Archive for October, 2010

Book Review- The Reversal

October 15, 2010 Leave a comment



Often times in my reviews I’ll mention how there are certain genres I just don’t care for and the legal thriller is one of them. For many years I never read one because they just didn’t interest me. Then came Michael Connelly’s 2005 book, “The Lincoln Lawyer”. I’m a huge fan of Connolly’s work, especially his books featuring his police detective character Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch, so I gave “The Lincoln Lawyer” a try. And I’m glad did. In “The Lincoln Lawyer” Connolly introduced readers to another hero, a defense attorney named Michael “Mickey” Haller who just so happened to be Bosch’s half brother. So it was inevitable that Connolly would have his two protagonists meet.


They did just that in 2008’s “The Brass Verdict”, which was a memorable and entertaining novel. In Connolly’s latest novel, “The Reversal he reunites Bosch and Haller for another outing that turns out to be the best Haller story so far and of the best of the 16 novels featuring Bosch. In “The Reversal” Connelly takes Haller into new territory as he has the Los Angeles District Attorney enlist Haller to work as a prosecutor. A convicted child killer has been granted a new trial and the DA needs someone who looks independent to present the state’s case. Haller uses the opportunity to advance the political career of his ex-wife who also works as a prosecutor and requests that she be his second in the trial. He also requests that Bosch be his investigator in the case.


By placing Haller in the role of prosecutor Connolly is taking his character some place new and interesting and must be commended, because too many crime and thriller writers these days give you the same story over and over again. Haller’s portions of the story are told first person and really highlight how charismatic he is. Plus it’s fascinating to see how his mind works.


It’s not just Haller that’s working in new territory in “The Reversal”, Bosch is adjusting to something different and alien in his life as well. Revealing what that is though, would spoil the ending of the last Bosch novel “9 Dragons”. So I don’t want to say too much about it. For those who know what I’m referring to though, the change that entered Harry’s life in that book had as much impact as you expect. And watching Harry try to make the best of that change is pretty fascinating.


The main plot of “The Reversal” is interesting as well. In the story the convicted child killer committed his crime 24 years earlier and it was DNA evidence that lead to his retrial. So to build their case Haller and Bosch have to dig into the aftermath of the murder. What they find is both heartbreaking and compelling. They discover that the murder of the child basically destroyed her family members and sent them all down self destructive paths. It’s a portrayal that feels honest and real and shows just how effective crime fiction is at looking at our society.


I’ve also got to give Connolly kudos for the ending of the book. This is not an episode of “Law & Order”. Things don’t get tied up in a pretty package with justice being served. The book ends with a bloody climax that leaves the characters feeling more than little haunted by what they discovered and what they may have caused.


So with “The Reversal” Michael Connolly once again shows why he’s one of the best crime writers working in fiction today. He gives readers a highly compelling blend of legal thriller and police procedural and this reader can’t wait to see what he does next

Categories: Book Review