The Reversal

Contents

Also by Michael Connelly

Copyright

PART ONE: The Perp Walk

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Six

Seven

Eight

Nine

Ten

Eleven

Twelve

Thirteen

PART TWO: The Labyrinth

Fourteen

Fifteen

Sixteen

Seventeen

Eighteen

Nineteen

Twenty

Twenty-one

Twenty-two

Twenty-three

Twenty-four

PART THREE: To Seek a True and Just Verdict

Twenty-five

Twenty-six

Twenty-seven

Twenty-eight

Twenty-nine

Thirty

Thirty-one

Thirty-two

Thirty-three

Thirty-four

Thirty-five

Thirty-six

PART FOUR: The Silent Witness

Thirty-seven

Thirty-eight

Thirty-nine

Forty

Forty-one

PART FIVE: The Takedown

Forty-two

Forty-three

Forty-four

PART SIX: All That Remains

Forty-five

Acknowledgments

About the Author

PART ONE

—The Perp Walk

One

Tuesday, February 9, 1:43 P.M.

The last time I’d eaten at the Water Grill I sat across the table from a client who had coldly and calculatedly murdered his wife and her lover, shooting both of them in the face. He had engaged my services to not only defend him at trial but fully exonerate him and restore his good name in the public eye. This time I was sitting with someone with whom I needed to be even more careful. I was dining with Gabriel Williams, the district attorney of Los Angeles County.

It was a crisp afternoon in midwinter. I sat with Williams and his trusted chief of staff—read political advisor—Joe Ridell. The meal had been set for 1:30 P.M., when most courthouse lawyers would be safely back in the CCB, and the DA would not be advertising his dalliance with a member of the dark side. Meaning me, Mickey Haller, defender of the damned.

The Water Grill was a nice place for a downtown lunch. Good food and atmosphere, good separation between tables for private conversation, and a wine list hard to top in all of downtown. It was the kind of place where you kept your suit jacket on and the waiter put a black napkin across your lap so you needn’t be bothered with doing it yourself. The prosecution team ordered martinis at the county taxpayers’ expense and I stuck with the free water the restaurant was pouring. It took Williams two gulps of gin and one olive before he got to the reason we were hiding in plain sight.

“Mickey, I have a proposition for you.”

I nodded. Ridell had already said as much when he had called that morning to set up the lunch. I had agreed to the meet and then had gone to work on the phone myself, trying to gather any inside information I could on what the proposition would be. Not even my first ex-wife, who worked in the district attorney’s employ, knew what was up.

“I’m all ears,” I said. “It’s not every day that the DA himself wants to give you a proposition. I know it can’t be in regard to any of my clients—they wouldn’t merit much attention from the guy at the top. And at the moment I’m only carrying a few cases anyway. Times are slow.”

“Well, you’re right,” Williams said. “This is not about any of your clients. I have a case I would like you to take on.”

I nodded again. I understood now. They all hate the defense attorney until they need the defense attorney. I didn’t know if Williams had any children but he would have known through due diligence that I didn’t do juvy work. So I was guessing it had to be his wife. Probably a shoplifting grab or a DUI he was trying to keep under wraps.

“Who got popped?” I asked.

Williams looked at Ridell and they shared a smile.

“No, nothing like that,” Williams said. “My proposition is this. I would like to hire you, Mickey. I want you to come work at the DA’s office.”

Of all the ideas that had been rattling around in my head since I had taken Ridell’s call, being hired as a prosecutor wasn’t one of them. I’d been a card-carrying member of the criminal defense bar for more than twenty years. During that time I’d grown a suspicion and distrust of prosecutors and police that might not