Lawyers v. Cops


I was lucky enough to get my hands on an advanced copy of Michael Connelly’s Brass Verdict (highly recommended, as usual).  After writing two series (one about a cop, another about a prosecutor), I couldn’t help but to compare Brass Verdict (told largely from the perspective of a defense attorney named Mickey Haller) to Connelly’s much-beloved Harry Bosch series.  I loved the book, but it had more details about Haller’s work habits than a Bosch book would explore with Harry, and the action didn’t seem as fast as Connelly’s usual fare.  (Before anyone accuses me of dissing my crime fiction God, did you notice I said I loved the book??  Different doesn’t mean worse!)

This got me thinking about legal procedurals versus police procedurals generally.  It’s hard to be objective about my own books, but I think the pacing of Dead Connection and Angel’s Tip is faster, and the storytelling more immediate, than in my Samantha Kincaid series.  And I’ve speculated that the difference is in the jobs of the protagonists: Ellie takes you directly into the action, whereas Samantha the prosecutor was often a bystander.  Strengths and weakness to both, so the question isn’t which is better.  The question is whether this difference is inherent once a choice is made about the main character’s profession.  What do you think?