Et tu, Michael Connelly?
I am accustomed and indifferent to insults hurled at me and my president by Hollywood airheads. Many of the Trump-haters are mediocre talents at best (Kathy Griffin, for example) or well past their prime (Rob Reiner, Robert De Niro). There would be no need to boycott them because I wouldn't pay any attention even without their nastiness. Their Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) is just background noise in the popular culture.
But the latest attack that I've become aware of stings. I've been reading my way through the works of crime writer Michael Connelly and admire his insight and talent. His novels featuring L.A. Police detective Harry Bosch have been turned into an excellent TV series on Amazon Prime (with Connelly credited as executive producer), and a few movies have featured other characters of his, notably Lincoln Lawyer Mickey Haller. Connelly's publicity states that he has sold over 60 million books.
Connelly writes about not just crime, but humanity, as all accomplished novelists do. His understanding of the way large bureaucracies like the LAPD function is spot on, and he brings at least some emotional depth to his characters. That's why I was distressed to receive this email from Canadian reader Alana LaPerle:
I just finished Michael Connelly's new book, The Law of Innocence, and will never buy another! Why the author of escapist crime/legal/police procedural fiction would find it necessary to insult at least half of his readers with blatant and pointed insults against Trump supporters and conservative media is beyond me. (To say nothing of re-immersing people in the Covid pandemic that they are seeking to escape.)
I believe the first instance is on page 265 — but check out the down vote reviews on Amazon. This could be covered in a blog post.
Here are a couple of excerpts from the top two reviews on the Amazon page for The Law of Innocence:
Reviewed in the United States on November 13, 2020
I have read all of the Bosch and Haller novels, I have thoroughly enjoyed them all until this one, but I will read no more of them should there be any. About 2/3rds through this novel, the author introduced a real-life, very prominent current-day political figure — by name — into a jury selection scene.
The author used highly defamatory descriptions of this politician's character to justify the novel's leading character's striking potential jurors. The irony of the author's using this politician (or any living real-life person) in this way is that the novel's plucky main character was on trial for murder, and the dishonest prosecution was continually making it difficult for the defendant to defend himself
Reviewed in the United States on November 18, 2020
What's not to love about Mickey Haller, our Lincoln Lawyer? I was enjoying reading this legal thriller until Haller wouldn't put a Trump voter on his jury. Haller's reasoning? Trump lies, so his voters are liars.
Haller insulted at least one half of Michael Connelly's readers with this logic. 75 million who vote for Trump might be insulted.
I was astounded. Perhaps Haller wouldn't like a juror with a Biden sticker on their car. Biden plagiarizes whole speeches.
I've purchased my last book by Connelly. As Alana notes, it is stupid to alienate half of his potential readership, yet his hatred must burn so bright that he didn't care. I wonder if his agent and editor cautioned him about this.