PUBLICATION DATE: OCTOBER 5, 2010
n 1986, Jason Jessup was convicted of kidnapping and murdering twelve year old Melissa Landy. The only witness was Melissa’s thirteen year old sister, Sarah, who saw her abduction while hiding in the family’s front yard. With little evidence to connect Jessup to the crime, the prosecution relied heavily on Sarah’s testimony and a theory (due to advances in DNA analysis) twenty-four years later appears to be incorrect. Since his original conviction was overturned due to the DNA evidence, Jessup is determined to not only have his name cleared, but to also collect millions in a law suit against the state for false imprisonment.
Refusing to believe Jessup’s innocence and knowing the origins of the DNA found at the scene (not to mention millions at stake due to the law suit), the DA’s office is not willing to simply let the case go. Deciding it best to proceed with an independent counsel, the DA hires long time defense attorney Mickey Haller. Teamed up with his ex-wife Maggie and detective Harry Bosch, the three face numerous challenges, in the pursuit of justice for Melissa Landy.
It is very difficult for an author to put most of his plot on the table in the opening pages and still hold my interest for another 400. I like books to be surprising. So when an author sets a book up where I know who did it, the defense and prosecution side of the case, and a pretty good idea of the direction of the police investigation, I’m usually not left with much desire to continue. However, The Reversal is written in such a way (honestly I really can’t describe it), that even knowing virtually the whole story up front it was interesting and immensely entertaining. Then again I probably shouldn’t be surprised. Authors who hit #1 on the bestseller list usually do so for a good reason.
The Reversal is a nice blend of detective work and legal drama. Much of the legal aspect is presented from the first person perspective of Mickey, and the detective side is seen from a third person point of view. It was a great blend that worked perfectly to give nice insight, while maintaining a level of intrigue. This is my first book by Connelly, but I quickly fell into sync with his writing. It has a beautiful flow that really captures the moment. I could hear the silence, feel the tension, and see the characters react to one another
The characters are excellent. Bosch has his own series of novels, which I can’t wait to read. He’s has just enough edge to get the job done, but also enough common sense to do things properly. The remaining characters, from Mickey to Jessup, to bit players, are each brought to life and add a unique dimension to the story. One of the main reasons this book works is because the characters are engaging, fun to follow, and give the reader a vested interest in knowing the specifics of how things happen.
Though most of the plot is revealed up front, there are some great surprises. The story progression is fantastic and the pacing near flawless. Just as the book slows a bit, the reader is given a remarkable revelation and starts building another round of intrigue. The ending is realistic and satisfying, though I wouldn’t mind seeing these characters team up again.
My introduction to Michael Connelly was highly successful. I enjoyed the plot, loved the characters, and found the style excellent. For those that like Law and Order type entertainment, this is a great choice. Connelly has officially been added to my list of authors to follow.
Note: This is a general market book and it does contain moderate language, mild violence (description of murder scene), and minimal sexual references (within the confines of the case). Everything is within reason and highly appropriate for the story being told.