Sunday, October 3, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: The Reversal by Michael Connelly

     Michael Connelly's The Reversal is the 16th mystery novel featuring LAPD Detective Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch and the third featuring defense attorney Michael "Mickey" Haller. The two came together once before in Connelly's 2008 book, The Brass Verdict.
     In this case, defense attorney Mickey Haller is approached by District Attorney Gabriel Williams and asked to be a special prosecutor in the very important and sensational case of a murdered twelve year old girl. The girl, Melissa Landy, was kidnapped and murdered in 1986. The killer, Jason Jessup, was convicted and spent twenty-four years in prison before DNA evidence won him a reversal, and a new trial. Haller agreed to take the case, if he could hand-pick his second chair, his investigator, and be autonomous and entirely independent from the District Attorney's office. Haller picked his first ex-wife, Maggie McPherson, as his second, and Detective Bosch as his investigator.
     I have read many, but not all, or Mr. Connelly's books, and enjoyed every one. This one started off a little rocky. For those who have read the previous Bosch books, they know the character well. But in this book, there did not seem to be much of a relationship or character development, good or bad, among Bosch, McPherson, or Haller. There were implications for some potential conflicts, but nothing materialized.
Author Michael Connelly
     Mr. Connelly could have done more to explain the history of the characters for people who are either unfamiliar with them or read so much that it's difficult to recall all of the details of previous books. Oddly, I have often complained when authors spent too much time doing that, but since I've become a more avid reader, I've found it is helpful to refresh my memory.
     The Reversal switches between first and third person, using first person on chapters from Haller's point of view and third person in chapters following Bosch. It was sometimes difficult to follow among the constant switching. 

     That said, The Reversal didn't need much character development, didn't need to tie the background of the characters together much, and didn't need to refresh the reader's memory about what happened in previous novels. The plot had enough to keep any reader occupied, anxious, and waiting to find out where the story was going and when the crisis was going to unfold. At times, it seemed to be setting up for a disaster for Bosch and Haller, only to find things going well, too well, for our heroes. The story had several small build-ups, each one anticlimactically averting crisis at the last minute. But when disaster did unfold, it was without warning and not at all what I was expecting.
     The Reversal was everything I expect from a good mystery: it held my interest, was entertaining, surprising, and felt much shorter than its 389 pages.

4 of 5 Stars!

The Reversal is scheduled for release on October 5, 2010. It is published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of the Hachette Book Group

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