The Reversal by Michael Connelly

The Reversal by Michael Connelly
The Reversal is a legal thriller by Michael Connelly and features the teaming up of two of Connelly’s well known protagonists, defense lawyer Mickey Haller, and his brother in law, crime investigator, Harry Bosch. Although this time Haller finds himself on the other side of the fence, representing the People.

When asked to take on a case for the city of LA, Haller, tired of his defense duties of late, agrees to take on the case, the curious matter of retrying a man who was convicted twenty four years earlier as a convicted killer – but with the added benefits of DNA evidence. When the body of twelve year old Melissa Landy is discovered in a dumpster, the only witness is her sister, Sara, who identifies the man who abducted her, Jason Jessup. On the girl’s dress was a semen stain, thought to have belonged to the killer; however, DNA evidence now reveals it to have belonged to the stepfather.

The defense is represented by Clive Royce who with the aid of the media works to gain public sympathy for the man who had already served time in jail after the previous conviction. He manages to have his client released on bail, and Bosch has the man followed after a FBI profiler believes Jessup to be a serial killer who may be about to kill again. The man tends to walk around a lot through deserted parks at night and at one point parks outside Bosch’s house, sparking off fears that he may be targeting Bosch’s daughter. Bosch also discovers that Jessup has a hideaway where he may be planning to stow away his victims near the Santa Monica pier.

Haller in the meantime is locating his witnesses and after some effort locates the elder sister of Melissa, Sara. Sara had been a drug addict, served multiple sentences and been involved with illegal activities for a while which causes concerns about her credibility.

The court case begins as Haller presents his case, ending up with Sara, who describes how the dress in truth belonged to her and the semen stain was from her stepfather who molested her regularly. Royce’s defense is to suggest an alternative theory in which the stepfather was the murderer and the family is covering up. However everything blows up when the key witness backs down when a shooting follows, leaving the case a mistrial, Haller and Bosch are left to wonder whether justice will prevail.

This was a good read, the court scene settings gripping and dramatic. While the ending was a bit cliché, I still found the general narrative well paced and gripping.

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Other reviews: The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly

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