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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Audio Book Review and Giveaway: The Reversal by Michael Connelly

An engaging courtroom, legal thriller.
By Michael Connelly: The Reversal [Audiobook]The Reversal by Michael Connelly read by Peter Giles
  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio; Abridged edition (October 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607886480
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607886488
     Price:  Hardcover $13.99    Kindle $12.99  Audiobook $19.79
     Genre: Legal Thriller
     My Rating:  4.25 of 5.0

Product Description
Longtime defense attorney Mickey Haller is recruited to change stripes and prosecute the high-profile retrial of a brutal child murder. After 24 years in prison, convicted killer Jason Jessup has been exonerated by new DNA evidence. Haller is convinced Jessup is guilty, and he takes the case on the condition that he gets to choose his investigator, LAPD Detective Harry Bosch.

Together, Bosch and Haller set off on a case fraught with political and personal danger. Opposing them is Jessup, now out on bail, a defense attorney who excels at manipulating the media, and a runaway eyewitness reluctant to testify after so many years.

With the odds and the evidence against them, Bosch and Haller must nail a sadistic killer once and for all. If Bosch is sure of anything, it is that Jason Jessup plans to kill again.

Review: I really enjoyed this legal thriller although there were some slower portions.

It has been a number of years since I read a Connelly book featuring Detective Harry Bosch and I had not read the previous works which introduced Harry’s half-brother, Defense Attorney Mickey Haller.  I liked the presentation of the story through both of these characters, alternating on scenes in the courtroom with Haller and the investigative work through Bosch.

Haller uses his skills and expertise as a defense lawyer to try to anticipate and prepare the prosecution to withstand the defense to be presented. Bosch uses his determined investigative skills to come up with the witnesses needed to present the prosecution’s case. Many witnesses have retired, moved or are dead. Harry manages to find witnesses, some who were not even used in the first trial, to piece together the crime after 24 years.  There would not have been a chance for the case without Harry finding the main witness, Sara, the murdered girl’s sister.  She was only 13 at the time of the murder but she was the eye witness who identified Jessup as the killer.  Harry also finds a key person to counter the defense’s attempt to discredit Sarah.

During the trial Harry helps to oversee the secret surveillance of Jessup’s movements who has been released on his own recognizance.  This adds some action suspense into the story.

This story is not high in criminal action but rather intensive in court procedures and legal machinations.  I have never practiced criminal law and have only handled a couple of jury trials in my years of practice. Nonetheless I really liked the courtroom scenes and preparation strategy sessions, as did my husband who listened to the story too.

The narration is pretty straight forward with only a few modified voices, particularly the abrupt sharpness of Bosch and the imitation British accent of the defense Attorney.  There is not a real attempt to present the female voices other than slight intonations, but that worked fine for me. Some of the procedural portions were a bit slow and I don’t know if they would have been easier to skim in print. Since I often multi-task when listening to audio books, those scenes did not really bother me or make the audio book tedious.

The plot and legal detail are engaging enough to keep the book moving to a very interesting, if not completely resolved, ending.  Anyone who likes details of criminal investigation and all the details necessary to present a murder trial, as well as of the accompanying court procedures, will enjoy this book.

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