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The Fifth Witness (A Lincoln Lawyer Novel)…

The Fifth Witness (A Lincoln Lawyer Novel) (edition 2011)

by Michael Connelly (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,354864,226 (3.88)51
Mickey Haller has fallen on tough times. He expands his business into foreclosure defense, only to see one of his clients accused of killing the banker she blames for trying to take away her home. Mickey puts his team into high gear to exonerate Lisa Trammel, even though the evidence and his own suspicions tell him his client is guilty. Soon after he learns that the victim had black market dealings of his own, Haller is assaulted, too, and he's certain he's on the right trail.… (more)
Title:The Fifth Witness (A Lincoln Lawyer Novel)
Authors:Michael Connelly (Author)
Info:Little, Brown and Company (2011), Edition: 1st, 448 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:bank foreclosures, mickey haller, shelfari_import

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The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly



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Showing 1-5 of 84 (next | show all)
Mickey Haller #4 ( )
  Ronald.Marcil | Jul 7, 2019 |
Well done. This was not my favorite Connelly novel but is still a solid court procedural. This sets the stage for a new direction in the M. Haller series. I look forward to seeing where it goes. ( )
  yhgail | Feb 20, 2019 |
Abbandonato al 20%. Un legal thriller noiosissimo, che delusione! ( )
  lucaconti | Jan 24, 2019 |
I loved the first three books of the Lincoln Lawyer series. This one was a disappointment, primarily due to plot holes and a hasty, poorly- conceived ending that made little sense in the context of the plot.

Mickey Haller defends Lisa Trammel, who is on trial for the murder of a bank executive. All of the evidence points to Lisa as the murderer. The murder weapon (a hammer) was from her garage; her shoes have blood from the victim; and she had a motive, in that the victim was head of the bank seeking to repossess her house (she was unable to meet the mortgage payments). Investigation reveals that the murdered banker was involved in a multi-million dollar deal to bundle the defaulted mortgages to sell to another company, one with connections to organized crime.

I found the legal maneuverings intriguing, along with the courtroom drama, and up until the last 7 pages it was clear who the perpetrators were. At most, there were a few odd incongruities that didn't ring true. For example, Haller's driver (Rojas) has taken a bribe of $400 dollars to let someone search for and remove one of Haller's files....and even though this file was crucial to his case, Haller forgives him lets Rojas continue in his employ.

However the book's ending contains too many incongruities to make any sense. For example, the murder: (1) for Lisa to murder the banker made no sense. Surely someone as aware as Lisa Trammel would know that such a murder wouldn't stop the foreclosure on her house. A foreclosure is a foreclosure, and who happens to be head of a given bank doesn't matter. (2) The murder plan was ridiculous. Lisa lay in wait for the banker (Michael) in the parking garage. She'd tied a helium-filled balloon at his parking spot. Her plan was that Michael would get out of his parked car and look up at the balloons, and then she'd creep up behind him (without him noticing) and conk him on the top of his backwardly tilted head with a hammer. (At just over 5 feet tall, she is at least 12 inches shorter than he). It's a wacky, ridiculous plan. Yet it supposedly worked. (3) And why would Lisa toss the murder weapon (the hammer) in the nearby bushes instead of taking it away in the shopping bag she was carrying? She had to know it would have traces of blood, if not her own DNA and fingerprints.

And then there's the ending. In a 420 page book, five pages at the end turn the whole story around. Watching Lisa blow up balloons for a party, Haller and his assistant counsel each, instantly and independently, decide (a) that she's the murderer, despite all the evidence they've amassed that it was a hit by organized crime; and (b) precisely how Lisa did the murder. And within another two pages Lisa turns out to be a psychopathic serial killer There was absolutely no basis for this. And does Michael Haller suddenly develop psychic powers? Lisa's estranged husband has been gone for years. How does Haller suddenly know that Lisa murdered him? And how does he know that she buried his body in the garden? The whole husband-murder comes out of nowhere. The author lays no basis for the latter, and sticks it in the last few pages... a clumsy and amateurish ploy that is insulting to the reader's credulity and intelligence. And if that wasn't enough, Haller suddenly decides to join "the other side"... Out of disgust for the clientele he defends, he decides to stop being a defense attorney and run for district attorney. (So much for all the clients he's agreed to defend against bank foreclosures).

The sudden conversion experience of Connelly's protagonist gives the lie to a running theme in the preceding works... that a defense attorney has an essential job to do; that defendants are at the mercy of a powerful and often unprincipled judicial system and need a legal advocate; and that the dislike prosecutors (and the public) have for such attorneys is misplaced. So what is Michael Connelly's real opinion? I now think that the author has really been on the side of the prosecution all along. This would explain why Haller's primary clients in his previous works have all been guilty and despicable.

