About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Reversal by Michael Connelly

4. – 563.) The Reversal by Michael Connelly – The beginning of the book is startling with Mickey Haller accepting an appointment as a special prosecutor to handle the re-trial of Jason Jessup whose 24 year old conviction for the abduction and murder of Melissa Landy has been reversed principally because of DNA evidence that a semen stain on the victim’s dress was from her stepfather. Haller primarily moves from the defence to prosecution table because the DA promises to move his ex-wife, Maggie “McFierce” McPerson, to downtown L.A. from suburban exile. After 35 years of criminal defence except for a handful of prosecutions a couple of decades ago I wonder if I could conduct a major prosecution. When I started as a lawyer it was routine for Saskatchewan lawyers to both defend and prosecute. The system gradually evolved into full time prosecutors and defence counsel. To have available the resources of the province would be such a change. Haller swiftly and readily makes the shift. I regretted that he used some of the manipulations as a prosecutor he had resented prosecutors using against him. There was a major contrast with Robert Rotenberg’s Canadian lawyers in Old City Hall who played fewer games as they prosecuted and defended.
            Haller calls upon Connelly’s other main character, Harry Bosch, to be his investigator. Bosch is his usual dogged confrontational self.
            In a continuing departure from most American crime fiction the characters of Haller and Bosch are rounded out by their relationships with their teenage daughters.
            The book unfolded as a procedural with methodical police and legal work. The greater emphasis was on the legal side. Connelly may have come up with a new genre – the legal procedural – to rival police procedurals.
            I did see a glaring error in how the trial was conducted by the defence that I would be glad to discuss with any reader after they have read the book.
            I found myself wanting Jessup to be found not guilty. I kept thinking of the series of great miscarriages of justice in murder cases that Canada has experienced in the past 20 years where innocent men spent decades in jail.
            The writing was as skilful as ever but I did not find the book as satisfying as most Connelly novels. The story simply unfolded with impeccable logic. I think I prefer Haller and Bosch in separate books. Connelly is a great author who has written a good book. (Jan. 17/11)

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