18 Apr 2012

Michael Connelly and screen versions of crime novels



The official trailer for The Lincoln Lawyer, the first crime novel by Michael Connelly featuring lawyer Mickey Haller


I recently watched the film based on Michael Connelly book "The Lincoln Lawyer" for the second time, this time on TV, having first seen it on the big screen when it came out here in France in 2011. I enjoyed it immensely both times. It stands up really well and I would rate it as an excellent screen adaptation; better than Clint Eastwood's slighly flat and overtly classical version of Blood Work, in which he himslf played the retired (but still active) FBI invesigator Terry McCaleb. The Lincoln Lawyer, directed by Brad Furman, has the feel and pace than is inherent in Connelly's writing, despite the fact that Connelly stayed away from the script writing. 




I have read quite a lot of Connelly's books and reckon him very high in his field. The best? What does that mean? Very good for sure. Connelly can write, he builds a story really well, manages suspense with mastery, and gives his characters flesh, humanity and enough of a dark streak for one not to be totally surprised whatever they get up to. This leaves him plenty of liberty to take his characters to places some way from their starting points. The peregrinations and doubts of Harry Bosch, for example, have taken him in and out of the LA homicide squad, and in and out of relationships too. Mickey Haller is not exception to this trend as having been a defense lawyer to start with, he accepts, in one book the position of Public Prosecutor. This is already anticipated in the scenario of the Lincoln Lawyer, when a police officer asks Haller "just which side do you stand on, Haller?" These guys are credible and all anti-heroes, likeable and smart, but flawed and at a distance from us.

It is as if Connelly knows where his characters are going, but you don't and the game is to discover their paths as the intrigue unravels. And the bad guys are, usually, monstrously perverted whilst remaining credible. Witness "The Poet", or indeed the baddie in the Lincoln Lawyer. No, I won't tell you who he is, but here is a link with more information...


Read on...(or watch the film)