The basics: Harry is once again out of the LAPD and working as a private investigator. The case: discover if a very rich and powerful old man fathered a child in his youth and has an heir. At the same time, Harry is working as a volunteer detective for tiny San Fernando PD, where he's putting together pieces of what appear to be a number of crimes committed by the same perpetrator.
My thoughts: When I first started reading Michael Connelly, I loved that time passed between his books in real time. Each time we see Harry Bosch, he's a year or two older. But the first Bosch book came out in 1992. It's now 2016, and part of my brain knows Harry Bosch can't live and work forever. Until then, however, I eagerly await and savor each new installment. This one certainly does not disappoint.
In all the roles Bosch has served in over the years and the books, I think my favorite were when he worked on cold cases. The private investigator storyline in The Wrong Side of Goodbye feels like a cold case, and it's fascinating. Historical detective work is challenging, and the clues are few, but the chase can feel more surprising. In a sense, the private eye case could have been enough for its own novel, but the introduction of Bosch working for San Fernando is a delight, as it signals a future for the series. The case and characters here are well formed. In that sense, this novel feels like a refresh for the series. Although, if Connelly has showed one thing, it's not to get to used to where Bosch is or what he's doing, and that's part of the reason these books are so fun and so compelling.
Favorite passage: "The debate over whether to go public with the case and ask for the help of citizens was simmering on the back burner in the office of Chief Valdez. It was an age-old law enforcement question: Go public and possibly draw a lead that breaks the case open and leads to an arrest? Or go public and possibly alert the predator, who changes up his patterns or moves on and visits his terror on an unsuspecting community somewhere else?"
The verdict: The Wrong Side of Goodbye offers two very compelling mysteries, and as I read I marveled how Connelly could weave them together without crowding the narrative or slowing momentum.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Length: 400 pages
Publication date: November 1, 2016
Convinced? Treat yourself! Buy The Wrong Side of Goodbye from Amazon (Kindle edition.) But you really should start at the beginning with The Black Echo (my review.)
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