Reviewed by Ian Lipke
This crime story is the latest issue by well-known crime writer, Michael Connelly. He has called the story Resurrection Walk and has succeeded in confusing at least this reader since little attempt is made to explain the origins of the title.
The story is clear enough. Connelly writes a number of crime stories each of which centres on the hero called Harry Bosch, a retired police detective, who often teams with a defence attorney named Michael Haller. Usually, these two characters work together to solve a crime. In most cases Haller takes the lead and the story invariably winds its way through the criminal courts. Whether Bosch or Haller is taking the lead, the crime is complicated, and the solution has many twists and turns.
While the characters are familiar and often eccentric, the reader has no problem identifying with them or accepting their sometimes-unusual methods as well as the moral foundation on which these rest. Readers anticipate the direction in which the story is likely to develop. While it has an ordinariness about it, it yet maintains interest from beginning to end.
Bosch is well into his eighties, yet his interests in the fairer sex are never muted. Having been married several times and lost his partners to the divorce courts, Bosch’s character never seems to give up. Haller by contrast prefers the tussle of the courtroom where he always takes the defence case never the prosecution.
Haller’s life is a story of characters in conflict, heroes lined up against the villains, fighting the court system on behalf of the marginalised and poor. Connelly invariably places his subjects in that part of the USA bordering on the southwest territories. The author is an avid opponent of capital punishment, and his stories feature justice winning out against the electric chair or similar monstrosities favoured by the American people.
In this story, a clever criminal lawyer has had the rare distinction of freeing an inmate of Corcoran State Prison, whose reputation is such that once sentence is handed down prisoners receive no reprieve. Connelly’s books have changed in nature as his mind-sets have altered. Early works focused on master criminals such as The Poet who fought the battle for criminality with the newspaper reporter Jack McEvoy. Bosch’s introductions have seen a continual series of quarrels with Senior Police Administrations, while work replaced by Haller has explored the gifted defence counsel’s opposition to senior members of the judiciary whose common law practice is often as thin as previous villains.
No matter the emphasis brought to the criminal table, the quality of the writing rarely changes. Connelly produces a book that is always interesting, invariably finely-focused, and productive of some of the finest fiction that we have come to expect.
by Michael Connelly
Allen & Unwin
$32.99; 410 pp