Mickey Haller, high-wattage defense attorney and central character in several Michael Connelly books, changes his spots in “The Reversal.” Haller is persuaded to be a prosecutor in the retrial of a 24-year-old murder case, reversed due to new DNA evidence in the New York Times Number 1 best seller.
Haller agrees to take the case on two conditions: Haller can use LAPD Detective Harry Bosch as his investigator; and Los Angeles District Attorney Gabriel Williams must let him make all the necessary decisions.
“This isn’t a campaign stop and it’s not about money,” Haller tells Williams after a press conference. “You want me to get a conviction, then get out of my way.”
The two men are assigned to build a case against Jason Jessup, convicted of a brutal child murder. Jessup now walks free, but Haller and Bosch know the man is guilty. Proving it, however, will be problematic.
Heller has lawyered up with Clive “The Barrister” Royce, a slick defense attorney who “still carried an English accent even though he had lived more than half of his fifty years in the United States.”
In addition to Bosch as his investigator, Haller has an ace up his sleeve. Assistant District Attorney Maggie McPherson, a/k/a Maggie McFierce, will sit second chair in the retrial.
Connelly mastered the genre of crime fiction a long time ago. While some critics have panned “The Reversal,” it has a plausible plot, and the author does a good job expressing the frustrations Haller and Bosch feel as they do their best to build a case against a clever, deceptive, vindictive criminal and his win-at-all-costs defense attorney.
Where Connelly falls short is in his handling of the story’s resolution. It feels rushed, a little implausible, just a hair too clever. However, from the ending, it’s obvious Connelly plans a sequel, so a few loose ends are to be expected.
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