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by Michael Connelly
Little, Brown, November 2016
400 pages
ISBN: 0316225940

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

THE WRONG SIDE OF GOODBYE, Michael Connelly's 29th novel, covers the two investigations that have Harry Bosch driving from one end of the LA area to the other. After having been forced to retire from his job with the LAPD, he has been using his talents as a private investigator. But he is also keeping a badge by working as a reserve officer for the small San Fernando Police Department. He doesn't get a paycheck, but he gets to stay connected to the kind of work at which he excels, closing cold cases.

The two cases he works on simultaneously are not linked in any way, but they are both filled with suspense and possible danger for him and for those close to him. In the first, Whitney Vance, a billionaire industrialist near the end of his life, hires Bosch to find out if there is a blood heir to his fortune. Vance believes that a girl he had an affair with in his youth may have bore his child. Bosch must be secret about his investigation, as many powerful people would not like him to succeed in this quest. At the same time, Bosch finds connections in a series of San Fernando rapes. He uncovers some important leads in solving what has been known as the Screen Cutter case. A serial rapist gains entry to victims' homes by cutting window screens and attacking women in a manner that shows he has intimate knowledge of their lives. Bosch works with a policewoman named Bella Lourdes, and her part in the investigation leads to horrific personal involvement with the perpetrator.

Both of these situations are intricate and require careful research. They also require the kind of piecing together of details and clues that are a hallmark of Bosch's technique. The reader is engrossed in watching him figure things out and meticulously build his cases. In the Vance investigation, much is at stake in terms of money and power, so it is not surprising when murder and forgery are also in the mix. But part of the fascination of this case is the links to the past and to the stories of people's lives that Bosch uncovers. The serial rapist case becomes shockingly real to him when Lourdes disappears and he fears that she has become the latest victim.

Fans of this author will be happy to see that Mickey Haller, Bosch's half brother, has a role in here as well. He provides legal advice and acts as a resource for Bosch. In THE WRONG SIDE OF GOODBYE, Michael Connelly has again written a novel that moves seamlessly from one situation to the next, making it a tough book to put down.

Anne Corey is a writer, poet, teacher and botanical artist in New York's Hudson Valley.

Reviewed by Anne Corey, November 2016

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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