TITLE: THE FIFTH WITNESS
AUTHOR: MICHAEL CONNELLY
Details: no. 4 Mickey Haller
Years ago I studied law. After the first year though I had to admit that I could never be a defense lawyer, prosecutor or judge, and switched to International law.
The way I saw and see it everybody is entitled to a defence when accused of a crime, but I wouldn't be able to defend someone unless I was sure they were innocent. That is and was true regarding the prosecution too. Of course people who have committed crimes should be prosecuted, but I can't accuse anybody unless I'm completely sure of guilt. And when can anybody ever be that sure. As for judging people, that feels too much like playing God for my liking. No, practising law wasn't and isn't for me, and the story in The Fifth Witness re-enforced all those sentiments for me.
Mickey Haller has had to make a few changes. With the economic recession in full swing, even criminals have had to cut back on the use of defense lawyers. The same recession has provided him with an opportunity though. Mickey now spends most of his time helping people hang on to their houses. With foreclosures hitting record levels, and not always being carried out in the most ethical or even legal manner, he's kept busy.
However, when one of his foreclosure clients, Lisa Trammel, is accused of having murdered the banker in charge of her foreclosure, Mickey's two careers collide and he finds himself back on familiar ground.
This will turn out to be a pivotal case for Mickey though, during which he will find himself questioning his long-held believes with regard to guilt and innocence. By the time the case is over Mickey will be ready for a major change in his life.
As always this was a very well plotted and intriguing story. The whole recession and repossession storyline makes the story feel very current and cut close to the bone. There are enough red herrings to keep both Mickey and the reader guessing. And although the ending as such didn't come as a huge surprise to me, the way in which it was revealed was nothing short of genius.
I still prefer the Harry Bosch stories over this series, but it's good to know that Connelly always delivers a good story, no matter who the main character is.