Convicted child-killer Jason Jessup has been set free, the guilty verdict overturned by recently examined DNA evidence. The stain on the dress the girl was wearing did not come from Jessup—it came from the girl’s step-father.
The state’s case is terrible. The DNA evidence is against them. The history of corruption in the police department and the prosecutor’s office is horrific. So District Attorney Gabriel Williams convinces defense attorney Mickey Haller to cross the aisle and prosecute the case. That way, no one can doubt the fairness of the case – and the DA keeps his record clean so he can run for higher office once Haller fails. Only, Haller doesn’t plan to fail. He talks his half-brother into helping. And when Harry Bosch is your half-brother, that’s a good idea.
The Reversal is Michael Connelly’s twenty-second novel. It’s the fourth using Haller, who most recently appeared in last year’s 9 Dragons, the fourteenth book in the Harry Bosch series. In that book, [spoiler alert] Bosch’s ex-wife is killed and their daughter comes to live with him. In The Reversal, Bosch has to balance personal and professional once again, unable to continue the investigation until he can find a baby-sitter for his daughter. In this, he is not completely unlike his half-brother, who works with his own ex-wife – and partner in the prosecution’s case – to care for their own daughter. In between tracking down decades-old leads and readying prosecution witnesses, Bosch and Haller consider whether having their daughters get together will help each of them heal, cope, and whatever else kids of crime fiction heroes have to do.
The case itself moves through as many twists as readers of Connelly have come to expect. Maybe Jessup didn’t kill the girl. The evidence from two decades ago was flimsy, relying on the eye-witness testimony of the girl’s sister, now a recovering drug addict no one can find. Maybe the step-father did kill her and convinced the family to cover it up all these years. Or maybe Jessup is even worse than anyone knows.
Haller and Bosch, fathers of little girls, wait and watch Jessup as the convicted-child killer, now exonerated surfs and smiles his way to media darling. All along the pair is convinced Jessup means to kill again. And when Jessup shows up in front of Bosch’s house in the middle of the night, Bosch knows what he has to do.
By using Haller and Bosch together again, Connelly continues to push the boundaries of crime fiction, redefining the narrative in ways that excite and entertain his growing legion of fans. The Reversal is a great read for long-time fans and a perfect starting point for those who are ready for an introduction to the world of Harry Bosch.