Book Reviews

Book Review: The Reversal by Michael Connelly – Two Great Characters Team Up to Take Down a Serial Killer

This is the third novel in Connelly’s series about defense lawyer Mickey Haller. This also brings in Harry Bosch as part of his team when he’s asked to switch sides and prosecute a case.

Jason Jessup was convicted of the murder of a 13-year-old girl twenty-six years earlier, mostly based on the testimony of her sister who witnessed the abduction. DNA evidence recovered at the scene was useless at the time, but it was retested and points to her stepfather. The earlier conviction is overturned and the case must be re-tried. This would seem like a slam-dunk for the defense, except everyone still thinks Jessup is guilty.

Mickey Haller, the “Lincoln Lawyer” is brought in and asked to act as prosecutor for a change. They want someone to work the case who has no ties to the prosecutor’s office. He will be guided by his ex-wife, and prosecutor extraordinaire Maggie McPherson in the second chair, although he is able to act independently of the prosecutor’s office itself, and asks to have Harry Bosch assigned as his investigator. Not only is Bosch a highly reputable LAPD detective, but he also happens to be Haller’s half-brother.

The story in The Reversal is part courtroom drama, part detective story. There’s a lot of character development here for both Bosch and Haller (and their relationship) beyond the case. However, the case is front and center and it’s a great bit of suspense. The chapters alternate between Bosch’s detective work trying to figure out how the DNA fits into the picture and tracking down witnesses from 24 years before while Haller figures out a strategy in the courtroom and contends with a defense attorney who is an expert at manipulating the media.

It’s fun to see Haller on the other side of the aisle. Even though this is only the third book in his series, he’s shown as being more comfortable on the defense end of things. Seeing everything from a different perspective is a good bit of character development for him. At the same time, Bosch is still reeling from the events in Nine Dragons and trying to help his daughter deal with the loss of her mother. It’s a good way for him to handle what’s happening without carrying the whole novel on his shoulder, while also staying true to character.

The main subject, though, is finding out what happened all those years ago and putting the right man back in jail. Bosch and Haller unravel a web of deception in the county and eventually put together a narrative that seems to flesh out exactly what was going on.

I enjoyed The Reversal quite a bit. It’s a good character piece as well as a great courtroom drama and mystery. I thought the suspense level worked well to reveal what was really going on. I read it pretty quickly since I didn’t want to put it down.

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