefully worded information meant to illicit more than it reveals. Forever questioning the intentions of the other, on the surface they seem to represent polar opposite points of view, but they have a great deal more in common than either is willing to acknowledge.
This novel barely scratches the proverbial literary surface of this brotherly relationship and I am anxious to see Connelly explore this further in the future.
Exciting, interesting and filled with twists that satisfy fully – “The Brass Verdict” is a solid good read!
Brass Verdict = cop slang for an execution
available August 29, ‘09
"It’s called rope a dope."
1. The Brass Verdict begins with a courtroom scene from 1992 with Mickey Haller for the defense, against Jerry Vincent, for the prosecution. Mickey refuses to compromise his ethics when Vincent asks him for a favor. Yet at the same time, Mickey is defending a man who is clearly guilty of murder. Mickey ends up winning the case and the murderer goes free. How do you reconcile Mickey’s personal ethics with the reality of being a defense attorney?
2. That’s the opening line of The Brass Verdict. Is Mickey cynical and bitter or a realist and insightful? Do you agree with Mickey’s statement that a trial is a contest of lies?
"There’s nothing you can do about the past, Patrick. Except keep it there."
3. Mickey is making a comeback as a lawyer after a year spent in rehab and recovery. What did you think of his relationship with his driver, Patrick Henson, another recovering addict? Why do you think Mickey wanted to help him?
"I never met him before today but the name…I know the name."
4. Mickey Haller met Harry Bosch for the first time in The Brass Verdict. Did you know about their family connection before you read the book? How are these two half-brothers alike? How are they different?
"I’ve been waiting five months to clear my name."
5. When you first read about Walter Elliot’s case and his adamant claims of innocence, did you believe him? How about later, after he told Mickey about his mob connections? Did you believe that story?
"It was only at times like this with my daughter that the distance I had opened in my life came closed."
6. Mickey’s relationship with his ex-wife, Maggie McPherson, is strained because of his past drug abuse. He was trying to earn back her trust and improve his relationship with his daughter. Do you think he was successful? Can you make any predictions for their future?
7. Mickey decided to work with Bosch to draw out the killer. Why do you think he was willing to do that when he didn’t seem to trust Bosch? Did his theory that everybody lies end up applying to Bosch too in the end?
"Do you know you look a lot like your father?"
8. We saw Harry Bosch through Mickey Haller’s eyes. What kind of impression did Bosch make on Mickey? Do you think they liked each other?
"I guess that makes us flip sides of the same mountain."
9. In the end, Mickey said that he and Harry were flips side of the same mountain because they live on opposite sides of the Santa Monica Mountains, also known as the Hollywood Hills. You could say their father was a mountain of a man in terms of fame and character. Neither really knew their father. What kind of effect do you think that had on each of these men?
"You could say the brass verdict was my last verdict."
10. Whether you approve of the job or not, did you admire Mickey’s skill as a defense attorney? Do you think he is really going to quit?
Reading Group Guide courtesy of Book Reporter’s online RGG community