The Fifth Witness - Michael Connelly Bosch makes a cameo appearance as Haller’s half-brother, for what purpose I could not ascertain. I like Connelly very much, especially the Harry Bosch series, and I liked Lincoln Lawyer, which featured Mickey Haller, the lawyer who operates from the backseat of a Lincoln. This book seemed a bit “off” although it may have been the narrator, Peter Giles, who was certainly not as accomplished as Adam Grupper.

Haller has made mortgage foreclosure cases a specialty (Connelly expounds at length and often about the evils of the mortgage industry.) He immediately drops everything when one of his clients is accused of murdering a mortgage banker. She adamantly protests her innocence even as the physical evidence mounts against her. The courtroom scenes I found to be much more engaging than his preparatory work and interaction with the other characters. Haller even seems to waffle between firm belief in his client’s innocence and then hopping on the guilty bandwagon. Extraneous scenes abound. Haller is beaten up early in the book, a scene that was totally unnecessary and his relationship to his daughter also seemed forced.

Certainly nowhere near as good as his Harry Bosch novels. I remain perplexed as to why he felt it necessary to wander off and create new protagonists. Blood Work, where he introduced Terry McCaleb, had a really stupid plot, and while Haller had/has? some promise, this one really didn’t get going until the trial. Have to admit, though, the trial sequences were page-turning.