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Pushing Boundaries of Crime fiction
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.