Tuesday, December 28, 2010
The Reversal by Michael Connelly
Book: The Reversal
Author: Michael Connelly
Grade: B -
Recommended To: Michael Connelly Fans
I have read a lot of Connelly's books and he writes about a series of three characters: Mickey Haller, Harry Bosch, and Jack McEvoy, a reporter. This is Connelly's third book about Mickey Haller, but the story also includes Harry Bosch's character and the FBI agent Rachel Walling who has made an appearance in several previous novels.
Without giving too much away, in this book, Haller, a well-known defense attorney is asked to be an independent prosecutor for a retrial of a previously convicted child-killer. Haller agrees to switch sides and most of the book centers around Haller's preparation for trial and the trial itself with brief sidebars for Bosch's investigation into the past of the defendant.
Here's what I like about this book:
Connelly hits the ebb and flow of a criminal courtroom right on the head. He doesn't draw out the cross examinations and he has a knack for describing the impatience of judges and the difficulty of persuading a jury. I also like how Connelly makes an effort to highlight the reasons why an attorney would choose a particular strategy for the case. This makes the story interesting and gives a novice legal readers some background on case strategy.
Further, I like these characters, they lead interesting lives and I feel like after reading several of Connelly's novels about both Haller and Bosch, that I really know them well and can guess what they are going to do next. I feel like the characters have depth and Connelly has worked to give them dimension instead of just writing them as a stereotypical cop and lawyer. Just a note, it is completely unnecessary to read Connelly's books in order. He writes distinct stories that merely feature the same characters. They are not a series and do not build upon one another.
Here's what I wish Connelly had done better:
I don't want to give away the ending, but Connelly needed about 50-100 more pages to really create some suspense and drama at the end of the book. The end is pretty shocking, but the most shocking events happen with only 30 pages to go! That's not nearly enough time to really give the reader closure. Plus, the book ends without answering all of the questions posed during the preceding 389 pages. I suppose Connelly might want this story line to continue and will be writing another book with the answers, but for me, I wish he had just wrapped it up.
Ultimately, I gave this book a B- because of the ending. I will definitely be reading Connelly again, but this book wasn't as good as The Brass Verdict or The Lincoln Lawyer which are his two previous books that feature Mickey Haller. If you haven't read Connelly, I suggest you start there.