I really hate writing reviews of mysteries. I never know how far to go, how much to tell, about the story, for fear of revealing too much.
This is my dilemma now that I’ve finished reading Michael Connelly’s The Reversal (Little, Brown and Company, 2010; 389 pages). It’s a great book. You should read it if you like Connelly’s writing, if you like mysteries, if you like a well-told story. But I just don’t know what else to say about it, aside from what I related in my previous update. It goes places you don’t really expect it to go, and I don’t want to spoil that for anyone.
The wonderful thing about the book is that besides being a roaring good story, is that if you are inclined to think about such things, there is some food for thought here about the legal system and law enforcement in the US in general and in Los Angeles in particular. These would be in the general area of how the system works or doesn’t work, depending on your point of view. Maybe I’ve just seen these issues because I’ve worked a little in the legal system and have thought about these issues. And you don’t have to engage them to enjoy the book. It’s just that I like a book that makes you think without hitting you over the head with the issues inherent in the story it tells, the way Connelly tells it.
I also love it when a genre book makes you think, simply because so many people hold such a dim view of mystery novels, science fiction novels, fantasy novels, and other genre novels. They don’t consider them proper literature and don’t hold any hope for them to actually make the reader think. It makes me kind of sad that they believe this, but you won’t convince them otherwise. Believe me, I’ve tried on occasion to convince someone who only reads literary fiction that some good could come from reading genre literature.
But, that’s another post for another time. For now, I’ll just repeat that The Reversal is a good book. I read it out of the public library, and I’ll definitely look for an opportunity to add it to my personal library.