The Lincoln Lawyer. Brilliant movie. The Brass Verdict. Twists and turns of a book. Why had I not discovered Michael Connelly before?
When I was younger, I grew up on authors my parents read…the big names: John Grisham, Wilbur Smith, Irving Wallace, just to name a few. Now John Grisham was right up there. Both parents had read every one of his books and when movies based on his books were released we watched them. No movie was better than “The Client” and to this day, if we see Susan Sarandon in another movie, someone in our family is bound to pose the question… “isn’t this the actress from that John Grisham movie…what was it called?” And someone else will pipe up, “The Client”…followed by several comments about how brilliant the movie and book was. What can I say? We were a John Grisham Fan Club Family.
So when I watched The Lincoln Lawyer, it didn’t even enter my mind that it was based on a book. Maybe, subconsciously, I thought I’d be disloyal to our club so I missed an entire period of his books flooding the market after the movie…until recently. I went to this precious house (it has over 50,000 second hand books in 9 rooms) and picked up M.Connelly’s “The Brass Verdict.” It also happened to be another recommendation from my aunt so of course I’d look into it. Hmmm…Let’s give him a try I thought, walking out the house of heaven.
Now, I might not be the most observant person in the world but I’m definitely not the least. Will you believe me if I told you that I read one-third of the book, passed several passages about this lawyer driving a Lincoln, switched off to the front cover message of, “From the best-selling author of The Lincoln Lawyer” and it still did not click.
It seemed like, in some strange way, admitting an enjoyment for this book would be a betrayal to all the years of admiration for Grisham. So I turned towards logic and objectivity. Would I recommend the book? Yes. Do I need to compare it to Grisham? No. The styles have no link; the main characters are fighting different battles and the overall sense completely unattached. Will I be delving into his other 19 (yes, I missed 19 other books) with this same sense of guilt? No. I had dreams this year to fulfill and discovering new authors was one of them. Losing sight of this was not an option, something that was reiterated by Connelly’s words, “I went outside to the deck, hoping the city could pull me out of the abyss into which I had fallen. The night was cool and crisp and clear. Los Angeles spread out in front of me in a carpet of lights, each one a verdict on a dream somewhere. Some people lived the dream and some didn’t. Some people cashed in their dreams a dime a dollar and some kept them close and as sacred as the night…“