The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly Review by Sarah Jayne Baker

Review copy supplied by Allen & Unwin. Thank you!

Lisa Trammel is about to lose her home. Like many others in America, she bought when times were good, but that is now no longer the case. The banks want their money, and are about to sell her house from underneath her. Lisa wages her own war against the bank and their poor lending practises. Lisa also hires lawyer Mickey Haller to help her get her home back. Thus far, Mickey has been able to hold the bank at bay, but it is becoming more and more difficult to hold them off any longer. Lisa is a bit of a hot head and in a heated discussion with the bank’s CEO, threatens to kill him. Can you guess who turns up dead? That’s right, the CEO. During the murder investigation, the police find out that Lisa threatened to kill him, and Lisa is indicted for murder. Mickey is on the case and sets out to prove Lisa’s innocence.
Courtroom dramas are a dime a dozen, but Michael Connelly brings his stories to life through the background stories of the clients, and also the actual courtroom scenes. Does Mickey believe Lisa when she says she didn’t do it? Does it matter? Whether or not he believes her doesn’t play much of a part in how well Mickey presents himself in the courtroom. His job is to get his client off, no matter the circumstances.
Is Mickey able to get Lisa off? I won’t reveal the ending for you, but The Fifth Witness is a thrilling ride through the criminal justice system, and how lawyers work their magic in the courtroom.

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