Michael Connelly: The Reversal

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Michael Connelly The Reversal
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    The Reversal
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    Триллер / на английском языке
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    Английский
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The Reversal: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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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.

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“I just don’t like the idea of carrying your briefcase through this whole thing,” Maggie said.

“You won’t be. Look, press conferences and outward appearances are one thing, but I fully assume that we’ll be working as a tag team. You’ll be conducting just as much of the investigation as I will be, probably more. The trial should be no different. We’ll come up with a strategy and choreograph it together. But you have to give me a little credit. I know my way around a courtroom. I’ll just be sitting at the other table this time.”

“That’s where you’re wrong, Mickey. On the defense side you have a responsibility to one person. Your client. When you are a prosecutor, you represent the people and that is a lot more responsibility. That’s why they call it the burden of proof.

“Whatever. If you’re saying I shouldn’t be doing this, then I’m not the guy you should be complaining to. Go down the hall and talk to your boss. But if he kicks me off the case, you get kicked as well, and then you go back to Van Nuys for the rest of your career. Is that what you want?”

She didn’t answer and that was an answer in itself.

“Okay, then,” I said. “Let’s just try to get through this without pulling each other’s hair out, okay? Remember, I’m not here to count convictions and advance my career. For me, it’s one and done. So we both want the same thing. Yes, you will have to help me. But you will also be helping-”

My phone started vibrating. I had left it out on the table. I didn’t recognize the number on the screen but took the call, just to get away from the conversation with Maggie.

“Haller.”

“Hey, Mick, how’d I do?”

“Who is this?”

“Sticks.”

Sticks was a freelance videographer who fed footage to the local news channels and sometimes even the bigs. I had known him so long I didn’t even remember his real name.

“How’d you do at what, Sticks? I’m busy here.”

“At the press conference. I set you up, man.”

I realized that it had been Sticks behind the lights, throwing the questions to me.

“Oh, yeah, yeah, you did good. Thanks for that.”

“Now you’re going to take care of me on the case, right? Give me the heads-up if there’s something for me, right? Something exclusive.”

“Yeah, no need to worry, Sticks. I got you covered. But I gotta go.”

I ended the call and put the phone back on the table. Maggie was typing something into her laptop. It looked like the momentary discontent had passed and I was hesitant to touch it again.

“That was a guy who works for the news stations. He might be useful to us at some point.”

“We don’t want to do anything underhanded. The prosecution is held to a much higher standard of ethics than the defense.”

I shook my head. I couldn’t win.

“That’s bullshit and I am not talking about doing anything un-”

The door opened and Harry Bosch stepped in, pushing the door with his back because he was carrying two large boxes in his hands.

“Sorry, I’m late,” he said.

He put the boxes down on the table. I could tell the larger one was a carton from evidence archives. I guessed that the smaller one contained the police file on the original investigation.

“It took them three days to find the murder box. It was on the ’eighty-five aisle instead of ’eighty-six.”

He looked at me and then at Maggie and then back at me.

“So what’d I miss? War break out in the war room?”

“We were talking about prosecutorial tactics and it turns out we have opposing views.”

“Imagine that.”

He took the chair at the end of the table. I could tell he was going to have more to say. He lifted the top off the murder box and pulled out three accordion files and put them on the table. He then moved the box to the floor.

“You know, Mick, while we’re airing out our differences… I think before you pulled me into this little soap opera, you should’ve told me a few things up front.”

“Like what, Harry?”

“Like that this whole goddamn thing is about money and not murder.”

“What are you talking about? What money?”

Bosch just stared at me without responding.

“You’re talking about Jessup’s lawsuit?” I asked.

“That’s right,” he said. “I had an interesting discussion with Jessup today on the drive down. Got me thinking and it crossed my mind that if we jam this guy into a deal, the lawsuit against the city and county goes away because a guy who admits to murder isn’t going to be able to sue and claim he was railroaded. So I guess what I want to know is what we’re really doing here. Are we trying to put a murder suspect on trial or are we just trying to save the city and county a few million bucks?”

I noticed Maggie’s posture straighten as she considered the same thing.

“You gotta be kidding me,” she said. “If that-”

“Hold on, hold on,” I interjected. “Let’s be cool about this. I don’t think that’s the case here, okay? It’s not that I haven’t thought about it but Williams didn’t say one word about going for a dispo on this case. He told me to take it to trial. In fact, he assumes it will go to trial for the same reason you just mentioned. Jessup will never take a dispo for time served or anything else because there is no pot of gold in that. No book, no movie, no payout from the city. If he wants the money, he’s got to go to trial and win.”

Maggie nodded slowly as if weighing a valid supposition. Bosch didn’t seem appeased at all.

“But how would you know what Williams is up to?” he asked. “You’re an outsider. They could’ve brought you in, wound you up and pointed you in the right direction and then sat back to watch you go.”

“He’s right,” Maggie added. “Jessup doesn’t even have a defense attorney. As soon as he does he’ll start talking deal.”

I raised my hands in a calming gesture.

“Look, at the press conference today. I threw out that we were going for the death penalty. I just did that to see how Williams would react. He didn’t expect it and afterward he pressed me in the hallway. He told me that it wasn’t a decision I got to make. I told him it was just strategy, that I wanted Jessup to start thinking about a deal. And it gave Williams pause. He didn’t see it. If he was thinking of a deal just to blow up the civil action, I would have been able to read it. I’m good at reading people.”

I could tell I still hadn’t quite won Bosch over.

“Remember last year, with the two men from Hong Kong who wanted your ass on the next plane to China? I read them right and I played them right.”

In his eyes I saw Bosch relent. That China story was a reminder that he owed me one and I was collecting.

“Okay,” he said. “So what do we do?”

“We assume Jessup’s going to go to trial. As soon as he lawyers up, we’ll know for sure. But we start preparing for it now, because if I was going to represent him, I would refuse to waive speedy trial. I would try to jam the prosecution on time to prepare and make the people put up or shut up.”

I checked the date on my watch.

“If I’m right, that gives us forty-eight days till trial. We’ve got a lot of work to do between now and then.”

We looked at one another and sat in silence for a few moments before I threw the lead to Maggie.

“Maggie has spent the better part of the last week with the prosecution file on this. Harry, I know what you just brought in will have a lot of overlap. But why don’t we start here by having Mags go through the case as presented at trial in ’eighty-six? I think that will give us a good starting point of looking at what we need to do this time out.”

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