Thriller: The Reversal, by Michael Connelly

The ReversalDream Team

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Author Michael Connelly is best known for his superb Harry Bosch series, and in the past few years, has added another character to his body of work, that of brash, unconventional defense attorney Mickey Haller. Connelly is now at the point where he can combine and reshuffle characters from each series, creating a familiar community of pros devoted to pursuing justice in Los Angeles. I’ve enjoyed each and every one of the books that came before The Reversal, and now, without hesitation, can say that this is Connelly’s best ever. It’s unusual for a writer to be so capable of keeping a long series so fresh, but this guy seems to do that effortlessly, demonstrating the hallmark of a master.

In The Reversal, Mickey Haller is tapped by the DA to handle the prosecution of Jason Jessup, whose 25-year-old conviction for the murder of a little girl has been overturned using DNA evidence. Haller is the consummate defender of the underdog, and it is with trepidation that he accepts this challenge, mainly because he is so certain of Jessup’s guilt. He requests the services of his ex wife, Maggie “McFierce”, a consummate prosecutor, and of Harry Bosch, the best investigator he knows.

The Reversal is a tale told in two threads, that of Haller’s construction of the legal case, and that of Bosch’s field work. They are opposed by a particularly wily defense lawyer, who is determined that his client go free. As it becomes clear that Jessup is probably a serial killer, the tension mounts, along with the pressure to stop this man once and for all. What unfolds is a chess game in which neither side can ever count on achieving checkmate. By the time all is said and done, it’s difficult to distinguish a winner, though losers abound.

Bottom line: you’ll have to search hard and long for a writer who can do police precedural and courtroom drama on the level that Connelly has achieved. The Reversal is top notch.

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