Reviews by L. J. Roberts

MICHAEL CONNELLY – The Reversal. Little Brown, hardcover, October 2010. Premium-sized paperback: Vision, August 2011.

Genre:  Legal Mystery/Police Procedural. Leading characters:  Mickey Haller (3rd in series) & Harry Bosch (16th). Setting:   Southern California.

First Sentence:   The last time I’d eaten at the Water Grill I sat across the table from a client who had coldly and calculatedly murdered his wife and her lover, shooting both of them in the face.


   Jason Jessup has spent the last 24 years in prison, convicted of kidnapping and murdering a 12-year-old girl. New DNA evidence has won him a new trial, but the LA DA’s office can not use one of their own to prosecute the case.

   Instead, they hire defense attorney Mickey Haller to switch sides. Mickey agrees to prosecute the case as long as he runs the case with his ex-wife Maggie McPherson as 2nd chair and LAPD Det. Harry Bosch as

   You can never go wrong with a book written by Connelly, and this is one of his better books. From the very beginning, you are involved and want to keep reading to the last page. It really is a legal thriller.

   The story is much more plot-driven than character-driven. Certainly there are details of each character’s personal life — it wouldn’t be realistic without them — but the story focuses on the case. While that did mean there was less character development than I’d have liked, it made sense with the trajectory of the story. To do otherwise, may have bogged things down.

   The drama is split between the investigation and the courtroom. And drama there is. Connelly creates an excellent sense of tension without ever going over the top. When there is threat, it feels real. When there is emotion; that too is realistic.

   The courtroom scenes were ones I found fascinating. From pre-trial, to dealing with the political and media pressures, jury selection, and legal maneuvers, having just served on a criminal-trial jury, it all seemed very real to me. The ending was not as satisfying as I might have wished, but it was more realistic than a more classic ending.

   One element I did find disconcerting was the alternating voices. I do wish it had all been done in third person, but I understood why it was not. However, it was a bit confusing at times.

   I’ve always said there is nothing wrong with a “Good” book. This was more than “Good” but still falls in that range. It is a four-hour, straight-through, airplane read, and that is not meant to be a disparaging term. It does mean it’s a book in which one becomes so engrossed, you can tune out everything else around you, go for the ride, and finally breathe at the end, looking around you to remember where you really are.

   In other words; I really enjoyed reading it!

Rating:   Good Plus.