The Lincoln Lawyer Returns in Michael Connelly’s Resurrection Walk

Retired LAPD Police Detective Harry Bosch has never worked for the defense. Blue through and through. Circumstances, however, often lead to compromises. After being exposed to cancer-causing radiation on the job, Harry is now sick. His half brother Mickey Haller, a well known defense attorney, manages to get Harry into a clinical trial at UCLA that could, if not save his life, at least give him more time. The tradeoff is that Harry has to be on Haller’s payroll, in other words, work for the defense.

Mickey is on a roll, managing to find the evidence necessary to set aside the conviction of Jorge Ochoa, an innocent man who spent 14 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. “I had resurrected this man from the dead,” Mickey thinks while watching Jorge embrace his mother. “And with that came a fulfillment I had never known in the practice of law or in life.” (Those who have watched The Lincoln Lawyer on Netflix have watched this moment play out on the screen.) 

In Michael Connelly’s latest mystery, Resurrection Walk, that victory sparked an increase in letters to Haller’s office from convicts pleading their innocence and asking for help. Bosch is tasked with “finding the needle in the haystack,” that one person telling the truth, serving time after being wrongfully convicted. With the latest batch of letters, Harry narrows down the search to two people – Lucinda Sanz and Edward Dale Coldwell. Because he no longer has access to LAPD case files, he asks Renée Ballard, a detective he worked with on a cold case, for help. She initially balks at his request, knowing that supplying information to a defense attorney could land her in trouble. But she finds it hard to turn Harry down and relents. She manages to abide by the rules by sending Harry links to news articles rather than the actual files. With the information, Harry crosses Coldwell off his list and zeroes in on Sanz.

Sanz was charged with killing her ex-husband, Roberto Sanz, a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy. According to news reports, Sanz was late returning his son to his ex-wife’s home after a weekend visitation. There was a heated argument and he was shot twice in the back after leaving the house and walking across the lawn. Although Lucinda repeatedly claimed she did not kill her husband, gunshot residue was found on her hands. Because the evidence against her was considered overwhelming, she consented to a plea deal and was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

Several things about Lucinda’s arrest and plea deal bother Bosch. She told police that after hearing the shots, she called 911 and hid with her son in a back bedroom. She assumed, because of their argument, Roberto, was shooting at the house. The gun used in the killing was never found. Would she have had enough time to hide or dispose of the gun? And why was she swabbed for gun residue immediately after the shooting, since at that point she was a witness, not a suspect? 

Going over the materials in the archives related to California v. Lucinda Sanz, Bosch notices that Sanz had a tattoo below the belt line on his left hip. Que Viene el Cuco, translates to The Bogeyman’s Coming. Seven years earlier, the L.A. Times had reported on an FBI investigation about corruption in the sheriff’s department, specifically deputies joining cliques where members engaged in illegal activities. Does Sanz’s tattoo indicate he belonged to one of these cliques? Might gang involvement have led to his death?

While Bosch and Haller often ride solo in Connelly’s books, together they make a terrific duo. Bosch’s experience, along with his gut instincts, which prove right 99 percent of the time, make him an invaluable asset whether he’s working for the prosecution or the defense. The treatments he’s receiving for his cancer may affect his hearing but his detective skills are as sharp as ever. As fas as Haller goes, he may be denigrated as an ambulance chasing lawyer looking for the big score, but getting it right is more important to him than his bank account. His first loyalty is to his client, even if that means enduring the wrath of a judge along the way. (Which happens in Resurrection Walk, earning Haller a trip to jail.) 

Those who can’t get enough of Connelly’s characters can watch The Lincoln Lawyer on Netflix and Bosch and Bosch Legacy on Amazon Prime and Freevee. What’s next for Bosch and Haller? In Bosch Legacy, Harry’s daughter, Maddie, played by Madison Lintz, is now a police officer, and very much on the front lines fighting crime. While Haller’s daughter, Hayley, in Resurrection Walk is graduating from law school. And don’t forget Ballard, who has already has her own series. Perhaps the men will step aside and let the women take over.

Resurrection Walk
Michael Connelly

Top photo: Bigstock

About Charlene Giannetti (707 Articles)
Charlene Giannetti, editor of Woman Around Town, is the recipient of seven awards from the New York Press Club for articles that have appeared on the website. A graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Charlene began her career working for a newspaper in Pennsylvania, then wrote for several publications in Washington covering environment and energy policy. In New York, she was an editor at Business Week magazine and her articles have appeared in many newspapers and magazines. She is the author of 13 non-fiction books, eight for parents of young adolescents written with Margaret Sagarese, including "The Roller-Coaster Years," "Cliques," and "Boy Crazy." She and Margaret have been keynote speakers at many events and have appeared on the Today Show, CBS Morning, FOX News, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and many others. Her last book, "The Plantations of Virginia," written with Jai Williams, was published by Globe Pequot Press in February, 2017. Her podcast, WAT-CAST, interviewing men and women making news, is available on Soundcloud and on iTunes. She is one of the producers for the film "Life After You," focusing on the opioid/heroin crisis that had its premiere at WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival, where it won two awards. The film is now available to view on Amazon Prime, YouTube, and other services. Charlene and her husband live in Manhattan.