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Celebrating the Year of Michael Connelly

Celebrating the Year of Michael Connelly

We thought it’d be refreshing to set aside mortgage and housing matters today to highlight the massive success of bestselling writer and Tampa resident, Michael Connelly.

Connelly is the author of several detective and crime novels, most notably featuring LAPD detective Harry Bosch. With over 42 million copies of his books sold worldwide, Connelly is widely hailed as the modern heir apparent to such giants of the genre as Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. And in setting his work in Los Angeles, like James Ellroy before him (“Black Dahlia,” “The Big Nowhere,” “L.A. Confidential”), Connelly evokes an unrelentingly gritty and gripping portrait of the city.

The film adaptation of one of Connelly’s most successful books, “The Lincoln Lawyer,” recently hit theaters to wild critical and commercial acclaim ($50 million at the box office thus far).

“The Lincoln Lawyer” was Connelly’s first foray into legal thrillers. Now part of a series of books (“The Brass Verdict” (2008), “The Reversal” (2010) and “The Fifth Witness” (2011)), its central character is criminal defense attorney Mickey Haller, a staunch and oft times morally conflicted defender of the accused who operates out of the backseat of his Lincoln. In what Salon.com called “a bravura, career-reshaping lead performance,” Matthew McConaughey plays Haller and somehow manages to walk the fine line between “charm and sleaze” as the maverick lawyer. McConaughey’s Haller is a spiritual descendant of Paul Newman’s Frank Galvin from “The Verdict” and George Clooney’s character from “Michael Clayton,” world-weary attorneys still animated by a flicker to do the right thing, ever hopeful that redemption is not beyond their grasp.

Rolling Stone film critic Peter Travers gushes in his review that “The Lincoln Lawyer” is a “slam-bang twister of a legal thriller, full of whiplash energy, tasty acting and . . . a decadent, skuzzy sense of Los Angeles as a perfect hell for the beautiful and the damned.”

And perhaps most relevant to our blog readers, Connelly takes on the mortgage foreclosure crisis with Mickey Haller in his newly released and soon-to-be #1 New York Times bestseller “The Fifth Witness”. (Impressively enough, this is Connelly’s sixth novel to debut atop the hardcover New York Times bestseller list.) In the book’s acknowledgements, Connelly graciously thanks our very own Charlie Hounchell for all the information and help he personally provided during the author’s research of the subject matter. In a rave review in last weekend’sNew York Times Book Review, the notoriously stingy Marilyn Stasio applauded Connelly for exploring the economic realities of the real estate disaster in a way that makes for a thought-provoking and entertaining read.

So head out to your local movie theater or bookstore, and whether on the page or the screen, sit back and enjoy the work of Michael Connelly. You’ll be glad you did.