I’ve just finished Michael Connelly’s newest novel, “The Gods Of Guilt,” and the final pages of tense testimony left me shocked, drained and gasping for breath.
“The Gods of Guilt” is courtroom high drama with the explosive tension of a crashing airplane. I haven’t read all of Connelly’s 26 novels, but this has to be one of his best. The ink is still wet on the book, published only two months ago, but the verdict is in.
Michael Connelly, call your accountant. If you’re not already a rich man, “The Gods Of Guilt,” and the movie that will surely follow, will make you one.
Writing without an outline is like walking a tightrope without a net. Dangerous! I should know better.
But the truth is, I nearly always write without an outline. It’s more exciting that way. When I start a story, I think I know where I’m going. I often end up someplace else entirely. (Kids, don’t try writing without an outline in English class; it makes the teacher crazy.)
On New Year’s Eve, I set out to compare authors John Grisham and Michael Connelly. Turns out the two men and their careers are as similar as Coke and Pepsi. But when you open the covers of their books, there’s a definite contrast, like salt and pepper. If you’d like to read Part 1 of this extended post first, click here.
Grisham and Connelly are writers of the same generation, both productive enough to wear out a reader, but good enough to keep customers coming back for more.
So many weighty questions remain unresolved as this miserable old year runs out the clock.
Who’s the best at writing lawyer fiction: John Grisham or Michael Connelly? That’s the question keeping me awake on the last night of 2013.
JOHN GRISHAM (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I’ve read more of Grisham than Connelly. In fact I think I’ve read all of Grisham’s stuff, except his recent dabbling in the juvenile market. I just finished his latest, “Sycamore Row.” It’s classic Grisham with a deep-South setting, Clanton, Miss., a town caught in a racial time warp. Clanton is modern enough to have an elected black sheriff, but the rural backwater keeps producing court cases highlighting its history of racism.
A Grisham trademark is fast-paced suspense — maybe a chase scene — after a long buildup. Many of Grisham’s novels delve deeply into a particular legal quagmire, such as the death penalty, product liability, environmental pollution, or class-action suits. You feel like you’ve been through a law school seminar, except it was fun.