BOOK & BLOG
December 11, 2006
Book of the Week: Michael Connellys THE LINCOLN LAWYER
Michael Connellys THE LINCOLN LAWYER has to be one of the best books Ive ever read. Connelly, of course, is a great American mystery writer, and his reputation among other writers is gold. In THE LINCOLN LAWYER hes lined up his plot elements like horses at a starting gate, and they all cross the finish line at the same time, in an amazing conclusion.
Mickey Haller is a Lincoln lawyer because he conducts business while hes being driven around LA in a Lincoln. He doesnt need a storefront, because hes always on the move. Son of a legendary lawyer, Mickey is very nearly the bottom feeder the cops call him. But he has superior intelligence, a streak of goodness, and respect for his ex-wives, both of them. These are the characteristics that help us root for Mickey, who really has done many things that make the reader cringe.
Hallers luck seems to change when hes hired by Louis Roulet, a wealthy real estate salesman. Roulet has been charge with rape and assault. From the beginning, the story Roulet is telling doesnt jibe with the story the victim, a prostitute, is telling. Thats no surprise. The surprise is that Haller almost believes Roulet.
Haller puts his friend, Raul Levin, an investigator, on the job gathering evidence, but what Levin uncovers is unexpected and disturbing. Then Levin, one of Hallers few friends, is murdered, and Haller is suspected in the crime.
Connelly doesnt put one foot false in this wonderful book.
Its been an up-and-down week for me. Theres the excitement of expecting some family members here for the holidays, the pleasure of sending the copy-edited manuscript of ALL TOGETHER DEAD back to my publisher, the thrill of writing a few good pages on the next Harper Connelly, and then the mind-numbing pain of a rotten root. On one of my teeth. A few days of intermittent agony were followed by an emergency trip into my dentists office and a quick root canal. Theres nothing dignified in having dental work done, as all of you know. Youre lying down with stuff crammed in your mouth, turning your head this way and that on the dentists cue, having water squirted in your mouth at intervals. This isnt quite as bad as being up on the gynecologists table, but it comes fairly close.
When Im at my dentists, Im not Famous Bestselling Writer any more. Im whimpering, cringing, please-make-it-go-away Charlaine, middle-aged pile of pain. Fortunately, my dentist takes this in stride. After the very lengthy deadening shot had been completed, I asked him (I thought quite calmly) if Id ever told him how much I hated those shots. Yes, he said. Quite a few times.
I dont know what it is about trips to the dentist that bring out the childish side of me, but they sure do. My father was the same way. At least I dont twitch, cry, and struggle; but the urge is there.
Dr. Dentist sent me home with some excellent painkillers, and I am using them in the designated manner, of course. If ever there was an excellent advance in medicine, pain medication is that advance. If I lived in the last century, I would be tempted to run into a tree on purpose to end the nagging ache.
When this episode is over (and this is my fifth root canal, I think) Ill be an adult again, I swear. Ill try to make my next blog about something more worthy! To give this weeks some redeeming value, Ill issue my annual reminder to be generous (within your means, of course) with the charity of your choice during this holiday season. Even if its just dropping a couple of dollars in the Salvation Army kettle, giving to others will make you feel better. Maybe thats what I need to do!
® 2010 Charlaine Harris