Thursday, October 14, 2010

Review: The Reversal

Summary: Longtime defense attorney Mickey Haller is recruited to change stripes and prosecute the high-profile retrial of a brutal child murder. After 24 years in prison, convicted killer Jason Jessup has been exonerated by new DNA evidence. Haller is convinced Jessup is guilty, and he takes the case on the condition that he gets to choose his investigator, LAPD Detective Harry Bosch.

Together, Bosch and Haller set off on a case fraught with political and personal danger. Opposing them is Jessup, now out on bail, a defense attorney who excels at manipulating the media, and a runaway eyewitness reluctant to testify after so many years.

With the odds and the evidence against them, Bosch and Haller must nail a sadistic killer once and for all. If Bosch is sure of anything, it is that Jason Jessup plans to kill again. -- Little, Brown

I'm not embarrassd to say that when I received a copy of THE REVERSAL by Michael Connelly in the mail, I did a little happy dance. I absolutely love Michael Connelly and he's definitely one of my favorite authors. His Harry Bosch books have kept me highly entertained for much of my adulthood, and I truly think Harry is one of the most complex fictional cops that I've come across.

And then a few years ago, Mr. Connelly decided to mess with me a bit and write THE LINCOLN LAWYER which featured an entirely new character Mickey Haller. I thought this book was fantastic! Mickey is a slick defense lawyer who works on the other side of the law from Harry. It only took me a few chapters to realize that Mickey is another wonderful character and I realized that there just might be enough room in my heart for both characters. Because really, how can I choose? They are both such awesome characters!

So imagine my joy when I read the description for THE REVERSAL. Both Harry and Mickey were the main characters in this novel. In fact, each chapter alternates between Harry and Mickey's stories with Harry's story in the third person and Mickey's in the first person. (It wasn't as confusing as it sounds.) In THE REVERSAL, Mickey decided to switch sides and act as a special prosecutor in a 20+ year old murder case that has to be retried because of new DNA evidence -- so Harry and Mickey are on the same side for once. Despite their differences in the past, Mickey knows Harry's skills as an investigator are excellent and he asks him to help look into this crime.

I pretty much knew THE REVERSAL had to potential to be an excellent book. It has a best-selling author, two wonderful characters, and a pretty intriguing storyline. So, you are probably wondering if it lived up to all of the hype that I had in my mind.....Well, I won't go so far as to say that THE REVERSAL was my all-time favorite Michael Connelly book, but I did find it awfully good. And I think I can safely say that fans of Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller will enjoy this suspenseful mystery!

One of the things that I most enjoy about Michael Connelly's books are his complex characters; and since THE REVERSAL had two of my favorite characters, I knew I would be in for a treat. Both Harry and Mickey are deeply flawed and carry a fair amount of baggage so I always find their thoughts and actions to be interesting. However, I also really appreciated the interactions between Harry and Mickey since they kind of have some history together ...and it's not always pleasant. In addition to the Harry/Mickey dynamics, both characters had interactions with other characters that were kind of tense as well -- Harry with his teen daughter and Mickey with his ex-wife. I always appreciate that Connelly includes so much about his characters' backgrounds because it just makes them so much more real to me.

And then there's the mystery aspect of the novel -- really the main part of the story. I found Harry's investigation and Mickey's court room antics to be interesting and they definitely kept my interest. I admit that I didn't always know what direction the story was going and I was surprised by a few things. Was the "bad guy" as interesting as some of Connelly's past characters? Was the book as suspenseful and intriguing to me as some of the earlier Harry Bosch books?  Probably not. However, I still thought the story was a very good one and the mystery played out pretty well.

I can't say that I was exactly blown away by THE REVERSAL, but I did like it a lot. You have to understand that I think Michael Connelly is "book god" and my expectations for his novels might not been exactly fair.
THE REVERSAL is definitely worth a read (as are all of Michael Connelly's novels!)

Thanks to the publisher for sending me an ARC of this novel.


bermudaonion said...
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bermudaonion said...

I have high expectations of Michael Connelly too, and so far, he hasn't let me down. I'm really looking forward to this one.

Sandy Nawrot said...

I've always loved the Bosch series, and was so proud that Connelly could crank out the books and still keep the quality up there where it belongs. The last couple of books though have been a big letdown. I'm not sure what is going on - is it me or him? I've read one from this series, and it was OK. I'm scared to read more and be further let down, but it sounds like it passed your test.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I've had at least 8,000 people tell me I should read The Lincoln Lawyer, but since finding out it's a series, I've been hung up about having to start at the beginning of all Michael Connelly books ever, and never got started! I'm sort of in the mood for a new series though - maybe it's time!

Laura at Library of Clean Reads said...

I don't remember the last time I read Michael Connelly, or if I even read any of his books. But reading your review has me all curious now. I love authors who can build great characters.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to say I haven't read any Michael Connelly but I've been seeing "The Reversal" everywhere. I don't know if I should start with this or one of his others. I'm pretty OCD about reading author's works in order so I think I'll start at the beginning.

Thanks for the recommendation.

Beth F said...

The LIncoln Lawyer was my first Connelly and I loved it. I bet I'd love this one too. Everyone has great things to say about the Bosch books.

Serena said...

This is a book I'm looking forward to reading. I have heard great things about this author, but have yet to read one of his books. Yes, I know, where have I been!