Fans of Harry Bosch are going to find this formulaic effort by the author very disappointing. The approach is to rely on characters well established in the past who are only sporadically and vaguely depicted in this offering. Build a rather uninspired story around a wrongful conviction based on DNA; flood the entire story with loads of cute and, in some cases, victimized twelve-year-old girls; spend a great deal of time on courtroom machinations; throw in a gratuitous violent scene at the end that seems disconnected from all that has occurred – do all this and an unremarkable book has been produced.
Harry Bosch is one of the coolest detectives created by an author in the last fifteen years or so. The new reader gets no flavor of his gritty, besieged past or his subtle attractiveness to females. Mickey Haller, who has a fetish for Lincoln town cars (also not stated), puts aside his usually defense attorney motif to become a special prosecutor for this case, although he has never been a particularly interesting character. But his first ex-wife, Maggie “McFierce”, an assistant DA, is the sharp, appealing figure in the book. The author should have done more with her.
Not sure if the author has another great Harry Bosch book left in him. For those who think this is a great Connelly book, go back his first books. You will change your mind.
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Harriet Stay, January 2, 2011 (view all comments by Harriet Stay)
Edgar Award winner Michael Connelly is a master storyteller and the finest novel writer today. His stories need no introduction. Suffice to tell you this is another Michael Connelly novel.
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knitist, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by knitist)
I find it so easy to immerse myself in the world that Michael Connelly has created. His writing creates a clear picture for me and I think about the characters even when I'm not reading the story.
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Harry Bosch has always has always had a clearly defined job with the LAPD standing for the dead and being a voice for those that have had theirs silenced. The last few months have thrown him many curves with the death of his ex-wife and the incorporation of his daughter Madeline into his life full time but he still cuts through on a straight path. Michael Haller has also known what his job definition is until the day the District Attorney made the call and asked him to move across the aisle from defense attorney to prosecutor. The DA makes Mickey a one-time proposition Mickey does not want to turn down but truly questions if he can bear the burden of standing for the people and doing right by them. The opportunity being offered is to keep Jason Jessup, a child killer behind bars even though new DNA testing evidence can exonerate him and would potentially set him free after 24 years in prison. Mickey chooses his side and incorporates his ADA ex-wife, Maggie McPherson and Harry into the mix which makes the entire situation workable and possibly winnable.
Mickey and Harry are half-brothers who have shared some case time but not even that interaction can prepare them for what they are about to face both personally and professionally together. Mickey has no intention of letting this killer walk and plans to use some of his favorite tricks against the high profile lawyer Jessup has working for him who may be clever but Mickey knows slick does not compensate for the facts and if he can find the key missing witness, reconstruct the police work and piece together fact from media hype he will not only win this but make it a slam dunk sending this murderer back to prison.
As the trial moves forward and the days drag on Jessup becomes more intense and his actions more sporadic. The FBI profiler has concerns about what might happen when all the stress builds up and has to be released. The profiler also feels the original case started off in the wrong direction and once re-routed to its proper path Harry discovers something even more horrific may have happened all those years ago.
Along the way Mickey and Harry form a bond that draws their daughters into the mix even though Harry is reluctant to start down this road. Harry has kept Mickey and that family connection at arm’s length but now he knows Maddie needs family to help her recover from the loss of her mother and the transition of moving away from friends and living with him. Maddie is Harry’s main focus in life and will do anything to make her happy even if it involves doing things that make her very unhappy with him.
I admit openly to being a Harry Bosch fan and find that with age and the addition of the family angle he is even more interesting. The stories could not be told with another character even with Michael Connelly writing them and this is the one factor that shows in his story telling with Harry. Mr. Connelly respects his characters and writes them as if they lived next door and he can relate to them making them plausible to the reader. This story while a horrific nightmare for any parent does also show how venerable Harry has become in his personal life. He was Teflon before and nothing could touch him but now with his daughter in his life what was once armor is now ice cream.
Little Brown and Company -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"In Connelly's engaging second thriller to team defense attorney Mickey Haller and LAPD detective Harry Bosch (after The Brass Verdict), new DNA evidence leads to the release of Jason Jessup, who was convicted of murdering 12-year-old Melissa Landy 24 years earlier. Prosecutors in the L.A. DA's office, faced with retrying Jessup, approach Haller for help. Haller agrees to assist if he can use Bosch as his investigator, and his lawyer ex-wife, Maggie McPherson, as 'second chair' at the new trial. Bosch begins reconstructing the 1986 case and tracking down witnesses, including Landy's older sister, who identified Jessup as the man who abducted her sister. Not used to being under the watchful eye of the DA's office, Haller must stay one step ahead of Jessup's oily defense attorney and Jessup himself, whose years in prison have only fueled his hatred of the legal system. Sparks inevitably fly when the equally stubborn Haller and Bosch must work toward a common goal. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
by Booklist (starred review),
"Reading this book is like watching a master craftsman, slowly and carefully, brick by brick, build something that holds together exquisitely, form and function in perfect alignment."
by Denver Post,
"Connelly's prose...is so smooth that it looks easy....The work's success is no accident, but the product of a master fully in command of his craft."
by New York Times,
"Mr. Connelly doesn’t really write about winners and losers. He writes true-to-life fiction about true crime. What makes his crime stories ring most true is that they’re never really over."
by St. Petersburg Times,
"The Reversal is an irresistible read to the very end."
by Los Angeles Times,
"The Reversal, Connelly's new novel, might be his best: a crackling-good read, smart and emotionally satisfying. It manages to condense decades of time and reams of information into a compelling narrative"
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