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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilling Portrait of a World without Conscience--A Remarkable Book
"I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust. This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men." -- Acts 24:15-16 (NKJV)

What if no one followed their consciences? That's the troubling portrait that Michael Connelly brilliantly...
Published on April 16 2011 by Donald Mitchell

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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Price, not content
I thoroughly agree with the previous reviews about how Canadians are being overcharged for books when the Loonie is now ABOVE the U.S. dollar. I also like Connelly's books, but I'm not buying this one because of the publisher's rip-off.
Published on April 16 2011 by CGP


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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilling Portrait of a World without Conscience--A Remarkable Book, April 16 2011
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 127,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(#1 HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Fifth Witness (Hardcover)
"I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust. This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men." -- Acts 24:15-16 (NKJV)

What if no one followed their consciences? That's the troubling portrait that Michael Connelly brilliantly displays in this courtroom drama featuring Mickey Haller, the Lincoln Lawyer. We are used to a world in which lawyers know no limits in their lust for winning. What if everyone was like that? And how would it feel to be someone like that?

Those are just some of the many interesting themes and questions that The Fifth Witness exposes.

As the book opens, Mickey Haller has fallen on hard times, scrounging foreclosure defense cases from people who can't make their mortgage payments. He's not scamming the clients . . . because there are irregularities in the paperwork associated with the foreclosures. At best, his clients will stay in their homes a little longer as owners, before being ousted or having to becoming a renter of their former property. The arrest of one of his most outspoken clients, anti-foreclosure activist Lisa Trammel, brings Mickey back to doing what he does best -- criminal defense.

Most of the book is taken up with Mickey's investigation, preparation for trial, conducting the trial, and dealing with the aftermath. If you don't like legal strategies and ups and downs, this may get a little tedious for you. As an attorney, I was impressed by how simply and how well the logic behind the legal moves is explained. In the background, Mickey is a lonely man . . . wishing he could remarry his prosecutor ex-wife, Maggie McPherson ("Maggie McFierce"), and become a full-time dad again for his teenage daughter, Hayley.

While the case proceeds, Mr. Connelly also builds up an impressive indictment of banks, mortgage processors, police, prosecutors, defense lawyers, preening judges, Hollywood deal makers, unscrupulous businesspeople, and those who look out for number one in all circumstances. Some of the characters even start to dislike themselves.

The book is very well written, spare in ways that keep the story moving . . . but with lots of unexpected plot twists to make things interesting at just the right times. I particularly liked the stream-of-consciousness parts of Mickey Haller's narration.

To me, The Fifth Witness is a breakthrough book for the Lincoln Lawyer series and for Michael Connelly. I'm looking forward to future books in this series!

Bravo, Mr. Connelly.

As some people have noted, once again a major publisher has charged too much for Canadian buyers. If you feel strongly about that, borrow a copy of the book at the library.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A few holes, but a successful thriller nonetheless, April 16 2011
By 
Rodge (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Fifth Witness (Hardcover)
A new Michael Haller novel, this time we get a full-fledged blow-by-blow court case. The defendant is accused of murdering a banker who worked for the bank foreclosing on her home (something like that, crude simplication of course), Haller digs up some things that make him optimistic and we end up with a full-fledged court battle. With new information constantly coming in that keeps shedding new light on events, courtroom successes and setbacks, Connelly keeps us off-balance throughout the whole narrative. The big reveal at the end turns some of the events that happen earlier in the novel into nonsense, but besides that hiccup, we have what amounts to a thriller that never lets up and is certainly an improvement over The Reversal. It should be mentioned also that Connelly gives Haller a worthy opponent this time - in previous novels the prosecutors have tended to be inferior in competence to Haller but Connelly gives Haller his match here.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars `Less is always more when it comes to the defense.', Aug. 26 2011
By 
Jennifer Cameron-Smith "Expect the Unexpected" (ACT, Australia) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Fifth Witness (Hardcover)
Times are tough for Mickey Haller, the lawyer we first met in `The Lincoln Lawyer'. While crime continues, few clients seem to have money to pay lawyers. So, in order to make a living, Mickey has moved on to one of the few growth areas in contemporary law: foreclosure defence. For four or five thousand dollars a case, Mickey can help people stay in their homes for a little longer. Things seem to be going comparatively smoothly for Mickey, working out of the back of his Lincoln, until his first foreclosure client, Lisa Trammel, is charged with the murder of Mitchell Durant, the banker who held her mortgage.

