Mickey Haller and Harry Bosch together take on a seemingly unwinnable case in Michael Connelly's latest blistering bestseller.
When Mickey Haller is invited by the Los Angeles county district attorney to prosecute a case, he suspects he's being set up. Why should one of the hottest defence lawyers in the business agree to switch sides for one trial? Especially since the DA's determination to re-try Jason Jessup, a convicted child-killer who spent almost 25 years on death row before DNA evidence freed him, seems doomed to failure.
Despite the risks, Mickey finds it's an offer he can't refuse. Not only will the trial generate a media blitz, but as Mickey and his lead investigator Detective Harry Bosch learn more about the death of twelve-year-old Melissa Landy all those years ago, they become convinced that Jessup is guilty - and once freed he will kill again.
With the odds stacked against him - including a defence attorney adept at portraying Jessup as the innocent victim of a corrupt justice system, and a key witness who risks having her life torn apart on the stand - Mickey knows that if this is the only case he ever prosecutes, it's one he cannot afford to lose.
About The Author
A former police reporter for the Los Angeles Times, Michael Connelly is the author of fifteen previous acclaimed Harry Bosch thrillers, including his most recent Nine Dragons, several stand-alone bestsellers, including The Poet and The Lincoln Lawyer, a legal thriller which introduced L.A. defence lawyer Mickey Haller. Michael Connelly is a former President of the Mystery Writers of America. His books have been translated in thirty-five languages and have won numerous awards. He lives with his family in Tampa, Florida.
Reviewed By Toni Whitmont, Booktopia Buzz Editor
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Michael Connelly is a former police reporter for the Los Angeles Times and author of
fifteen previous acclaimed Harry Bosch thrillers, several stand-alone
bestsellers, including The Lincoln Lawyer,
a legal thriller which introduced L.A. defense lawyer Mickey Haller.
Michael Connelly is a former President of the Mystery Writers of
America. His books have been translated in thirty-five languages and
have won numerous awards.
In The Press
The Reversalstunningly links our favourite hard man anti-hero Harry Bosch
with Mickey Haller, and signals a strong new direction for this ever
popular popular. Go here to see the selection of Michael Connelly books,
all at our great discounted prices.
To celebrate, I am going to select 25 buyers of The Reversal at
random and give them a FREE copy of The Lincoln Lawyer.
You don't have to do a thing.
Meanwhile we have a clip of Connelly here and the
publisher is running a consumer competition to win a suitcase of cash (details on
the book). Unmarked bills presumably, left in a phone book on the
corner of 48th and Grand?
The Reversal is available for delivery after October 5.
Cold-Case Trial: Two Opposites on Same Side, Facing Down a Killer
Published in the NEW YORK TIMES by Janet Maslin - October 6, 2010
Last year Michael Connelly took his readers on a slow boat to China. He wrote “Nine Dragons,” a disappointingly flat and gimmicky story featuring his long-suffering Los Angeles police detective, Harry Bosch. Harry’s usual stomping ground is the depraved underbelly of Los Angeles, but “Nine Dragons” sent him on a touristy detour to Hong Kong. It also used one of the detective novel’s cheapest tricks, the kidnapping of someone near and dear to the hero (in this case his schoolgirl daughter) to generate suspense.
Fortunately Mr. Connelly has returned to solid ground. He has written “The Reversal,” which has a “the” title that makes it sound safely like one of John Grisham’s courthouse generics (Mr. Grisham’s next one, due later this month, is titled “The Confession”) and the setting that Mr. Connelly knows best. “The Reversal” also brings back Mickey Haller, the relatively new Connelly character who emerged as a leading man in “The Lincoln Lawyer.” He even showed up in “Nine Dragons,” which seemed to incorporate everything but the Connelly kitchen sink.
Taking no chances this time Mr. Connelly creates major roles in “The Reversal” for both the contentious Mickey and his moodier half brother, Harry. However venerable and well-loved Harry may be, it’s become clear that Mickey’s brazenness brings these books a new brio. So Mr. Connelly gives Mickey the larger role and makes him the story’s narrator. He has dreamed up a criminal case in which both can be involved. And then, once the story’s larger framework is in place, he executes the subtle sleight of hand that makes each of his books so much more than the sum of its parts.
The first few pages of “The Reversal” will convince no one that this book ought to be read on its literary merits. They explain how Mickey, ordinarily a wily defense lawyer (“me, Mickey Haller, defender of the damned”) and a happily outlandish one, is roped into serving as a prosecutor for a change.
The case is 24 years old. The defendant, Jason Jessup, was convicted for killing a 12-year-old girl. He went to prison, but now he is being retried on the basis of new DNA evidence, thanks to the Genetic Justice Project, which has turned the Jessup case into a cause célèbre and Jessup into a lowlife celebrity. The new trial has become so fraught that the district attorney wants to bring in an outsider to keep his own rival, the California attorney general, away from the proceedings. Enter Mickey.
“That case is a duck without wings,” Mickey complains, sounding like no human being this side of a movie screen. “The only thing left to do is shoot it and eat it.” In much the same spirit he throws back talk at the D.A. (“I’m an independent contractor, remember? You treat me otherwise and you’re going to be holding his hot potato without an oven mitt.”) No matter: Mickey is soon hooked. He’d like to prevail against Jessup, a gloating lout who stands to become rich and famous if exonerated. But what the man, whose slogan was once “Any case, Anytime, Anywhere,” likes even better is calling himself “Mickey Haller for the People.”
Now Mr. Connelly works Harry into the mix. Mickey needs an investigator. And, as this author’s longtime devotees know, Harry Bosch is simply the best. The story also draws on Maggie McPherson, a k a Maggie McFierce, the deputy D.A. who is Mickey’s ex-wife, and Rachel Walling, the F.B.I. profiler who has been a very close personal friend of Harry’s. This criminal investigation threatens to turn into a double date.
But the serious strengths of “The Reversal” become apparent after the principals are in place. Mr. Connelly likes to explicate the workings of the judicial process, especially for the benefit of people “who venture naïvely into the justice system” and “leave the courthouse wondering what just happened.” He can illustrate the basics of criminal investigation better than most. And he makes suspenseful use of simple but diabolical complications for the prosecution. In the case of “The Reversal” it is essential that the jury never learn, despite runaway press coverage, that Jessup has stood trial for the same crime before.
All stylistic posturing vanishes when this book gets down to basics, creating a classic detective-story puzzle around the facts of the girl’s disappearance. Her home was near a church. A swimming pool was being constructed in the backyard. So the victim and her sisters were doing something they didn’t normally do by playing in front of the house. The front lawn was obscured by a six-foot-high hedge. One of the victim’s sisters thinks that the abductor was a garbage man, but there were no garbage collections on Sundays. The three main suspects were tow-truck operators who looked for churchgoers’ illegally parked cars. The police were so desperate to find the girl alive that they rushed their investigation, zeroed in on this threesome and then singled out Jessup too recklessly.
Harry expertly tracks down leads in this long-neglected case, while Mickey prepares for the chess maneuvers of the trial. And when all of the characters begin working together, sparks really fly. Suffice it to say that there is a moment in the courtroom when Mickey outmaneuvers the defense so well that Harry glares at Jessup and feigns a throat cutting, just to indicate which side he thinks is winning. But Mr. Connelly doesn’t really write about winners and losers. He writes true-to-life fiction about true crime. What makes his crime stories ring most true is that they’re never really over.