Very rarely does the second way you enjoy a story outshine the original way you consumed it. Even if it is only by a small margin, it still doesn’t happen often. I was very impressed with the audio book version of The Lincoln Lawyer. I had thoroughly enjoyed The Lincoln Lawyer as well as Michael Connelly’s other works - The Closers, The Narrows, and The Poet, among many others – in traditional bound format. Adam Grupper, an actor who has had appearances in Broadway productions such as La Boheme and The Secret Garden as well as on television shows such as Third Watch and The Sopranos performs an amazing narration. His voice perfectly fits the character; that’s something that can’t always be said.
Since the audio book is unabridged, the story is the same as the book. The story’s protagonist is Mickey Haller, a lawyer who works out of his Lincoln Towncar, traveling between Los Angeles courthouses to defend an assortment of oddball clients – bikers, con artists, even a lady of the evening for whom he works pro bono. Haller eventually gets a call from a bail bondsman named Fernando Valenzuela about a potential “franchise” case involving a rich playboy from the Hollywood Hills named Louis Ross Roulet. Roulet stands accused of violently attacking a woman who turns out to be a high-class hooker. What initially seems like a slam-dunk case slowly unravels as Haller digs deeper into Roulet’s proclamations of innocence and uncovers evidence to the contrary. A close colleague of Haller is murdered just as he is about to discover even more information. This cranks the story to a fever pitch as Haller deals with pure evil while his personal and professional life are thrown into major turmoil.
By its very nature, an audio book as an auditory experience essentially takes away the voice inside the reader’s head, eliminating varied interpretations. In other words, the story now sinks or swims on the performance of the reader/performer. Having listened to many an audio book, I know how a perfectly good story can be squandered by a poor performance. In the case of The Lincoln Lawyer, the production is stellar and the reading/performance/voice acting perfectly fits and is a joy to listen to. This is absolutely riveting, with each CD opening and ending with a bit of suspenseful music. The unabridged CD audio book of The Lincoln Lawyer is highly recommended to anyone looking for a good mystery and a great audio book experience.