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The Reversal    by Michael Connelly order for
by Michael Connelly
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, CD

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

LAPD Homicide Detective Hieronymus 'Harry' Bosch is back, after his wild Hong Kong adventure in 9 Dragons, this time reunited with his half-brother, Defense Attorney Michael 'Mickey' Haller in a less frantic but equally gripping legal thriller.

The story opens with a new role for Mickey, who's asked by the DA to switch sides (at least temporarily) and lead the prosecution of Jason Jessup, a convicted child killer who spent almost twenty-four years in prison. Why a new trial? The California Supreme Court reversed his conviction (based on efforts by the Genetic Justice Project) because semen on the dead child's dress was not Jessup's. The DA wants a retrial of the man he believes guilty, who has now become a media celebrity - and he wants an independent prosecutor.

Mickey agrees but only if he can pick his own team - his first ex wife, Maggie McPherson, as second chair and Harry Bosch as chief investigator. Harry's first priority is to track down the key witness, Sarah Landy, who saw her younger sister taken by a killer. Unfortunately, with 'An internal wound that never healed, a guilt never assuaged', Sarah's life had spiraled out of control afterwards, into drug use and prostitution. But Harry does find her, and she's willing to testify again.

In addition to the development of the case, it's fun to follow the interactions amongst the defense team - tension between Mickey and Maggie over their respective roles (she is the experienced prosecutor after all) and Mickey's jealousy over the comfortable relationship that develops between Harry and Maggie. Making the plot even more incestuous, Harry consults his old flame, FBI profiler Rachel Walling, who eventually also interacts with Mickey. Rachel believes that there are past victims who have not been found, and that Jessup will kill again.

As the trial evolves with Jessup out on bail, police follow him constantly and watch him carefully. Why does he visit different parks in the middle of the night and light candles? Is he visiting past victims? And why does he lurk outside Harry's house? Harry and Mickey both worry over the safety of their daughters, Madeline and Hayley, and eventually bring them together. Then the case erupts in an explosion of violence, with an ending that, though very realistic, leaves Harry Bosch a 'man on a mission' with unanswered questions.

I look forward to seeing where this new quest takes Harry, and also how Michael Connelly develops the tangled interrelationships amongst his various series characters. The Reversal is an excellent read. As always, you can't go wrong with either a Harry Bosch or Mickey Haller thriller!

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