Random Review: The Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly

This contains very mild spoilers, but nothing that gives away any part of the main plot.

Book Name: The Gods of Guilt
Author: Michael Connelly
Series: Book #4 in the ongoing “Lincoln Lawyer” series
Publisher(s): Little, Brown and Company/Vision
Format(s): Hardcover/Trade & mass market paperback/audiobook/eBook
Genre(s): Courtroom thriller
Release Date: December 2, 2013

Rating: 9/10

After 25 books one would think an author might lose a little bit off his fastball. Michael Connelly’s 26th novel, The Gods of Guilt, proves that he’s the Nolan Ryan of writers by building another faced paced story with a few twists and turns and an ending that leaves the reader satisfied and yet still wanting more.

In the previous “Lincoln Lawyer” novel, The Fifth Witness, Connelly has protagonist Mickey Haller novel running for District Attorney. In the only true bump in the story Connelly has Haller losing the election before the events of The Gods of Guilt begin due to a scandal involving a former client killing two people in a drunk driving accident. And, of course, Haller’s daughter was friends with both victims so that throws Haller’s relationship with his daughter into chaos. None of these events are really explained in The Gods of Guilt with any detail, and the fallout from them is only tangentially dealt with. It’s almost like a short story is missing from the timeline. Be that as it may, it’s the only real issue with the story.

The rest is classic Connelly, with well thought out twists and turns that move the plot along nicely without needing to resort to the phony cliffhangers many other mystery writers have to use. Twice I was certain I had figured out who the murderer was only to find myself wrong in the next couple of chapters. By the time the reader fully realizes who the real killer is the story comes down to how Haller will be able to prove it enough to get the jury, who he calls “The Gods of Guilt” because they determine guilt or innocence, to find his client not guilty. The two twists at the end close up the story nicely, but also gives the idea that there’s maybe more to this story to be dealt in the future.

I read the first 24 novels by Connelly in succession last summer, and the last two when they were released in paperback recently. I think it’s time I start buying the Connelly books in hardcover when they come out. That’s pretty much all you need to know about how good Connelly’s writing is.


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