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Connelly's The Reversal: Expect the Unexpected

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In Michael Connelly's world, life is never predictable. His novels follow the same premise. So when you read Connelly you must expect the unexpected. Never has that been truer than in his latest novel The Reversal.

Both of Connelly's most popular characters are included in this story. Harry Bosch, the Los Angeles Police Department detective, and Mickey Haller, the prominent defense attorney, team up to prosecute the case of a man found guilty of murder but who has been released from prison because of a technicality. He is now on the verge of being retried for the same crime.

Mickey has always worked on the defense side of the table but he agrees to take this case for the District Attorney with stipulations. The stipulations involve his ex-wife Maggie McPherson, who is a prosecuting attorney, and she ends up being his co-counsel. He signs Harry up to be their investigator.

In a previous novel Harry and Mickey discovered they are half brothers. They have accepted this fact and are now living with this knowledge. Both of the men are divorced and both of them have one child - a daughter. The responsibilities to their children play a pivotal role in this new novel.

Connelly once again creates a fascinating story with his tale of Jason Jessup, a man Mickey and Harry truly believe killed a twelve year old girl a couple of decades ago. Proving it this late in the game is their challenge, and getting Jessup back in jail is their goal. The stakes are high because they also believe if not incarcerated Jessup will kill again.

As you read the book you begin to lull yourself into believing you have it all figured out and determine that this is Connelly's most predictable story. Wrong. Connelly has a few tricks up his sleeves and when they are handed out the reader is shocked and surprised. Expect the unexpected is true once more.

Connelly does inject a large dose of melancholy in this story. Haller and Bosch are dedicated fathers. Haller's role is only part time as his child spends a lot of time with Maggie, her mother. Harry on the other hand has the full load of fatherhood as his ex-wife is deceased. Because he does have the role of father on his shoulders at all times, Harry is forever questioning whether he is doing the right things for his daughter Madeline.

In The Reversal parental guilt and the quest for good father daughter relationships are combined with the trial of a man for the murder of a child. Based on all of his past books we expect a first rate story from Connelly and this time, like all the others, the man delivers. He knows his way around a police investigation and he knows h is way around a courtroom. This knowledge makes his stories believable while his writing skills make them come alive.

You can never expect Connelly to play by the rules of logic. Life is illogical and so are Connelly's stories. Just when you think you know exactly where he is headed he flips on his blinker and makes a U turn. That is what makes him such an exciting writer and one we love to read.

The Reversal is published by Little Brown. It contains 416 pages and sells for $27.99.