Posts Tagged ‘plot builds deliberately’

The Lincoln Lawyer

February 18, 2009

Author: Connelly, Michael
Title: The Lincoln Lawyer
Genre: Thriller – Legal Thriller
Publication Date: 2005
Number of Pages: 432 p.
Geographical Setting: Los Angeles, CA
Time Period: 2005
Series: Mickey Haller novels (first of two)

Plot Summary: L.A. criminal defense attorney Mickey Haller has no qualms about defending his usual clientele of drug dealers, gang-bangers, and prostitutes. When the opportunity arises to represent Louis Roulet—a potential “franchise” client rich enough to pay Mickey through what looks to be a long and tangled murder investigation and trial—Mickey takes the leap, quickly pulling the reader onto a fast-paced ride through the Roulet case and the ethical dilemmas, unanswered questions, and dangerous complications that come with it. As the case develops, Mickey begins to suspect that it is connected to a client he represented several years before—a man currently serving a life sentence (though, thanks to Mickey’s defense, not a death sentence) for a murder he insists he didn’t commit. A hard-edged legal thriller that strikes a compelling balance of snappy dialogue, investigative moxie, courtroom drama, exploration of the characters’ morally gray areas, and deftly executed plot twists, The Lincoln Lawyer doesn’t let up on the accelerator until its final pages, leaving the reader satisfied and ready for more.

Subject Headings: Haller, Mickey; Lawyers; Defense attorneys; Criminal defendants; Rich people; Chauffeurs; Attorney and client; Father and son; Automobiles; Integrity; Belief and doubt; Innocence (Law); Good and evil; Beverly Hills, California; Los Angeles, California Legal thrillers

Appeal: Plot builds deliberately, fast-paced, steady, dialogue-heavy, engrossing, engaging, familiar characters, realistic characters, recognizable characters, series characters, well-drawn characters, action-oriented, cinematic, complex, investigative, issue-oriented, linear, plot-centered, plot twists, resolved ending, strong language, thought-provoking, violent, accurate, contemporary, details of criminal defense, details of police investigations, urban, bleak, darker, edgy, gritty, hard-edged, suspenseful

Similar Fiction Authors and Works:

The Jury, Steve Martini (legal thriller, defense attorney defending a defendant whose innocence is questionable; southern California setting)

Dismas Hardy and Abe Glitsky mysteries, John Lescroart (defense attorney-police detective characters, legal thriller: “praised for their gritty details; suspenseful, often provocative, complex plots; and the particularly fine characterizations, not to mention the intelligent wit.” All of these qualities are present in Connelly’s book.)

L.A. Confidential, James Ellroy (Hard-boiled L.A. police detectives investigating mob killings in the 1950s. Ellroy is often listed as a readalike for Connelly. If the reader enjoys L.A. as a setting and tuned into The Lincoln Lawyer for the Mickey Cohen connection, they might enjoy this book, which explores the various underbellies of the city and is full of flawed, conflicted characters)

Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

American Lightning: Terror, Mystery, Movie-Making, and the Crime of the Century, Howard Blum (true crime, nonfiction that reads like fiction, “entertaining,” “engaging,” “riveting,” L.A. setting/L.A. history)

Crime Beat: A Decade of Covering Cops and Killers, Michael Connelly (collection of Connelly’s articles written during his former life as a crime journalist in Florida and California Florida and California.)

Labyrinth: A Detective Investigates the Murders of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G., the Implication of Death Row Records’ Suge Knight, and the Origins of the Los Angeles Police Scandal, Sullivan, Randall (contemporary L.A. true crime, ties into Mickey Haller’s interest in hip hop music)

Name: Cynthia

The Time Traveler’s Wife

January 12, 2009

Title: The Time Traveler’s Wife

Author: Niffenegger, Audrey

Publication Date: 2003

Number of Pages: 518

Genre: Literary Fiction

Geographical Setting: Chicago and Michigan

Time Period: 1970s-2053

Series: N/A

Plot Summary: Henry De Tamble is a librarian at the Newberry Library; he also has a condition known as “Chrono Displacement Disorder.” It seems Henry cannot stay in the present; he is constantly and unexpectedly being pulled into another time—dropped completely naked in a parking garage, a field, a city street (he never knows why, when, or where). When the book opens, Henry is meeting his future wife, Clare, for the first time, well at least the first time for him age wise. Actually, an older Henry has been visiting Clare since she was 6 years old. What follows is a moving love story. It is the tale of Henry and Clare’s life together, with all of the normal ups and downs of any relationship, plus the added stress of Henrys time travel. The novel alternates between Henry and Clare’s points of view, with clear demarcations at the beginning of each chapter as to the year (which is essential because of the time travel and Henry’s tendency to be two different ages at the “same” time) and who is speaking. Niffenegger’s highly original novel is engaging, interesting, richly layered, and extremely moving; it is a testament to the power of true love.

Subject Headings: Married People; Domestic Fiction; Fantasy Fiction; Time Travel; Librarians; Women Artists; Fate and Fatalism; Love; Chicago, Illinois; Newberry Library, Chicago; Love Stories; Eccentrics and Eccentricities.

Appeal: character centered, domestic, layered, shifting points of view, bounces around in time, extremely thought provoking, leisurely paced, plot builds deliberately, lots of foreshadowing, realistic despite the fantasy elements, bittersweet, descriptions of Chicago neighborhoods and institutions, conversational, intimate, candid, closed ending.

3 Terms for Book: time-travel, original, moving love story

Similar Authors and Works (Fiction): Dickinson, Charles—A Shortcut in Time(IL setting, time travel, its effect on personal relationships); Gabaldon, Diana—The Outlander Series (Time Travel, romance); Greer, Andrew Sean—The Confessions of Max Tivoli (A love story in which the man ages backwards); Winston, Lolly—Good Grief (A young woman dealing with the death of her husband. Henry’s condition forces Clare to live without him for long periods of time without knowing if he’d ever return)

Similar Authors and Works (Nonfiction): Gott, J. Richard—Time Travel in Einstein’s Universe: The Physical Possibilities of Travel Through Time(time travel, popular science); Grossman, James—The Encyclopedia of Chicago (use it to look up all of the places mentioned throughout the novel); Larson, Erik- Devil in the White City (Chicago history, fantastic but true elements)

Name: Becky