Resurrection Walk is billed as the first Lincoln Lawyer novel since 2020’s The Law of Innocence, but the seventh official entry in Michael Connelly’s Mickey Haller series is very much a joint Haller/Harry Bosch adventure, and a good one at that. Connelly has become increasingly more comfortable vertically expanding his shared universe in recent times, perhaps a nod to the Hollywood-ization of his oeuvre across platforms and media, though his newest heroine, Renée Ballard, plays only a peripheral role here.
It’s also interesting how, despite the novels existing in the same universe where the 2011 Lincoln Lawyer movie starring Matthew McConaughey is a thing, there’s no mention of Netflix’s Lincoln Lawyer series (or Amazon’s continuing Bosch: Legacy), or if any of them will ever mix. I guess some universes are more shared than others.
Mickey “Lincoln Lawyer” Haller is celebrating his latest, and possibly greatest, victory yet; the high-profile exoneration of death row inmate Jorge Ochoa, freed after surviving fourteen years inside a notorious prison for a murder he didn’t commit. Haller helped orchestrate Ochoa’s “resurrection walk”, where a convicted person is exonerated and able to get their lives back.
Even for a defense attorney with questionable methods (his billboards promise “reasonable doubt for a reasonable fee”), Mickey Haller senses there may be a greater purpose in store for him, and perhaps through the resurrection of others he might find his own salvation.
It turns out the Ochoa case was great publicity, leading to a glut of potential new cases so large they’re deemed “the haystack” – and Haller aims to find the needle worth threading. Luckily, he’s already got the perfect man for the job; Harry Bosch, retired LAPD detective and Haller’s half-brother, and absolute stickler for details beyond reproach. Haller hired Bosch to drive his famous Lincoln Cadillac (mostly for the health insurance and because Haller helped get Bosch into an experimental cancer treatment at UCLA), though Bosch insists his new boss sit in the front seat next to him; Bosch was nobody’s chauffeur, even for family.
Bosch quickly puts his skills to use by triaging potential new cases from the haystack, even asking Renée Ballard to use her resources at LA’s Open-Unsolved Unit to help widdle the list down, even though doing so could mean losing her job working cold cases. They zero in on what could be Haller’s next case: Lucinda Sanz, a young mother who’s spent the last five years for the murder of her ex-husband, Roberto Sanz, a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy. There’s more to the story, of course, because there’s always more to the story.
Not helping is Frank Silver, her sleazy – and possibly corrupt – attorney she claims manipulated her into pleading nolo contendere (no contest) to manslaughter rather than face life in prison in the face of what seemed like overwhelming evidence. But Lucinda never confessed to the crime and has maintained her innocence throughout, and despite having already served five years of an 11 year sentence she’s willing to risk everything to have her own “resurrection walk” if it means keeping her younger son from becoming recruited by local gangs.
In past novels Connelly’s attempts to alternate between the more hard-edged sleuthing of Bosch and legal specificity of Haller could be jarring, but here he manages to synthesize both worlds better than ever. While Haller’s court drama can’t hold a candle to his almost loving descriptions of Los Angeles’ seedier streets, Connelly puts a greater emphasis on the natural antagonism between the duties of defense attorney and law enforcement, allowing each character to play to their strengths.
“It’s David and Goliath,” Haller tells an inscrutable Bosch, contrasting the two professions by emphasizing Bosch’s new role in exoneration and not prosecution where the state marshals its mighty power. “And you’re David, baby.”
Connelly also seems to be aware of the weight 30+ years of history the Bosch character brings to the table and, rather than let things collapse under character bloat, focuses on the most relevant bits to keep things moving at a brisk clip. Most pressing, of course, is Bosch’s illness, and we learn the clinical trials he’s undertaking may have serious side-effects, including hearing and memory loss, both of which could be fatal for a freelance detective many already think is past his prime.
But none of this ever slows the pace or devolves into melodrama, thank goodness. Connelly instead presents a believable defense of Lucinda Sanz against what looks like impossible odds. There’s even a glimpse at the possible future of detective work and legal defense using AI-powered crime scene recreations, which is cool if underutilized.
While I’m sure some fans would have preferred a more straightforward legal thriller about Mickey “Lincoln Lawyer” Haller with less Harry Bosch, Connelly has rarely blended both legal and sleuthing genres more effectively than he has with Resurrection Walk. More impressive is how the connected (and growing) Connellyverse doesn’t buckle under the strain, which you can’t really say about a certain superhero cinematic universe anymore. Sausage-factory fiction doesn’t have to be this good, or this well-written, but Resurrection Walk proves to be an irresistible mix of both.