Have you ever considered that innocence is not a legal concept?
Brought before a court of law, a defendant pleads guilty or not guilty, and is judged to be guilty or not guilty. There may be presumption of innocence but there is no law of innocence.
Michael Connelly makes it so, however, by titling his latest novel, THE LAW OF INNOCENCE. It’s the sixth volume in the Lincoln Lawyer canon, featuring defence attorney, Mickey Haller.
This time, Haller has been indicted for murder and the stakes couldn’t be higher. Not only is he facing life in prison but a hefty five million dollar bail is keeping in remand in the spookily monikered Twin Towers jail in downtown LA.
Deeming him a flight risk, Haller is made a fight risk inside the penal colony, and building legal case for his defence runs parallel to building a personal defence against attack from inmates, working off their own volition or in the employ of parties who don’t want to see Haller survive for trial.
And if he does survive for trial, he is going to face a ferocious prosecutor known as Death Row Dana, a formidable foe that could throw the attorney into eternity.
There’s a Connelly universe cross-over that sure to please fans – Harry Bosch offers his services to be part of the investigative team that will build the defence case, running down leads and following up felons who might want Haller framed.
As contemporary as Corona virus, THE LAW OF INNOCENCE is indeed set at the beginning of the year when COVID was starting its world tour. One of the setbacks to Haller’s trial preparation is when his co-counsel, Jennifer Aaonson, hears her father has died in Seattle of an undiagnosed illness.
Due to the coming wave of the pandemic, schedules are cut to determine the admissibility of particular evidence and the introduction of masks by Twin Towers guards hardens Haller’s resolve to be out of lock up before the wave hits.
As usual, Connelly crafts a superb thriller that explores the intricacies and peccadilloes of the American legal system in an awesomely entertaining package.
THE LAW OF INNOCENCE by Michael Connelly is published by Allen & Unwin