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RESURRECTION WALK by Michael Connelly: Book Review

When you are in the hands of a master, you know it immediately.  From the opening pages of Resurrection Walk, the reader is drawn into the world of defense attorney Mickey Haller and retired Los Angeles Police Detective Harry Bosch, now a private investigator.

The life sentence of Jorge Ochoa has been vacated after a court finding that he was innocent of the crime of murder for which he was imprisoned fourteen years earlier.  Following the publicity that followed his release due to the efforts of Haller, the lawyer finds himself inundated with letters from prisoners asking for his help.

Most of them don’t convince him of their innocence, but Haller decides to take a closer look at one with the assistance of his friend and half-brother Bosch.  Lucinda Sanz has been incarcerated at Chino Prison for five years for a crime she says she didn’t commit.  She was accused of killing her ex-husband, shooting him twice in the back as he left her home after a brief argument.

Her original attorney, Frank Silver, had persuaded her, given the wealth of evidence that the prosecution had, to plead nolo contendere, guilty to manslaughter, accepting the conviction as though a guilty plea had been submitted to the court but not in fact admitting her guilt.  She did as Silver advised, not being sophisticated in the way the justice system worked, but she has always maintained her innocence and is now reaching out to Haller for his help.

When Haller confronts Silver, the latter is unapologetic, saying he himself had been threatened and was given no choice but to advise his client to plead the way she did.  He tells Haller, “I just told her (Sanz) to take the deal.  That it was the only way.”

Lucinda’s former husband had been a deputy sheriff in a notoriously corrupt sheriff’s department, so Haller and Bosch begin their search there to prove their client’s innocence.  In the process they uncover not only what actually happened the night of the shooting but the reason that the federal government is trying to stop their investigation.

Many of the characters Michael Connelly has created reappear, even if briefly, in a number of his novels including this one, and thus readers get the sense of an actual community of both friends and foes of the protagonist(s).  His skill at making these characters come alive, as well as his brilliant plots, are the reasons he has received nearly every award in the crime fiction genre, including the Edgar, the Anthony, the Maltese Falcon Award (Japan), the Premio Cancarella Award (Italy), and the Cartier Diamond Award.

You can read more about Michael Connelly at this website.

Check out the complete Marilyn’s Mystery Reads at her website.  In addition to book review posts, there are sections featuring Golden OldiesPast Masters and Mistresses, and an About Marilyn column that features her opinions about everything to do with mystery novels.



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