The Brass Verdict

The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly

The Brass Verdict, by Michael Connelly, is an account of corruption and hypocrisy. Featuring both Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller, it is, to some extent, reminiscent of Personal Injuries, by Scott Turow. The name refers to the brass jacket of rounds shot from a German-made Mauser gun.

I have read all of the fiction books by Michael Connelly, and this seems to be the best so far. Before that, I read the Hot Mahogany, the latest Stone Barrington novel, by Stuart Woods. (Ironically, I have read almost all previous books featuring this character, but in reverse order. Can you believe it?) Stuart Woods is certainly a great author, but, in my opinion, Michael Connelly is a lot better. More and more, he succeeds in polishing and advancing the genre of noir detective fiction.

The overwhelming cliché in Harry Bosch novels is the corrupt police. The idea behind the Lincoln Lawyer was a true villain, a real and heinous evil being. Though I hate to write spoilers, suffice it to say that this new one is about corruption on another level of authority. My point is that this book refers to a very relevant topic considering the actual state of our society. I did relish this novel and I do recommend it to all readers interested in crime fiction.


Musings on Writing

I am currently reading “The Bourne Sanction” by Eric Van Lustbader and Robert Ludlum. It is a really good book. I haven’t read the three previous Bourne installments, but I have watched their respective movies. I wished I had read those three books that have been written by the late Ludlum himself, so that I can do a better appraisal of the prose of this book. Nevertheless, it has a superb prose and I like it very much.

Thrillers like other kinds of literary work consist of several dimensions. One dimension is the element of suspense and plot. No objection to that. But the prose is important, as well. One of my favorite authors, who is a bestselling author in the thriller genre, does not enjoy a particular power in writing fluent prose. This I regret. He is my real favorite because of his school of thought and so on.

The importance of the element of balance cannot be overemphasized. I hate books laden with lengthy, descriptive passages which are of no avail to the main objective of the book. There are plenty of such compulsory writers, some of them even famous in literary circles. But for someone like me who is interested in good thriller books, the artistic element of the book must be in a delicate balance with its being a hilarious thriller.

The element of humor and the writer’s personality sometimes gets very outstanding and ruins the book to some extent. The mood and morality of the author should not be conspicuous in a fiction book. This is another place where balance plays an important role.

So much for musing in a field I have no expertise in. Today, I became 38. On to a better year I hope.