by Christopher Lewis
The Fifth Witness is the fourth book in Michael Connelly’s series about Mickey Haller, the unconventional lawyer who does most of his work from his office in a Lincoln Town Car. Movie goers will recognize this character from the recent blockbuster movie adaptation of the first book in the series, The Lincoln Lawyer.
Michael Connelly is a veteran writer who got his start as a newspaper reporter and has since written a number of bestselling crime novels. In addition to the Mickey Haller series, a more recent addition to his repertoire, he is the author of the famous mystery series about police detective, Harry Bosch. Harry is Mickey Haller’s half-brother and occasionally appears in this new series in which they have a complicated relationship.
In this newest installment to the series, Mickey Haller has fallen on hard times and resorted to refocusing his career on foreclosure cases. His career is about to take a surprise turn, however, when he lands a high-profile case that could catapult him into legal stardom. One of his foreclosure clients, Lisa Trammel, has been arrested and charged with the murder of the senior vice-president of WestLand Financial in WestLand’s parking garage. He’s been in charge of the foreclosure on her property. The victim was high-profile enough that this case gets a lot of media attention, and a movie company is interested in buying the movie rights. At one point, in an inside joke that many movie-goers will recognize, a movie official suggests that he’s thinking of getting Matthew McConaughey to play Mickey in the film.
On the personal side of the story, Mickey is also seeing his ex-wife, Maggie McPherson, off and on and finds that he still loves her. However, as a dedicated assistant district attorney herself, she is still unwilling to be married to a defense attorney. As a result of the high profile case he is defending, he is starting to get offers to get back into defending more criminals, but he is surprised that he, himself, is beginning to develop a conscience and is uncertain if he can continue devoting his life to defending mostly guilty defendants. What will he do? Will he go back to mortgage foreclosures? Will he learn to ignore his conscience again as he did for so many years? Or is it possible that his life could go a completely new direction that would be more conducive both to his newly developing conscience as well as that of the woman he loves?
The case with Lisa Trammel takes a number of unexpected turns. He’s pleased to know that he may finally have a client who is actually innocent, but even that pleasure may rest on shaky ground as he begins to discover things that make him wonder if she is actually as innocent as she claims.
This book is well written and is a worthy addition to the Lincoln Lawyer series. It is sure to keep the reader on the edge of his seat and leave him longing for more from this talented bestselling writer.