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on 17 January 2011
The latest offering from Michael Connelly is a strange mix of excellent narrative and a suprisingly dull story. "The Reversal" is for the most part a tense court room drama with Attorney Micky Haller having switched tables to prosecute a child murderer whose original conviction has been shown to be suspect after 24 years of incarceration for the crime. Harry Bosch is Hallers investigator for the case and a few of the usual suspects including "Maggie McFierce" and "L.T. Gandle" make a welcome appearance also.

The normal Connelly trademarks are there, excellent writing and the building of credible characters. However, following the adrenalin filled court case which takes up the first 80% of the novel, the denouement of the story is strangely rushed and skews off into a tangent which feels unconvincing and doesn't provide the satisfying resolution that you have prepared yourself for. A Major plot point is left unexplained at the end also, which looks as if it will be picked up in a future novel.

I have always been a massive fan of Michael Connellys work, but "The Reversal" is lacking the fire works and excitement of his earlier books. Yes, it's well written but the story is quite bland and given the build up, the pay off is a let down because it functions independantly of the earlier story line. It feels almost as if the authors publisher hurried him too much and he came up with the first ending he could think of to complete the story.

Of his recent works, "Nine dragons" and "The Scarecrow" were very much below par and had it not been for "The Brass verdict" I dont think I would have purchased "The Reversal". Having read it, I really hope his next offering "The fifth witness" is back to some where near his best.
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on 12 November 2011
Book 3, in the Mickey Haller series
Book 16, in the Harry Bosch series

In The Reversal, Connelly reunites Detective Harry Bosch with his half-brother, defence lawyer Mickey Haller, but this time, Haller plays the part of a prosecutor and together they work as a team with the same goals in mind. The suspense is part legal thriller and part police procedural. We follow Bosch and Haller each an expert in their own field as they process the many ups and downs and twists and turns of a very controversial and demanding case.

The author continues to push the boundaries of crime fiction by redefining and joining two exciting protagonists with different backgrounds into a legal quagmire. The story is told with chapters that go back and forth in time and alternate from first to third person, they condense decades of time into a compelling narrative that explores various elements of L.A.'s criminal justice system.

The story reopens a twenty four year old case in which little Melissa Landy was abducted from the front yard of her Hancock Park home while playing hide and seek with her sister. At the time, tow truck driver Jason Jessup was convicted of her murder but modern day technology, DNA evidence has led to the reversal of Jessup's conviction. But not everyone is convinced...

Haller, a wisecracking cynic and highly competent grizzled veteran of countless courtroom battles switches from defence to prosecution and as readers we shadow him through countless courtroom shenanigans. The author portrays with a passion the grinding process and the emotions of everyone involved. Haller and Bosch share the spotlight with second chair Maggie McPherson and FBI profiler Rachel Walling who makes a cameo appearance. Melissa's sister Sara who witnessed the abduction plays an important part.

Both Bosch and Haller are fighting the odds, evidence gathered so far is not in their favour. They must prove without any doubts Jason Jessup is a sadistic killer and must stop him before he can strike again. Bosch is very adept at manipulating emotions and gathering facts, he is the driving force and the one most invested in nailing Jessup.

"The Reversal" is a classic investigative plot with some interesting high points but the pacing bogs down at times with the long tedious court scenes. I enjoyed the teaming of the two protagonists as a change but I prefer seeing them in their own environment.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 16 September 2011
"The Reversal," (2010), a courtroom drama/thriller/mystery, was the third entry in the Lincoln Lawyer series by Michael Connelly, one of the greatest of American mystery authors. Of course Connelly, now a mega-seller in light of the film The Lincoln Lawyer [DVD], based on the book of the same name, has had many best sellers, principally among his now 16 book series on Los Angeles Police Department Inspector Harry Bosch. Connelly is a former journalist, a crime beat writer for the Los Angeles Times, who certainly earned his spurs in murder while earning his daily bread.

The Lincoln Lawyer series, also Los Angeles-set, combines courtroom drama with strong elements of police procedurals. It, too, looks at life on the "noir"--darker-- side in that city. It centers, as you might suppose, on Mickey Haller, LA defense attorney, who prefers to work in the back seats of his identical Lincoln Town Cars, as whoever of his clients cannot pay their legal fees, drives. Haller narrates the chapters in which he appears. THE REVERSAL also gives us Lieutenant Bosch, whom we have learned previously, is Haller's half-brother: the Bosch chapters are narrated in the third person.

Mickey is invited by the Los Angeles County District Attorney to take on the prosecution of an upcoming case for his office, so the longtime defense counsel with the high winning average knows something is afoot. As district attorneys, historically, are no fans of his. But the high-profile case of Jason Jessup, who was convicted of killing the child Melissa Landy many years ago, and has spent almost 25 years on death row before DNA evidence appears to free him, is a special one. The case appears to call out for a special prosecutor. For the DA is determined to re-charge and re-try Jessup for the same crime, and seems doomed to failure. Mickey takes the case: he likes the challenge, and the likelihood of reams of publicity. He brings Bosch on board as his lead investigator. But as the new trial date nears, Mickey begins to wonder if he isn't expected to fail, with the renewed prosecution merely a tactic to prevent Jessup from successfully suing the state and county for millions of dollars.

