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I'd consider myself a Connelly fan and so I was really looking forward to reading this. I love the Bosch character and storylines, and although this in a Mickey Haller novel, it blends a perfect mix of legality, crime and investigation.
The front cover tells us that this is 'From the author of The Lincoln Lawyer', along with the tagline : 'Can a man be convicted on the same crime twice? Mickey Haller is about to find out'. It doesn't really matter if you haven't read a Connelly book before or are unfamiliar with Haller as Connelly brings the characters and plot to life here without any background knowledge being needed. Having said that, it's a bonus if you are familiar because of the way he drops in hints of past novels, you can empathise with and imagine the characters and you look forward to being close to them again and reading more about them. That's why I find Connelly to be addictive; he knows what to do to bring the characters to life and make it personal, leaving you wanting more.
In The Reversal we're introduced to Haller, who receives a strange invitation from the Los Angeles County District Attorney to prosecute and stand for the people. This means Haller, should he take it, must step over the line and be on the other side from the defence for a change. Why? Because the DA wants to re-try Jason Jessup, a man accused of the murder of a young girl (12 year old Melissa Landy) almost 25 years ago. Recent DNA evidence came to light that had the potential to release him, but with their firm belief in his guilt, Haller is the best on the bar and they want him on their side to prosecute.
The book sees us through the courtroom procedure, the case as it unfolds and also the prosecutions investigations as they dig deep on Jessup, try to find more evidence of his guilt, keep tabs on him whilst he's walking the streets.
I won't go into any more depth about the plot, but suffice to say, it's complex and intriguing. What you think you know is turned around and you're left with clues that you can't quite put together. The web of characters expands and includes some familiar faces, including Harry Bosch, and Haller's ex-wife, Maggie 'McFierce'.
I loved the mix of characters because they were familiar and because they had depth. They were emotive, and you could identify with them. I also liked the technical details Connelly provides, such as on the courtroom procedure and importance of the jury, though he doesn't go OTT or get too confusing or bogged down in terminology. It gave the novel more credibility whilst making it more realistic and gritty.
Further praise can be found on the cover, including : 'Move over John Grisham - Connelly has written the ultimate legal thriller' - Mark Billingham (who is also an author), 'The master storyteller' - Sunday Telegraph, and 'Impossible to put down' - Mail on Sunday.
I would agree with all of the aforementioned. I found The Reversal to be very easy to read, interesting and gripping, intelligently written and with enough depth of plot to keep crime fans happy.
Hardback 389 pages over 45 chapters
This is another book in the series of stories featuring Hieronymous (Harry) Bosch, an LAPD detective.
In this story, the main character we follow is Bosch's half-brother Mickey Haller, a defence attorney who customarily works out of his Lincoln town car more than an office.
The District Attorney comes to Haller with a surprising proposal that he prosecutes a case for them. A man, Jason Jessup, who was convicted of a child-murder more than twenty years ago has been released following an appeal on DNA evidence. The DA wants Haller to prosecute him again for the same crime. He picks Haller as a lawyer who is obviously independent from the DA's office, which has been tainted by the scandal, and hopes for a conviction to save them from having to pay out compensation to the convicted man.
Haller bargains hard to retain his autonomy and to select his own team, choosing his ex-wife Maggie 'McFierce' McPherson as co-counsel and Bosch as his investigating officer. Working with his ex-wife will bring its challenges, especially when she is an experienced prosecutor expected to work as his junior. There's also the tensions of his relationship with Bosch, who seems reluctant to embrace the half-brother he never knew and the family relationship Haller is anxious to create between their daughters.
Meanwhile, Jason Jessup is free for the first time in 24 years, making news daily as the wronged man trying to start a new life. But where does he go at night?
Will working together strain or cement relationships? Can Bosch juggle single parenthood of a teenaged girl with his work? Will Haller be able to produce the goods from the 'wrong' side of the courtroom?
Is Jason Jessup an innocent man being railroaded, or could he be the child-killer the DA thinks (and hopes) he is?
I always enjoy Michael Connelly's crime thrillers and this one was no exception.
It's well-written, flowing, and takes you along with the story effortlessly. The narration switches between omniscient and through the eyes of Mickey Haller in alternating chapters, which allows us to follow Bosch and Maggie on their investigations, as well as seeing the story from Haller's point of view. The switches were seamless, not jarring and it felt comfortable.
The main characters are like old friends as a frequent reader of the Bosch books, so it's easy to accept them and get into the plot. If you were fresh into the book series, they might not seem as developed perhaps. I do think that the story would work as a stand-alone, but you do get extra from it if you've been following the over-all story arc of Bosch and the other main characters.
There are some good twists and turns in the novel, and a few surprises where you've been led to one conclusion, but the ground is cut away and questions are raised.
This is another good crime novel from Connelly, the 16th in his Harry Bosch series. It's available new from Amazon at £10 in hardback (or if you wait until July it comes out in paperback). You may find it cheaper from other book-sellers or for free from your library. I was lucky enough to borrow my copy from my mum!
Product details (as available from Amazon):
# Hardcover: 400 pages
# Publisher: Orion (14 Oct 2010)
# ISBN-10: 9781409114390
# ISBN-13: 978-1409114390
# ASIN: 1409114392
# Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 16.3 x 4.1 cm