Lisa Trammel has lost her job as a teacher. Her husband has already left, leaving her with a young son and a massive mortgage. But there's another side to Lisa, and while Mickey is committed to representing her, he doesn't have to like her. What he does have to do is try to cast enough doubt to achieve a not guilty verdict. This search leads him into dangerous territory where he also discovers that organized crime is part of the mortgage business.

The first half of the novel concerns the investigation and the second half the trial. There are a number of interesting characters and, of course, at least one twist in the tale. The trial has its own suspense and, while it's clear that the process is about winning rather than truth, Mickey's thinking about the cost, and the future.

My first Michael Connelly novel was `The Lincoln Lawyer' and I'm a Mickey Haller fan. This novel had me turning the pages, keen to find out how the case would end. While the story held my attention throughout, I have mixed feelings about aspects of it. I enjoyed the courtroom suspense; I'm interested in Mickey Haller's personal angst about integrity, but less interested in some aspects of his increasingly convoluted personal life. That said, I'll be looking for the next Haller book because I'm keen to see what will happen next.

`In the courtroom there are three things for the lawyer to always consider: the knowns, the known unknowns and the unknown unknowns'

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Absorbing, Dec 16 2011
By 
Toni Osborne "The Way I See It" (Montreal, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Fifth Witness (Hardcover)
Book 4 in the Mickey Haller series

If you are a fan of Hollywood spun down and dirty courtroom scenes, you won't be disappointed with this one. Michael Connelly's latest novel is a real blast and one of the best legal dramas I have read in a long time.

'"The Fifth Witness'" exploits the scandal in the USA that developed around the sometimes unethical means employed in the bundling and reselling of mortgage loans and the live altering grief it caused some of the homeowners. Lisa Trammel is one of those clients, who should never have been lured into such a deal, but now is faced with losing her house and hope for the future. To make things worse, she is also accused of murdering the ruthless banker who was tasked with forcing the issue. Lucky for her, Haller is up for the challenge and is defending her in court.

Mr. Connelly is undoubtedly a master of courtroom drama, the main part of this novel describes Lisa's trial and Mickey's defence strategy. His writing paints a clear picture of the three way battle of wits between attorneys and the judge. The constant war of words between the attorneys, each one trying to score points but looking at the evidences from completely opposing angles is vividly created and provides all the twists and turns needed to heighten the reader's interest to the end. Your mind mirrors the adrenaline swings the defendant experiences.

The story is very dynamic, quite suspenseful and character driven. The trial of Lisa Trammel turns into a chess match, with Haller highly skilled at seeing the value of each move. He is a defense lawyer who understands that a trial is not a search for the truth but rather a game of survival where winner takes all. This novel has great characterization. Mickey's team consists of his ex-wife Lorna, his investigator Cisco and an associate Jennifer Aronson. All three of them work alongside Mickey to ensure that Lisa Trammel has the best defense possible. They do not want to be influenced by knowing if she is guilty or not'.and Mr. Connelly keeps us wondering and guessing to the very end.

The profound plotting with a touch of humour is absolutely absorbing. This was another memorable experience between the pages.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Connelly's best book, but still engrossing; needed a better reader, July 10 2011
By 
L. J. Roberts (Oakland, CA, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Fifth Witness (Audio CD)
First Sentence: Mrs. Pena looked across the seat at me and held up her hands in a beseeching manner.

Attorney Mickey Haller has left defense law and has been spending his time defending homeowners against banks and agencies threatening to foreclose on their homes. One of his clients, Lisa Trammel, started marching in front of the bank who held her paper, to the point where they took out a restraining order against her being within 50 feet of the banks offices. When Mickey receives a call that Lisa has been arrested for the murder of the bank's vice president in charge of foreclosures, not only is he back in defense law, but out of the rolling office of his Lincoln Town Car and in a formal office with his team. Although the defense team has slight physical evidence, Haller works on Lisa having been set up and there being a 'fifth witness,' and someone else behind the murder.

Could there be a book with a more timely plot? Yet rather than seeming trite, Connolly makes foreclosures a fascinating backdrop for his latest Mickey Haller book. His inclusion of detailed information on everything from the processes for foreclosures, setting up book and movie deals to pay for legal defense, and legal and police procedures adds interest and veracity to the story, as well as to the character, but can also take you out of the plot when they become overlong.

