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Foreclosure World Captured in a Crime Thriller!

19th April 2011
By karen in Real Estate Law
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Art reflects the time and the age. ‘The Fifth Witness’ authored by Michael Connelly is one such piece of crime fiction through which the current environment has filtered through. Connelly has depicted the foreclosure crisis in this superb novel – his twenty third.

In the book Connelly sketches the contemporary times that gives the latest picture of residential foreclosures. In ‘The Scarecrow’ he had sketched with his pen an inner view of the newspaper world. His latest novel ‘The Fifth Witness’ is not a simple narrative about the homeowner losing the house because of the recession.

But here Connelly exposes corruption that has become an industry popping up around these foreclosures – dubious bankers, oily brokers and underhand activists while delivering a spine chilling legal thriller.

In this book the author makes the ‘Lincoln Lawyer, Mickey Haller return who operates his business from his Lincoln Town Car’s rear seat. Mickey, akin to others, has felt the financial pain. Although in cities like Los Angeles crime marches through any sort of economy Mickey found that his previous group of clients could no longer afford to engage him and had to settle for a public defender.

Mickey reasoned that the only industry that was growing in this downturn was the business of law and foreclosure was in great demand. Thus from criminal he turned to civil law. This keeps him busy on his toes handling a diverse lot of clients who need his help to cling on to their shelters.

His first client was Lisa Trammel; but she turned out to be his most problematic one. She was one of those person who blamed all and sundry for her woes. She became a loud activist demonstrating in front of the bank blaming it for ‘fraudulent practices and heartless action”.

The bank quickly got a restraining order. Lisa was ordered to keep away from the premises of the bank and from its employees. When Mitchell Bondurant, the mortgage banker was murdered in the parking garage of his office, Lisa became the logical suspect.

Despite being faced with mounting evidence against Lisa and nursing doubts about her innocence, Mickey took up the challenge to defend her. He grouped together his crack team mates and rented an office close to the court house to run operations.

Mickey is conversant with making the law work to his benefit. The unsympathetic attitude of Lisa made it difficult for him to work. But despite this he ploughed on to discover that the murdered man ran a shady business involving foreclosures; this could have been the cause of his death.

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