Michael Connelly is a New York Times number one bestselling author. His latest book, The Reversal, confronts the disparities in America’s legal system. This novel brings back defense attorney Mickey Haller, who now wears a different suit. He will be the prosecutor in a high profile case about a brutal child murder. The convicted killer gets a re-trial based on new DNA evidence which would overturn his 24-year conviction. Through Connelly’s descriptive scenes the reader feels that they are part of the jury, being able to examine the evidence presented. A central theme throughout many of Connelly’s books is having his protagonists speak for the victims of horrific crimes, which is also the case in this book. Through the character’s eyes the reader is able to sympathize with the victims and their families. NewsReal Blog interviewed him about his new novel.
NewsRealBlog: Did you want to convey to the reader how our legal system works?
Michael Connelly: To me these stories start with the character and how you want to use him or her. I use Mickey to show a look at the justice system from down in the crevices. But I don’t presume this is the whole picture.
NRB: Can you explain the quote, “I wish I could forget him. But I can’t. He’s always there in the back of my mind. In the shadows.” Were you trying to get across the mentality of those who lost loved ones in a horrific act?
Connelly: It does seem like it speaks to the kind of never-ending mourning that occurs when a loved one is lost to violence.
NRB: You seem to have a recurring theme in your books: that those who died need a voice. In the book you state,”We are here today about one thing. To speak for someone who can no longer speak for herself.” In my interviews with 9/11 families they have stated the same point to me. Is there a specific point you want the reader to understand?
Connelly: I think the point is that as a society we can’t let this sort of violence go by. If we do we have given up. I think in the book some people might ask why take the guy to trial after 24 years. Isn’t enough, enough? But there are no little murders. Every one sends out a wave of change through space and time. It’s important as a society that we remember victims and avenge them with justice. That certainly is speaking for them.