Connolly constructs his characters very well. Because he provides their history, there is no feeling of having been dropped into the series midstream. You know who each character is and how they relate to one another. There are several character threads to the story, and you care about what happens in each case.

Connolly uses language well and writes very evocative descriptions but doesn't include enough of them. He has an excellent ear for dialogue, occasional touches of humor such as when Mickey is asked whether the actor Matthew McConaughey would be a good choice to play Mickey in a movie'which, in fact, McConaughey is doing. There is also a fleeting cameo by Connolly's character of Harry Bosch, Connolly's primary series, and a reference to the artist Hieronymus Bosch, after whom the character is named.

The plot is very well constructed. It is particularly nice that Haller, and his team, during their investigation, stay within the law. There is no smart hacker on the side or 'don't ask how I got this' moment which is refreshing. Connolly writes the physical scenes, whether violence or seduction, well. It was curious and apparent that he was comfortable writing a scene of graphic violence, while seduction stopped at the bedroom door. There were very effective twists and, at one point, a good build of intensity. The ending, with very powerful plot twists, was extremely well done.

There were weaknesses to the story. Connolly heavily salts the story with mini-cliffhangers which are explained soon thereafter but became annoying. The character used the analogy of a court case being similar to the classical piece 'Bolero' which consists of many small high point but finally builds to a dramatic crescendo. The story did follow that pattern, but there were times where it felt as though it took a long time to get there.

Keeping the audio critique separate; Mr. Giles was not the best possible reader. His tone often sounded belligerent or almost angry, when the scene didn't warrant it. There were a couple times where it was difficult to distinguish between dialogue and narration. With a physical book, one can pass quickly through the detailed procedural information without losing the flow of the story. This is not as true of the audio version. Although the information was interesting, there were times it felt as though it overwhelmed the story.

'The Fifth Witness' was not Connolly's best book and certainly did not come up to the level of 'The Lincoln Lawyer.' It was, however, fascinating for its timeliness and engrossing enough to keep one reading.

THE FIFTH WITNESS (Legal Myst-Mickey Haller-Los Angeles, CA-Cont) ' G+
Connelly, Michael; Read by Peter Giles ' 2nd true Haller book
Hachette Audio, , ©2011, Audiobook ' ISBN: 9781600247224
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4.0 out of 5 stars Don't ask client if they did it, March 15 2014
By 
Pol Sixe "hpolvi" (Thornhill, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
Mickey Haller struggles with his conscience as he defends a woman accused of murdering a banker. The sub prime mortgage bubble plays a part, and Mickey has a new Associate. Explaining to the novice what's going on is an effective device for exposition. As with other Haller books the story has defined parts, told in almost linear, procedural fashion, the arrest, the pre-trial discovery, then jumps to the trial itself. Haller stretches the rules and ponders his methods. At the end it looks like a change is coming. Enjoyed the book! Also, this was an audio version and once again Peter Giles does a fine job voicing the characters and making it more than a narrative.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vrai suspense depuis le début, March 5 2013
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Agréable et bonne lecture de vacances
Suspense bien construit.
Fin un peu prévisible
Je l'ai recommandé à des amis et connaissances
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Fifth Witness, May 1 2011
By 
Ruth Adams (Toronto, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fifth Witness (Hardcover)
Michael Connelly never lets you down. My husband beat me to this book, so had to wait until he finished it, he was glued to this book so did not have to wait long. Connelly runs rings around most mystery writers and so modest, having met him years ago at a book signing. The line up was around the block, so many fans in Toronto. Hope he keeps the books coming, and love The Lincoln Lawyer but also Bosch and eagerly await their future adventures.
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5.0 out of 5 stars connelly improves with age, May 1 2011
This review is from: The Fifth Witness (Hardcover)
This book is Michael Connelly at his best(which is spectacular!).
He's got the Lincoln Lawyer character going at Bosch speed.
Very sophisticated,saavy courtroom scenes with real action and strategy depicted.
His command of character insight and relationships is fantastic.
He's a pro who is getting better and better.
My favorite crime writer and one of my favorite writers ,period.

This book is wonderful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read by Michael Connelly, June 29 2014
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Excellent read with sharp twists and turns as well as court room and back room drama.
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The Fifth Witness
The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly (Paperback - Oct. 4 2011)
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