Sunday, January 10, 2016

Ray's Reviews: Grisham's Rogue Lawyer and The Crossing by Michael Connelly

      Two recent crime novels by exceptionally popular writers showcase
aggressive attorneys who often take cases that nobody else wants.

        “Rogue Lawyer” by bestselling author John Grisham (Doubleday, $28.95)
introduces Sebastian Rudd, an atypical lawyer who’s working out of a
beat-up, bullet-proof customized van since his office was firebombed.

        He’s got one employee, Partner, who is his heavily armed driver/
bodyguard/law clerk/confidant and golf caddie.

        This book is actually four intertwined novellas, dealing with a child
molester, a nasty crime lord and a man who fired at a SWAT team that
invaded the wrong house – his house.

        There’s much more, including cage fighting, kidnapping and human
trafficking; Rudd’s ex-wife adds more problems as she squabbles over
visitation rights to their son.

        Grisham’s latest colorful novel isn’t spectacular, but’s it’s still a
fast-and-easy read for those who are looking for solid escapism

         There’s even the possibility of a sequel, with Grisham recounting
more unnerving situations facing the quick-thinking attorney and
his desperate clients.

         “The Crossing” by award-winning author Michael Connelly (Little, Brown,
$28) involves a case that a sleazy Los Angeles defense lawyer is

        Mickey Haller (“The Lincoln Lawyer”) is representing a reformed former
gang member who’s accused of viciously murdering a pretty woman, leaving
evidence at the scene.

        Haller calls his half-brother Harry Bosch, a retired Los Angeles Police
Department Homicide and Cold Case detective, asking for his help.

        Bosch initially doesn’t want to work for Haller and feels that his
reputation would be compromised after working thirty years as a cop.

        He agrees to look into the facts of the case, examining files and making
notations. He slowly discovers holes in the prosecution’s presentation.
But if Haller’s client didn’t commit the crime, who did?

        The private eye is hired to investigate further. Bosch calls in favors
from a variety of former associates, seeking the truth regardless of
where the chips may fall.

        Complications arise when Haller is arrested and jailed on a spurious
traffic offense. Bosch’s efforts lead him to believe that a major clue
has been overlooked – and that there is a cover-up from inside the LAPD.

        Connelly is in fine form with a compelling tale of tense suspense; it’s a
solid police procedural that also works well as a legal thriller.

        Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing’s Curious Book Shop, has reviewed crime
novels and Michigan books since 1987.

Find these books and other great titles
at the Curious Book Shop, an independent 
book shop in East Lansing, founded in 1969.

Curious Book Shop
307 East Grand River Avenue
East Lansing, Michigan

This review was originally published by the Lansing State Journal on January 10, 2016.

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