Michael Connelly Sets New Novel Amid Foreclosure Crisis

Michael Connelly
Michael Connelly

The world of foreclosures is not exactly tailor-made for engaging fiction. Unless you're Michael Connelly. Author of The Lincoln Lawyer (now playing at a theater near you) and more than a dozen other best-sellers, Connelly seized on the foreclosure crisis as the setting for his latest thriller, The Fifth Witness.

"I write very contemporary novels set in the time they come out," says Connelly. "This is obviously a big financial catastrophe in this country, so it kind of stands out."

He also had personal reasons for choosing the topic. "When I was a kid, my father was in the construction industry, which is very volatile," Connelly told AOL Real Estate. "We just avoided foreclosure a few times. It was deeply humiliating when they would have to come pin something on your door about a public auction of your house." He says now, "It kind of left a scar."

The fourth Connelly novel to feature defense attorney Mickey Haller, The Fifth Witness finds Haller transitioning his flagging criminal defense practice in Los Angeles into the growing field of foreclosure defense. In particular, Connelly was drawn to the phenomenon of foreclosure mills, due in part to heavy local news coverage of Florida foreclosure mill attorney David Stern, whose downfall was chronicled by AOL Real Estate in "Foreclosure King Falls from Grace."