It should be easy for most readers to care about the fate of the pretty blonde child. But the book lacks the passionate power Connelly can pour into some of his books; see The Last Coyote or City Of Bones. Furthermore, aside from the louche charm Matthew McConaughey brought to the title role in The Lincoln Lawyer, the Haller character, as created by Connelly, just doesn't have much personality: he has a yen for his second ex-wife, assistant district attorney Maggie McPherson, known as Maggie McFierce, whom he taps to work with him as second chair on the case. And he loves their daughter Hayley. And unfortunately, Harry Bosch, who drips personality, plays only a supporting role here: he just does what he's gotta do. However, what disappointed me most about THE REVERSAL was its ending. Of course, we all know, a mystery or thriller must have an ending, and it's probably never easy to dream one up. But Connelly really seems to have dragged this one in from left field: our perpetrator acts in ways we've been given no reason to expect.

Never mind, the book shows the excellent narrative, descriptive, and dialogue writing that are characteristic of Connelly. It too is written with great knowledge of, and love for, Los Angeles. (You could pretty much use his works instead of a road map). And it clearly follows in the footsteps of earlier outstanding hard-boiled Los Angeles authors Raymond Chandler and Ross Macdonald. Finally, Connelly explicates his love of jazz as he goes.

Connelly can write wonderfully, and is my favorite among American mystery authors. Many of the Bosch and Lincoln Lawyer series have been New York Times best sellers, as have many of his standalones. Well, I prefer the Bosch series, but for those multifarious newer readers who perhaps came aboard only with LINCOLN LAWYER, this should be good enough.
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VINE VOICEon 5 August 2013
Michael Connelly's 'The Reversal' works surprisingly well for one of those stories where the narrative is split between two central characters. Mickey Haller narrates his part of the story from the first person, whilst alternating with this we have the third person perspective featuring Harry Bosch.

Combining these perspective is a genunely gripping and unsettling story of an old murder case that goes back to trial on the basis of new evidence. Where Connelly is excellent is in teasing out the legal horse trading and politics that goes on both before and during the trial, which gives a revealing and accesible insight into what goes on. The characters are equally compelling, and the backstory and trial scenes make for rivetting reading.

Suddenly, towards the end, Connelly takes us down another path completely, finishing the story in a quite unexpected and slightly unsatisfactory way, it must be said. He's too skilled a practitioner of the genre to have run out of ideas to wrap things up convincingly, so the decision is a strange one. I found myself re-reading the last few pages again to see if I could understand why things were left dangling slightly more than I was expecting.

So, slightly sub-standard ending, given the amount the reader has invested in things by this stage, and also the amount that Connelly as a writer has invested in constructing the most gripping and realistic of settings for his story.
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on 21 November 2010
I have read all of Michael Connelly's books but I am always worried that my anticipation of a new book will not live up to my expectations. How wrong I was, this is a stunning read and those familiar and much loved characters are back. After the introduction of Mick Haller a few books ago, I began to enjoy his character rather more than Bosch. This time I looked forward to the chapters featuring Bosch with a reminder of what a complex yet vulnerable individual he is. Always the maverick but with instincts he knows never lets him down. His relationship with his daughter is troubled but affectionate. I love the way Connelly makes his female personalities strong, fiesty and able to stand up to Bosch whilst understanding that basically he is one of the good guys.
I don't want to spoil any of the story but the premise of Haller changing over to the dark side for the prosecution is a great angle and gives more insight to the machinations of the American court system. If you are not sure whether to purchase this, do not hesitate. Connelly's writing excells in this book and it is a highly enjoyable to read.
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on 31 August 2011
Police procedural meets courtroom drama as Harry Bosch, our favourite detective in the LAPD, teams up again with Mickey Haller, the 'Lincoln lawyer'. Defense attorney Haller is pressured by the DA to turn prosecutor. After 24 years in jail a creepy child-killer has been paroled pending a retrial. DNA evidence suggests Jason Jessup may have been wrongly convicted. But Bosch and Haller are sure he was guilty as charged.

Just when the case seems watertight, events take an unexpected turn. The wheels of Justice, in Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller's world, sometimes come off the rails.

Both the investigation and the trial are handled at Connelly's usual crisp pace, with many a tense moment. The is another nail-biting story from one of crime fiction's most reliable authors.

[Reviewer is the author of SHAIKH-DOWN]
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on 5 June 2015
I have not read a good courtroom procedural book since the heyday of Grisham; a book that takes the real life mundanity of the law and makes it exciting. Michael Connelly has proved over the years to be a master of the police procedural with his Harry Bosch novels and the Mickey Haller books showed that he could also look at the law. ‘The Reversal’ is the third Haller book, but also has a prominent role for Bosch, this cross pollination of characters means that Connelly has managed to write a book that has an equal eye on both the police and the lawyers – ‘Law and Order in LA’.

