The Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly

The Lincoln Lawyer returns to the courtroom to solve a friend’s murder from years past.

gods of guilt

Mickey Haller is back at work in The Gods of Guilt, the fifth Lincoln Lawyer novel from Michael Connelly (also author of the Harry Bosch series). When Andre La Cosse requests Haller’s representation on murder charges, Haller approaches it with weary cynicism about his client’s probable guilt. But then he learns who referred La Cosse to him: the victim, a prostitute Haller represented for years, and whom he thought had left the game. It quickly becomes clear this case is bigger than it looks, involving the DEA and organized crime and stretching back nearly a decade, and that La Cosse may be that rare thing: innocent.

At stake for the Lincoln Lawyer: not only his client’s freedom, but also his relationship with his daughter, who has stopped speaking to him because of the results of an earlier case. The murdered prostitute, an old friend, plays an important role as well; Haller thought he’d saved her, only to find that he may have contributed to her death.

The Gods of Guilt is a gripping courtroom drama with strengths that Connelly’s fans will recognize: fully-wrought, likable characters, absorbing action, sympathetic relationships and the exploration of right and wrong and the gray areas in between. The title refers to Haller’s understanding of jury members: that they are gods sitting in judgment of guilt and innocence. These gods of guilt also sit in judgment of Haller’s own choices, and The Gods of Guilt reflects Connelly’s sensitive handling of morality and consequences.


This review originally ran in the December 17, 2013 issue of Shelf Awareness for Readers. To subscribe, click here, and you’ll receive two issues per week of book reviews and other bookish fun!


Rating: 7 men in hats.

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