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Mike Connolly Books In Order

Publication Order of Mike Connolly Books

Sober Justice (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Double Take (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Electric Beach (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Night Rain (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Deposition (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Mike Connolly is a series of novels by Joe Hilley the American novelist the attorney turned mystery and thriller author. Given his background in the law, Hilley asserted that he wrote the Mike Connolly detective crime fiction novels because he holds the law and by extension crime dear. As such, he is able to write proficiently about crime and a lawyer that finds himself in the middle of it all, with such eloquence to make a bestselling novel series. The series of novels focuses on Mike Connolly, a lawyer whose life is in the doldrums. The first novel in the series was the critically acclaimed “Sober Justice” which was first published in 2004, and went on to become a bestseller. After the massive success of the first title, Hilley wrote five more novels in the series with the last one “The Deposition: A Novel” published in 2007. With his vast experience in the legal profession, Hilley writes a detailed exposition of the legal processes and investigations, with a spicy mix of crime and criminal behavior. While they have a little bit of Christian pulp fiction in them, they are more than typical with the lead protagonist confronting deceit, conspiracy, and divorce making for enthralling reading.

Mike Connolly the lead makes for an interesting character mainly because of the many demons in his life that he has to confront. When we are first introduced to Connolly, he is a hooked on alcohol and is living with an exotic dancer after his divorce, making him one of the unlikeliest of Christian protagonists. Over the course of the novels, he undergoes a spiritual transformation, which ultimately leads to the development of his character into a stronger person. Nonetheless, not once does he throw in the towel, as fights to get back his life. He gets his big break when he gets the case of an indigent client. He gets down to it and is soon reforming his life even as he still wrestles with the ghosts of his former life. He takes up some of the most bizarre of cases with the oddest of clients though he always remains determined and will take every peril, twist, and turn thrown at him to resolve his cases. Mike is a man full of eccentricities as he starts out as a recovering addict whose life is going nowhere and over the course of the novel swears off alcohol and even gets saved. However, it is a slippery road for Connolly as he frequently takes two steps forward and one back as he embarks on his Christian journey of reformation. What makes it even harder is that he has to deal with a lot of baggage from his previous life that sometimes intrudes in his current life, regardless of how much he seeks to avoid it.

The Mike Connolly series of novels is set in Mobile Bay and the surrounding districts. Joe Hilley goes on an adventure in the Alabama bayou with its black mud and seedy streets, where scruples and criminal activity are commonplace. Walking in the footsteps of Mike Connolly, the novels tell stories of drug smuggling, political corruption, and the sex trade that the lawyer and his associates often get caught up in. They are as much an exposition on morality as well as investigative pieces showing how an investigative lawyer does his best to protect his clients from a debauched and corrupt society. In stories of murder, theft, drugs, and smuggling both the “haves” and the “have-nots” participate though the legal processes tend to favor the “haves”. The novels are intensely written and excellently researched, making them very realistic in the portrayal of Mike. Mike is relentless in his quest for justice even as he burns with frustration due to setbacks in his professional and personal life, and sweats in the humidity and heat of the Gulf Coast. Dealing with people that have lost confidence in him is frustrating though he keeps faith in himself and his spirituality to deal with the revelations and trials that life throws his way. The narratives are a play on the senses tackling theme common to Christian novels such as prostitution, corruption, and sexual slavery.

“Sober Justice”, the first novel in the Mike Connolly Mystery series of novels introduces a middle-aged attorney that is suffering from alcoholism after a bitter divorce. He is living a miserable life with his friends and family not having any confidence in him, and his wife and daughter estranged. He is surprised when he gets a client unexpectedly. It is not a wealthy client as the man has no money and has been assigned to him by the court. The judge believes the case is an easy open-and-shut case that would have the black man accused of the crime declared guilty if the case ever went to court. The client happens to be accused of killing a prominent lawyer in the city and right from the start, Mike knows that the case had more to it than the slim brief he had been given. In his investigations, he soon stumbles into an intricate web full of deceit and intrigue. It is a roller-coaster of a ride as he uncovers numerous oddities in the case, which makes him, believe that there is huge conspiracy that seeks to pin the murder on an innocent man. Oddly enough, bizarre as the case is, it results in Mike developing and discovering his character and ultimately makes him a better version of himself. Even in the face of certain death, the protagonist keeps the faith to show that Christians need to submit to the purpose of God whatever the circumstances.

“Double Take”, the second novel opens to Mike Connolly getting a job from Harvey Bosarge, a suspect in a bombing that had killed one of the members of a rich and influential family. The client is an eccentric character who does not seem to be who he is, not that anyone else in the novel does. Connolly soon finds himself embroiled in an investigation that ropes in private security personnel, local enforcement agencies, and more than a dozen federal agencies. Mike is weaving his way in an endless intricate web of deceit and intrigue as he tries to decipher one of the biggest puzzles in a case. The novel has an authentic rural Alabama feel, with a relatable and Harry Bosch type of lead protagonist on Michael Connolly. It is an excellent novel with a straightforward story-line, yet gripping and intense to make for a great beach read.

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