In The Reversal, Michael Connelly’s 16th Harry Bosch mystery, Bosch shares the stage with longtime defense attorney Mickey Haller. Haller gets picked by Los Angeles District Attorney Gabriel Williams to be a lead lawyer on a retrial of a controversial case involving the assault and murder of a child. Haller agrees to cross the aisle and take his first case as a prosecutor as long as he can use Bosch as his lead investigator and Maggie “McFierce” McPherson as the second lawyer on the team. To make things even more interesting, McPherson is Haller’s ex wife, but he still believes enough in her as a lawyer to overlook any possible tensions between them. And being a great ex husband, he also gets the D.A. to promise him that she will get a new position if they win the case.
Jason Jessup, the man being retried, was accused of sexually assaulting and then murdering Melissa Landy over two decades ago. Melissa’s older sister, Sarah, witnessed Melissa’s abduction and picked Jessup out of a lineup. Jessup was recently told that he would soon be freed due to some DNA evidence that a group called the Genetic Justice Project found, but the D.A. wants Haller to use that same DNA sample in a way that shows that Jessup is still guilty.
Once the trial starts, Jessup ends up getting out on bail and starts sneaking around at night engaging in strange behavior, like going to parks and sitting by himself or lighting candles next to trees. Bosch and Haller have a special police unit tracking him, but Jessup’s night moves start to get Bosch’s hackles up. Bosch wonders if Jessup might be planning another murder or visiting sites where he murdered or buried his victims. Bosch also wonders if the murder of Melissa Landy might not have been a one off.
Told in chapters that alternate between Bosch and McPherson’s points of view, The Reversal is particularly interesting when it comes to the amount of detail given about the trial. The details never became dull for me. In addition, Bosch, Haller, and defense attorney “Clever Clive” Royce are just a few in a long list of standout characters.