‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ series another win for Michael Connelly

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When it comes to TV series based on his books, author Michael Connelly is batting a thousand.

Two series on Amazon based on his best-known character have been first-rate translations: Bosch and the new spinoff, Bosch: Legacy.

Now there’s a third, Netflix’s The Lincoln Lawyer, based on another character in Connelly’s intertwined world of crime and justice in Los Angeles, and it’s just as irresistible.

The title character, Mickey Haller, is featured in six of Connelly’s books and crosses over in some of the Bosch books. He’s Bosch’s half brother, but he’s also a successful defense lawyer, which makes him a cop’s natural enemy.

A 2011 movie based on the first Haller novel shares this series’ title, and many fans will remember Matthew McConaughey as Mickey in that film.

Manuel Garcia-Rulfo takes over the role in the series, and he’s note-perfect. One of Mickey’s trademark characteristics is charm, and Garcia-Rulfo has it to spare. Born in Mexico, he also more closely resembles the character in Connelly’s books — Haller’s mother was Mexican.

Haller can be brooding when he’s not charming everyone in the room. As the series begins, he’s trying to get back on his feet after a year in which he suffered serious injuries in a surfing accident and then got addicted to pain medication. He’s clean now, but his practice is in shambles.

He’s unsure where to turn until he finds out he’s just inherited the practice of another lawyer, Jerry Vincent. Jerry was a friend, but they weren’t close, so Mickey is mystified as to why Vincent signed a will giving Mickey the practice — and then, 10 days later, was murdered in his office building’s parking lot.

Who killed Jerry, and why, is one plot arc through the series’ 10 episodes. (This season is based largely on Connelly’s second Haller book, The Brass Verdict.)

But Mickey’s immediate attention goes to Jerry’s biggest case: the upcoming double murder trial of Trevor Elliott (Christopher Gorham), a billionaire video-game creator charged with killing his wife and her yoga teacher after catching them in the sack in their Malibu mansion.

From the moment Mickey meets him on the rooftop basketball court at Elliott’s lavish office building, it’s clear his client is a wildly entitled jerk. But he swears he’s innocent.

So Mickey gets to work. He still does much of his research in the back seat of a Lincoln — hence his nickname — although his Town Car has been replaced by a couple of SUVs and a sweet vintage convertible. He hires Izzy (Jazz Raycole), another recovering addict who was one of Jerry’s clients, as his driver, who quickly becomes a confidant.

Moving into Jerry’s office, Mickey puts his second ex-wife, Lorna, in charge of organizing everything, and Becki Newton brings so much verve to the role she almost walks away with the show. Mickey also hires her boyfriend, an ex-biker named Cisco (Angus Sampson), as his investigator, prompting a wisecrack from Lorna: “Hiring your ex-wife’s boyfriend is pushing it even for you.”

The complications of Mickey’s personal life don’t end there. He’s raising his teenage daughter with his first ex-wife, Maggie McPherson, played with cool authority by Neve Campbell. She’s a hard-charging prosecutor, and despite Mickey carrying a giant torch for her, she keeps him at arm’s length (mostly).

Like the other series based on Connelly’s books, The Lincoln Lawyer is shot in Los Angeles, showcasing landmarks from City Hall to Pink’s. (Connelly lives in Tampa part time, but his fiction is firmly planted in L.A.) Mickey has a flashy hillside house with a view that rivals the one at Bosch’s house.

Producer and writer David E. Kelley, who has created a list of legal dramas that ranges from L.A. Law to Boston Legal, brings his A game to The Lincoln Lawyer.

With crisp writing, sharp pacing and a winning cast, The Lincoln Lawyer is another treat for Connelly fans.

Watch

All 10 episodes of the first season of The Lincoln Lawyer are streaming on Netflix.

Correction: Actor Matthew McConaughey’s name has been corrected in this story.