Thursday, October 29, 2015

John Grisham and Michael Connelly, Making Their Cases in New Novels

Credit Sonny Figueroa/The New York Times

In 2005 Michael Connelly revitalized his career by adding Mickey Haller, a.k.a. the Lincoln lawyer, to his stable of characters. Rakish, trick-loving Mickey seemed like the diametrical opposite of Mr. Connelly’s stolid, jazz-loving Hieronymus Bosch, known as Harry, the battle-weary Vietnam veteran and L.A.P.D. detective, now retired, who has trodden his way, clue by clue, through most Connelly novels.
Mickey is best known for three things: his place of business, a Lincoln Town Car; his vanity plates, which read “IWALKEM”; and his way of trawling for clients by advertising on bus benches near the courthouse. He’s also Harry’s admiring half brother and now his lawyer, too, as Harry sues the Los Angeles Police Department for forcing him into retirement.

Odd coincidences: Playing Mickey in “The Lincoln Lawyer” gave a big boost to the career of Matthew McConaughey. Who once got another huge career assist by playing the main character in “A Time to Kill,” by John Grisham. Who just wrote “Rogue Lawyer,” about a dangerously Mickey-like character on wheels of his own. Mr. Grisham’s contender in the rolling lawyer derby is Sebastian Rudd, a creative shyster who has more in common with Mickey than he ought to.

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