I've just finished The Fifth Witness, Michael Connelly's latest legal thriller, which features Mickey Haller. [You may remember him from The Lincoln Lawyer, about to be released as a movie]. In this new novel, the L.A. lawyer, who uses the back seat of his Lincoln town car as his office, has switched from criminal defense work to "foreclosure defense." The plot thickens as Haller elects to defend one of his mortgage foreclosure clients who has been charged with murder.
As the story unfolds, Mickey Haller crafts an impressive effort to interject reasonable doubt at the trial. He struggles to work in "the fifth witness." Connelly's understanding of the obscure and mysterious world of mortgage foreclosure is fascinating.
I have to confess that the fine points of the mortgage industry's much criticized practices have largely gone unnoticed by me. It is only coincidence that brings Michael Connelly's novel and me together at the same time that the Michigan Court of Appeals has decided, for publication, a case finding some mortgage foreclosure practices illegal under Michigan law for exactly the same reason that Haller's clients were able to successfully defend against foreclosure by publication.