VJ Books Blog

(www.news-press.com, Nov. 9, Jay MacDonald)

Of course, you’ll find this tale, Connelly‘s best work in years, in your bookstore under its correct title, “The Brass Verdict” (Little, Brown, $26.99).

But for longtime fans of Connelly’s moody L.A. Detective Harry Bosch (this is his 14th case) as well as readers who only caught Connelly fever with “The Lincoln Lawyer,” the 2005 debut of his legal thriller series featuring L.A. defense attorney Mickey Haller, this is the family reunion we’ve been waiting for.

Bosch, the brooding, jazz-obsessed loner, and Haller, the charming A type who services the City of Angels from the backseat of his Town Car, were fated to meet since 1993, when in his second novel, “The Black Ice,” Connelly gave Bosch a half-brother he didn’t know from a cop father he’d only met once. Here, part of the fun comes from Haller’s slow realization that this legendary cop with whom he’s forced to cooperate is, in fact, family.

“You look for all kinds of surfaces of tension in a book,” says Connelly, a Fort Lauderdale native who now lives in Tampa. “Maybe I watch too much of the Animal Planet with my daughter, but you see all of these things that are natural competitors or enemies and a cop and a defense attorney fall into that category. That dictated that they’re not going to meet in real life right off the bat. Being at odds, being cautious, they circle each other before coming to any kind of an agreement to work together.”

Therein lies the fun. Haller, fresh out of rehab, suddenly inherits a star-studded client list from murdered colleague Jerry Vincent that includes Walter Elliot, a prominent studio executive accused of murdering his wife and her lover in their Malibu home. Bosch, assigned to the Vincent case, is, as usual, willing to do whatever it takes, including using Mickey as bait, to catch Vincent’s killer. Haller, meanwhile, hopes he lives long enough to cash the check from Elliot, who he slowly realizes is far from trustworthy.

While “The Brass Verdict” is decidedly a Haller book – he narrates in first person with his usual rapid-fire humorous observations – the suspense comes from Bosch, who is conducting his investigation largely off the page.

Connelly says the approach was inspired by former “Rockford Files” writer Stephen J. Cannell, who once had a sign over his typewriter that read, “What is the bad guy doing?”

“He always wanted to be thinking about the guy who’s not on the page,” says Connelly. “I thought that was also a good philosophy for a cop. So when I was writing this book, it wasn’t, ‘what’s the bad guy doing,’ it’s what’s Bosch doing?”

Connelly admits the chemistry between his different-yet-alike half-brothers helped jumpstart his muse.

Will their paths ever cross again?

“I would assume they would. I really enjoyed writing the pages when they were together, so I assume I will long to do that again, and I will,” he says.