Friday, August 26, 2011

The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly

A woman, in the midst of foreclosure, is accused of murdering an executive of the bank that has called in her mortgage. Set in California in the midst of the recent real estate crash, a former criminal defense attorney turned civil attorney specializing in foreclosures, moves back into his comfort zone defending his client who proclaims her innocence in no uncertain terms.

The trial takes up the majority of the book with both the prosecution and defense pulling fast ones and taxing the patience of the judge. The defense manages to poke enough holes in the prosecution’s case to raise reasonable doubt. And, the defendant is acquitted by the jury in a matter of minutes.

And then the fun begins. It is rare for me to be totally taken by surprise by the final twist in a tale. It is even more unusual for me to be completely delighted by the outcome of that twist. Michael Connelly managed to do both. I felt a physical jolt of surprise that left my fingertips tingling as I read, and laughed out loud as the plot wound its way to the end.

I highly recommend this one – it’s a 10. Pick it up and enjoy!

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