Two men, connected by blood but at very different stages of life, are the unbroken thread that runs through Michael Connelly’s latest novel, Resurrection Walk.
We’re talking half-brothers Hieronymus ‘Harry’ Bosch and Mickey Haller, the Lincoln Lawyer, of course. Fans of this author’s books (or the separate Amazon, Freevee and Netflix series that feature them), already know their back stories. But let’s rewind a little for the sake of newcomers…
Harry is a former LAPD detective, now retired and working as a private investigator. This is the man whose motto is: Everybody counts or nobody counts. He has made it his life’s work to get to the truth. Which is why working for Mickey Haller sticks in his craw. In a long career he has come up against some of the most devious defence lawyers in town, and crossing that line to join Haller’s team has proved difficult. As this book opens, Bosch is feeling his age – and the weight of moving to the dark side.
Haller? He’s a guy on the up and up, basking in the glory of cases that he’s won against all odds and celebrating the release of a client wrongly imprisoned for murder. In other words, that client is taking the ‘resurrection walk’ after 14 years in jail. It’s a win that has struck right to Mickey’s heart and after a life of wheeler dealing, he has suddenly developed a conscience and wants to set up his own version of the Innocence Project. To that end, he has Bosch trawling through the sackloads of letters arriving from prisons all over the country, every correspondent loudly proclaiming that they didn’t do it.
After the odd false start, Bosch comes up trumps from the overstuffed postbag. Lucinda Sanz has been in jail for four years for murdering her husband after a domestic incident, convicted of shooting him in the back after he left their home following an argument when he brought their son home late. So far, so run of the mill, but Roberto Sanz was a decorated LA County sheriff’s deputy, and Lucinda pleaded no contest and got 11 years imprisonment under a plea agreement.
She of course maintains her innocence of the crime but this one feels different to Harry and he flags up the letter from Lucinda to Haller. The game is afoot and many dangers and pitfalls lie ahead as the pair come up against legal roadblock after legal roadblock in the pursuit of the truth.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Mickey Haller book without some courtroom shenanigans, and in Resurrection Walk Michael Connelly really brings his A game, offering up countless twists, turns and moments that conjure up the complete gamut of emotions. The same can be said of the book as a whole, which had me surreptitiously tearing up on several occasions, alongside laughing out loud and gasping in awe – probably giving fellow commuters an amusing sideshow in the process!
After featuring in a combined total of 31 books (some of them together), Haller and Bosch could easily have been left in a rut, their creator cruising a bit and offering up sub-par fare to fans hungry for the next instalment. None of that applies here, and in Resurrection Walk we see two men who are continually changing as characters due to circumstances and the passage of the years. That’s what life does to people out in the real world and the same is true in the Bosch/Haller universe too, where characters age in real time and face all of the trials and tribulations that come along with encroaching decrepitude.
With its mix of social commentary in the form of institutional police corruption and cover-ups; tense, engaging and hugely entertaining courtroom drama; clever investigation – the scene where Bosch acts as a dead victim for a forensics expert is a gem; and five-star characterisation which turns both Bosch and Haller from names on a page to living, breathing, flawed and utterly human entities; plus the sense of place that is always an integral part of these books, shining a light on LA‘s many and varied suburbs, its swanky restaurants and enough street food trucks to give you serious hunger pangs, Resurrection Walk is an absolute cracker of a read that keeps the Connelly flag flying high and proud.
CFL Rating: 5 Stars
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