The verdict is in
A pleasurable read with no guilt
By Steve Fisher
AMONG READERS, PAGE turners—books you
can’t stop reading—are highly sought after. But
there are two kinds of page turners: the kind that
make you wince when you get to the last page,
knowing you’ll never get that reading time back, and
the kind that make you say, “Ahhhh.” Michael
Connelly writes the latter.
If you’re not already a fan of the popular author,
pick up a copy of his newest novel, The Brass Verdict.
Featuring lawyer Mickey Haller, introduced in
Connelly’s 2005 bestseller, The Lincol nLawyer, Lawyer, it also brings back his popular
detective hero, Harry Bosch, in a
supporting and surprising role.
Connelly writes in a cinematic
style that jumps off the page—
think 1950s film noir, albeit with a
The Connection first interviewed
Connelly in September 2002, when his book Blood Work had been mad e
into a movie starring Clint Eastwoo d
and his 12th book was about to be
released. The Brass Verdict is his 20th , so
seems a good place to start this interv iew. C onnelly
agrees that some things do get easier, but then,
invoking the loyalty of his fans, adds, “You’ve still got
to keep your head down and give it your best shot.”
But it’s not just for the fans. “Whatever level I’ve
been at,” he says, “I’ve always been my harshest critic.
As I get more success, I become a tougher critic on
myself.” He also admits, “I’m the number-one reader.
I write a book that I would like to read.”
A former journalist, Connelly draws inspiration
from hanging around the people he writes about.
“The inspirations for my books usually come from
a verbal story, so I try to put myself in a position to
hear them, hanging out with lawyers and detectives,”
he explains. “It’s almost like osmosis.”
Yet listening for story elements is not enough.
Judgment and talent play a large part.
“It’s my job to say, ‘That can go the distance. I
can turn that into 400 pages,’ or ‘That’s just a little
anecdote that can go into a larger story’, ” Connelly
Although he is confident in his ability, he has
been humbled by others who have aided him. He
reports, “My wife reads my books as I write them,”
telling him what rings true and what doesn’t.
“Twenty for 20, my books have improved through
the editing process.”
Success has also afforded him comfort. He says,
“I wrote my first three books while I was working as
a journalist, so I worked at night and on weekends,”
h is workspace basically a walk-in closet.
N ow he has a nice home with a
book-l ined office and his own schedule.
“ Once I could leave journalism behind, I switched
h ours. I”m primarily a very-early-morning writer, so
by midafternoon I’m done.”
Connelly even confesses to a crime of his own:
“I’ve taken a few ‘do not disturb’ signs from hotels
and hang them on my door when necessary.”
As long as it helps the talented author to continue to produce, on average, a new book every year,
his millions of readers, in 35 languages, would no
doubt find him “not guilty”. C
COSTCO HAS 50 signed
copies of Michael Connelly’s The Brass Verdict, to
give away. To enter, print
your name, membership
number, address and daytime phone number on
a postcard or letter and
send it to: Michael Connelly, The Costco Connection, P.O. Box 34088,
Seattle, WA 98124-1088.
Or send an e-mail to give-
“Michael Connelly” in the
No purchase is necessary. Open
to legal residents of the U.S. (
except Puerto Rico) who are age 18
or older at the time of entry and
who are current Costco members. One entry per household.
Entries must be received or postmarked by November 3, 2008.
Winners will be randomly selected
and notified by mail on or before
December 1, 2008. The value of
the prize is $26.99. Void where
prohibited. Winners are responsible for all applicable federal, state
and local taxes. Odds of winning
depend on the number of eligible
entries received. Employees of
Costco or Hachette Book Group
and their families are not eligible.
Send your feedback
on this month’s book to:
I’VE LONG HELD that autumn is my favorite season. I
love the crisp air, colorful leaves and the fact that I can
break out my cozy sweaters and blankets. I also think
it’s the best time of year to read thrillers—buried under
a pile of blankets, preferably with my dogs, Pepper and
Serenia, nearby. That leads me to this month’s pick,
Michael Connelly’s The Brass Verdict. Connelly consistently writes true page turners that keep readers
guessing and, more important, reading.
I’m also glad to see the return of the character
Mickey Haller. After two years away from the courtroom, Haller is back and facing his biggest case yet.
But that’s all I’m going to say. Well, that and climb
under a blanket and enjoy!
The Brass Verdict is available at most Costco warehouses and on costco.com.
Costco Book Buyer