Published by Little, Brown and Company
New York October 2010
It is always reassuring to know that you can depend on your favorite author to come out, on schedule, with another book you can’t put down. Michael Connelly has done it again with his 23rd fiction novel, The Reversal. In this one we have a “twofer.” We have both defense attorney Mickey Haller and his half-brother, Detective Harry Bosch working together to try, once again, a man who was sent to prison 24 years ago for the murder of a young girl, after abducting her from her own front yard. The killer, Jason Jessup, has been released from prison and granted a new trial based on new DNA evidence, a tool not available at the time of his original trial.
If you have read past novels starring Mickey Haller (The Lincoln Lawyer) you will know that he is normally the attorney for the defense, not the prosecution. However, in this case he is being asked to do just that because it is felt he will be an independent outsider who can handle the case, which has been considered tainted. He agrees on the condition that he gets to choose his own second chair and investigator. His choices are his ex-wife, Maggie McPherson, known as “Maggie McFierce” and his half brother, Harry Bosch (Nine Dragons).
When Jessup’s lawyer asks that he be allowed out on bail Haller agrees, much to the astonishment of the defense. Haller immediately hires a firm to keep a 24 /7 watch on Jessup. He has a suspicion that Jessup will quickly do something illegal and thus be subject to arrest once again. During the day he is the perfect citizen, if a bit of a show off in front of the media, but it is during the darkness of night that things begin to look a bit strange. He is tracked into the woods repeatedly where he sits quietly, sometimes with a candle lit at the foot of a tree.
The prime witness 24 years ago was the sister of the young girl who was killed, who saw the abduction from behind a bush where they had been playing hide and seek. She spent a number of years using drugs since then but nobody knows where she now lives or if she is even alive, and if she can be found, what her worth might be as a witness. Harry Bosch is immediately given the difficult duty of trying to track her down.
As in all of Connelly’s books, one becomes immersed in the courtroom tactics as the attorneys try to outwit each other through legal loopholes, loud objections, dramatic ploys, jury selection, pretended astonishment, supposedly unexpected events and outright trickery. Both Heller and Bosch provide us with the mystery of a smashing good “who done it.”
This is the perfect book for a week at the beach. It will keep you entranced without requiring you to think too deeply, other than to try to keep up with the twists and turns of a great mystery/court room drama. What makes it even better is that Connelly is scheduled to come up with another Harry Bosch novel, The Drop, the end of November, just in time to be put on your wish list for Christmas. All too often an author lures us in with a great book only to disappoint when you plop down your hard earned money on the next one. Michael Connelly is not one of them. He never fails to come through in meeting all your expectations for an exciting, fun read.
If you would like to have a better understanding of how Michael Connelly comes up with his characters and story ideas look for Crime Beat: A Decade Of Covering Cops and Killers, a 2006 non-fiction collection of crime stories from his days as a journalist.
Diane Bostick has lived on Marco Island since 1987. She was the Founder and President of Ft. Myers chapter of the Association of Children with Learning Disabilities, President of Jr. Welfare League, Ft. Myers Chapter, and served on the board of Art League of Marco Island. She is an avid reader, fly fisherwoman, tennis player and crafter.