If there’s one thing you always get from Connelly, it’s consistency – strong characterization, tight and convincing plotting and a story that’s hard to tear yourself away from once you start – this novel is no exception.
Set a few months after Nine Dragons, it brings together Lincoln lawyer, Mickey Halley (only this time batting for the other side) and his half-brother, Harry Bosch as well as Halley’s ex, Maggie Macfierce and the two men’s young daughters. Working together proves interesting as they seek to re-convict a tow-truck contractor who, arrested in the 1980s for the murder of a young girl, uses DNA evidence to claim wrongful conviction, a reversal of his sentence and, of course, massive compensation.
Moving from first person (Halley) to third (Bosch), a device which I usually like but, in this book, feel it didn’t add anything, the reader follows the preparation for the trial, the concomitant investigation and the ethical and moral dilemmas surrounding a re-trial – for all involved. Working as a Prosecutor has its own rewards and difficulties for Halley as does working with ex-wives and anxious and very clever half-siblings, as well as unscrupulous lawyers, drug-addicts, and sexual abuse survivors. Even Rachel Walling makes an appearance, so it’s very much a bringing together of the Connelly cast.
It’s also very much Law and Order in print as you see the various operations and duties of assigned lawyers, police and consultants, as well as the role of the judge unfold. All the while, the personal relationships of the main characters add a frisson as does the overarching question: is the defendant guilty or not? And what is the penalty for a gross mistake?
A very good read.