‘The Brass Verdict’: Guilty of being enthralling

  When the G-men (and women) enjoy certain books, it might be a clue.
   One day at the hair salon, my ears perked up when the woman in the next chair mentioned in passing that she worked at the local FBI office. She had brought along a paperback for the wait — a Michael Connelly novel. She told me she was a fan.
   Two thoughts occurred to me — a work by Michael Connelly is guaranteed to be a great read, and his novels don’t insult the intelligence of someone in law enforcement.
   Connelly’s latest, ”The Brass Verdict," continues the happy tradition. (It’s coming out in October, by Little, Brown and Company.)  Most of Connelly’s nearly 20 books star LAPD detective Harry Bosch, but the latest features lawyer Mickey Haller. He made his debut a couple of books ago in ”The Lincoln Lawyer,’’ as a Los Angeles attorney whose office is the back of a Lincoln.
   This time, Haller gets handed a busy law practice, just as he is trying to restart his legal career. But we — and he — know that few gifts are really free. Haller gets his stack of clients because their previous attorney was murdered in his law office’s parking garage. He finds himself working with Bosch to try to solve that killing before the killer gets him as well.
   The city of Los Angeles — violent, seductive, beautiful, hideous, seeming to hold a druglike attraction — is a rich tapestry backdrop for Connelly’s books. ”Brass verdict’’ is a term for simple street justice. Sometimes, Haller realizes, the brass verdict is the most justice L.A. can hope for.  
   When I read my first Connelly novel, I liked it so much I scoured bookstores — secondhand and new — to find others of his books.
   Caution: Reading this one might have the same effect on you.

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