I'll read the next volume in this series, but my expectations have been diminished to a considerable degree. ( )
1 vote danielx | Jan 2, 2019 |
When I was younger, I was a bit of a crime fiction junkie, and used devour one thriller after another, never imagining that I might become sated with them. That appetite crossed subgenres, and I was equally happy reading traditional ‘cosy’ whodunnits or grisly police procedurals, but I developed a particular liking for American crime fiction, and would eagerly await a new offering from the likes of Patricia Cornwell or Sue Grafton. Then, perhaps as I moved into my early thirties, something happened and that appetite vanished. It certainly wasn’t a conscious decision, but I went for several years, perhaps even a couple of decades without reading a transatlantic thriller. By chance, however, I was given a couple of Michael Connelly’s book a few years ago, and dipped my toe back in the water, being won over by his tightly written early stories featuring Hieronymus ‘Harry’ Bosch, the cynical LAPD homicide detective.

This was not a sudden or lasting reversal, like a recovering alcoholic lapsing one night and finding himself plunged back into the throes of addiction, and the rekindled taste seems to be restricted solely to Connelly’s books. I have tried to read some of his peers, such as Harlan Coben and Robert Crais, but can’t come to terms with them, and despite making several attempts, I have never managed to read more than a couple of chapters of any of Lee Child’s books. (Yes! I know Lee Child is actually British, but Jack Reacher seems so effectively to have cornered a substantial part of that particular market as to have secured his author at least honorary American citizenship.)

It seems, however, that for me this has definitely become the year of Michael Connelly. The Fifth Witness must be about the twentieth book by him that I have read so far in 2018, and I am impressed that I have not found any significant wavering in their quality, and I haven’t found myself become bored with them. That is, I believe, because Connelly has a gift for plausible but gripping plots, and convincing characters. He has two principal protagonists: Harry Bosch, the hard-bitten police detective and Mickey Haller, the Lincoln Lawyer, so called because he tends to work from the back of his Town Car rather than a conventional office. As it happens, the two of them are half-brothers, both sons of Michael J Haller, also a renowned defence lawyer, although their lives had been entirely separate until well into their respective adulthoods.

On balance, I think I prefer the stories in which Bosch is the principal character, but the Mickey Haller stories are all very effective courtroom dramas. Among Connelly’s gifts as a writer are his flexibility and penchant for topicality. In this novel, Haller finds himself defending Lisa Trammel who has been accused of murdering a bank executive. As it happens, Trammel was already a client of Haller’s before the murder took place. In the wake of the economic downturn of 2008, Haller had found a new, lucrative avenue of business helping people fight the wave of mortgage foreclosures that had swept through America in general, and Los Angeles in particular. Trammel had been one such client, and she had gained some degree of celebrity after having started a campaign against what she portrayed as immoral and unfair foreclosure practices.

Haller is far from perfect, and is above all an opportunist, prepared to surrender his position of unassailable rectitude if he sees a chance to strengthen his client’s case, although he does retain an overall respect for the principal of justice. Consequently, Connelly is careful never to ensure that Haller’s opponents (in this case, prosecuting counsel Andrea Freeman) are portrayed as equally professional. There are also intriguing complications. Haller has two ex-wives, one of whom is a lifelong prosecutor and colleague of Ms Freeman, which throws up additional tensions as he attempts to balance his conduct of the case with his personal and family life.

Overall, a very compelling and convincing courtroom drama, with numerous twists and catches along the way. ( )
  Eyejaybee | Nov 11, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 84 (next | show all)
With The Fifth Witness it’s beginning to seem that Connelly can do no wrong. This latest novel is as shamelessly entertaining as its predecessors, with the customary skilful plotting even more burnished.

As well as making some telling points about the world we live in this is a reminder that in the crime fiction stakes Connelly is comfortably in the upper bracket.
“With me, it’s don’t ask, don’t tell,” Mickey tells the starry-eyed Bullock, who wonders why this junkyard dog never asks his client if she’s innocent. Though the answer isn’t as mysterious as you might like, the courtroom scenes—thrust, parry, struggle for every possible advantage—are grueling enough for the most exacting connoisseur of legal intrigue.
added by Shortride | editKirkus Reviews (Feb 1, 2011)
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This is for Dennis Wojciechowski,
with many thanks.
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Mrs. Pena looked across the seat at me and held her hands up in a beseeching manner.
"One more thing," the producer said. "I was thinking of going to Matthew McConaughey with this. He'd be excellent. But who do you think could play you?" [p. 115]
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