Friday, March 20, 2015

Book Review: The Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly (Mickey Haller #5)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Engrossing plot and great characters
Cons: None
The Bottom Line:
More courtroom drama
Twists, characters draw you in
From start to finish

Haller and the Conspiracy Theory

When my first choice for audio book wasn’t available this month, I snagged one of my fallback books – The Gods of Guilt.  I’d been debating about holding out a little long before I listened to it since it would bring me up to date on the Mickey Haller series, but I’m glad I went ahead with this book.  It is another riveting tale.

If you’ve missed the books, you might be most familiar with the character from The Lincoln Lawyer movie starring Matthew McConnaghey.  That movie was actually based on the first book about Mickey Haller, a defense attorney who works out of his Lincoln town car.  And there are a couple of fun references to the movie in this book.  Each entry in the series finds him on another high profile case, and I enjoy watching the chess match that ensues in court as he tries to win for his client.

Things have been slow for Michael Haller and Associates, and they desperately need a big case to keep the firm afloat.  That’s why Mickey is immediately interested when Lorna texts him about a potential new client arrest for murder.  The catch?  The victim is prostitute Gloria Dayton, a former client that Mickey thought he turned around and got of the life eight years ago.  That’s not the case since Mickey’s client is Gloria’s pimp.

Despite his emotional attachment to the case, Mickey takes it on.  Or maybe because of it, since he wants to learn what really happened to the woman.  A little digging into Gloria’s background begins to turn up the makings of a great alternate theory to feed the jury that might get his client off.  But then Mickey uncovers some facts that just might turn that alternate theory into the truth.  Can he and his team pull the evidence together to prove their client is truly innocent?

Once again, I quickly got caught up in the story.  How caught up?  Enough that I was sometimes yelling at the book as I listened to it in my car.  Not more than a word or two, but I was definitely part of the action.  The story has plenty of twists to keep you engaged, and the courtroom scenes are tense, adding to the story.  For the last third of the book, I was upset whenever I reached my destination because that meant I had to stop listening.  I just had to know how everything was going to play out.

And yet, we still get time to see more character growth in Mickey.  I truly do like his character, and I want to see him happy at the end of a book.  His personal life is complicated, and that’s the case here again, but I truly do like watching him deal with that in addition to the current case.  The rest of the supporting cast makes appearances as well, and I truly do like them.  The new players in this courtroom drama are just as strong, making this book even more mesmerizing.

If you are looking for a wonderful narrator, look for Peter Giles.  He does an expert job of reading the story and bringing it to life without his acting getting in the way.  The book is first person, and I get so lost in the story I forget that it isn’t really Mickey Haller telling me the tale.  I wish the narrator on Michael Connelly’s older Bosch books would take a lesson from these in how to properly narrate an audio book.

Whether you read it or listen to it, The Gods of Guilt is a wonderful book.  While I still have plenty of Connelly’s books to read, I do hope he returns to Mickey Haller soon so I can get my next fix.

More courtroom drama can be found in the rest of the Mickey Haller series.


  1. How funny that we both review this book within 2 weeks of each other!

    1. Especially since the book has been out for a couple of years now.