Friday, August 15, 2008

Michael Connelly

From a Q & A with Michael Connelly about his new novel, The Brass Verdict:

Question: What's this new book all about?

Michael Connelly: It's got a lot of things going on in it. I kind of look at it as having two major "through lines," or A tracks, and then several lesser-story strings running through it and binding it all together. The first main track is the murder of Jerry Vincent, which is the inciting action of the story. Vincent is a defense attorney. His murder brings Mickey Haller off the shelf, where he's been on a bit of a sabbatical, you could say. Mickey is ordered by a judge to take over Vincent's entire law practice. Mickey immediately runs into Harry Bosch, who is investigating Vincent's murder. So the first A track centers on the question of who killed Jerry Vincent and why. The second A track centers on one of the cases Mickey inherits: the murder trial of Walter Elliot. It's a big case with a lot of media attention — and it's paying Mickey the biggest fee of his career. In many ways it's a huge test case for Mickey as well. He's a bit rusty, having not been in court for a year.

Question: And the so-called lesser tracks? Care to share any of these?

Michael Connelly: Well, the relationship between Haller and Bosch is a big one of these. They're flip sides of the same coin, given that one works for the defense and the other for the prosecution. But they have to forge a sort of unholy alliance, a partnership of some sort, in order to figure out who killed Vincent and who is behind a threat to Haller. There are other strings as well. The book has a lot in it about recovery and redemption, about fatherhood, about the back doors of the justice system. This last thing is something I call the "stuff." By this I mean the hard-to-put-your-finger-on stuff that makes the world of a book seem real. I have tried to fill this book with the anecdotes and shortcuts and maneuvers that bring a gritty, if not greasy, reality to the justice system in which Mickey operates. I think this is what made The Lincoln Lawyer work, and I hope it's in this book as well.
Read the complete Q & A.

Visit Michael Connelly's website.

--Marshal Zeringue