To allow Haller and Bosch to work together, Haller has to come over to the Prosecution and Connelly deftly handles this one off swap. The story itself is a pretty basic one; a child murderer is released from prison on a technicality and Haller is asked to put him back inside. For large parts of the book it really is just a simple retelling of this court case. That may sound a little dry, but Connelly is such a great writer that he is able to make the normality of law interesting to read. It is great to read a book about professional people doing a good job.

The book does bog down a little at times so the finale is a nice change of pace. The action ramps up as the book chugs along, only to explode towards the end. In the grand scheme of the author’s work, this is a lesser title as it does not really shake the reader. However, it is incredibly solidly written and rattles along even as a straight courtroom book. I enjoyed just being in the presence of Haller and Bosch, but some people may find elements a little slow.
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on 24 February 2013
The reversal sees Michael Connelly pair up his two most successful creations Detective Harry Bosch and defence attorney Micky Haller for the second time. In the previous book The Brass Verdict Micky Haller is the star with Harry appearing numerous times. In the Brass Verdict the two are forced to work together to uncover a killer that may be linked to a case that Micky is the lead defence on at the time. The story is told from Mickey's point of view and for that book it worked very well. This book however is much more a fifty/fifty split. This story is told by both of the half-brothers and the idea of alternate chapters featuring Bosch and Micky works very well as it keeps the story moving at a very fast pace.

At the start of this book new DNA evidence sees the release of a convicted child killer. After twenty four years the DNA found on the victims dress is shown to belong to someone other than Jason Jessup who is the convicted killer that has always claimed his innocence. This new evidence is enough to secure a retrial but the district attorney and the police are still convinced of Jessup's guilt. In an attempt to show independence from the original trial and the department Micky Haller is hired to prosecute the case. Despite his reservations Micky agrees but only under certain conditions one of which is the role of his ex-wife as second chair and Harry Bosch from the LAPD as his lead investigator.

As good as the Brass Verdict was this book is another step up. Both lead characters are shown in a different light to previous books. Haller is a defence attorney by trade and finds the swap to the prosecution table and the extra pressure that comes with it hard to handle. Harry is also in a different situation. Not only is he working alongside his half-brother but recent changes in his personal life mean that Harry sees everything in a different way. No longer can he drop everything and go out on midnight surveillances and seeing Harry adjust to this whilst dealing with the pressures of the case is a fun change from the normal.

I found this to be a very, very enjoyable book. The relationship between Harry and Micky is evolving and it is fascinating to see. The complex relationship between Micky and his ex-wife and his daughter is also explored which really added to the book. I also found the case part of the book to be very well done. The complex and sometimes unfair nature of the trial system are highlighted as at times an innocent witness can be attacked and discredited despite the issues highlighted having little or nothing to do with the case. As usual Michael Connelly has written a fast paced and hard hitting novel that evolves two of his main characters in a wonderfully well written way. I would recommend this book to any fan of the crime or legal thriller genre however I would say that to get the best results reading the Lincoln Lawyer and the Brass Verdict would add to your enjoyment. The book would work well without the previous two but I feel that reading them will add more to your understanding and enjoyment of this book.
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on 26 December 2011
Yet another superb thriller from one of the US' foremost crime writers. Connelly brings together his long-term detective character Harry Bosch and more recent creation the defence lawyer Mickey Haller - this time crossing to the other bench to prosecute a child murder who gets cleared on appeal. Great characters, great pace - and an excellent plot twist at the end. No dull bits, no naff bits, no slow bits you want to skip over, no pointless side-plots. Thoroughly recommended.
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on 2 June 2015
Harry Bosch begins this investigation just four months after losing his ex-wife in Hong Kong. He returned to the US with their daughter, who is successfully integrating in a high school in LA, living with Harry.
This is a legal thriller and a police procedural investigating an case of 24 years earlier when a 12-year old girl was strangled. The killer was convicted on the basis of hairs found in his truck, traces of sperm on her dress and a 13-year old witness, the victim’s older sister. But new DNA techniques show that the long-dead stepfather of the girls was the source of the sperm. Whereupon the killer is released and immediately rearrested to be tried again.
Bosch joins a team composed of his newly-discovered half brother Mickey Haller and Maggie McPherson, Mickey’s no.1 ex-wife and mother of his only daughter, a very competent public prosecutor. An A-team, except that Mickey was tempted or forced somehow to prosecute this case with his ex-wife as his assistant and his half-brother HB as his investigator. Conflicts and irritations are pre-programmed.
This book is quite addictive and readable, but ends with plenty of loose ends. MC simply had too many objectives. Another weakness concerns the inconsistent portrayal of the accused.
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