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Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly (Harry Bosch #21)

The Wrong Side of Goodbye (Harry Bosch, #21; Harry Bosch Universe, #26)The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Notable Book of 2016 --Washington Post

Detective Harry Bosch must track down someone who may never have existed in the new thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly.
Harry Bosch is California's newest private investigator. He doesn't advertise, he doesn't have an office, and he's picky about who he works for, but it doesn't matter. His chops from thirty years with the LAPD speak for themselves.

Soon one of Southern California's biggest moguls comes calling. The reclusive billionaire is nearing the end of his life and is haunted by one regret. When he was young, he had a relationship with a Mexican girl, his great love. But soon after becoming pregnant, she disappeared. Did she have the baby? And if so, what happened to it?

Desperate to know whether he has an heir, the dying magnate hires Bosch, the only person he can trust. With such a vast fortune at stake, Harry realizes that his mission could be risky not only for himself but for the one he's seeking. But as he begins to uncover the haunting story--and finds uncanny links to his own past--he knows he cannot rest until he finds the truth.

At the same time, unable to leave cop work behind completely, he volunteers as an investigator for a tiny cash-strapped police department and finds himself tracking a serial rapist who is one of the most baffling and dangerous foes he has ever faced.

Read as an audio book.

I flew through this book - the story pulled me in from the opening chapters and kept my attention thereafter. Thanks to a couple of "road trips", I had the time to sit back and enjoy!

Book has two plots; plot number one revolves around the Screen Slasher case, where a serial rapist is breaking and entering through screens of his victims house in San Fernando. The rapist made a mistake at the last house, and his victim turned the tables and attacked him giving the SFPD a break in the case. Harry, with the help of Bella, begin to add up two and two...until Bella disappears.

Plot number two is a private case Harry has taken on. A Californian billionaire enlists Harry's help in finding an heir for his estate. However, before Harry can complete his mission, the man dies, leaving Harry with a gold pen and hand written Last Will and Testament.

I enjoyed the disparate plot lines, the separation of Harry's private life and his role as an active police reserve with the San Fernando police department. *I* thought it balanced out Harry's need to be a solo detective and his drive to work on unsolved crimes.

It further helped that he wasn't a complete ass-hat to everyone around him. Yes, he's still a suspicious SOB and still doesn't trust his fellow cops/detectives, but at least now he's not putting down others for not having the right "drive" and "dedication" through the entire book. Which I have to admit, was my biggest issues with previous installments. And I don't know if other's picked up on this, but he wasn't exactly trusted in the office either, as was proven by Bella when she found him 'snooping' around her desk, when he was merely looking at pictures.

I thought the resolution to the Screen Cutter case well written - a combination of Bosch figuring things out a tich late and realizing the ramifications of his actions at blowing off a case (where was his "dedication" here? Hypocritical much, eh?) when Bella goes missing. Some of the old Bosch resurfaces as he blames others, but I appreciated the apologies at the end.

The case of finding an heir was almost more interesting than the Screen Cutter. Where Bosch tugging at various threads leads to multiple resolutions that were very satisfying. What added to the interest, was the Vietnam tie-in. Up until this point, we know of Bosch's involvement in the Vietnam War was as a tunnel rat. We find out more as Maddy presses Bosch on some of his attitudes, Maddy not realizing that she doesn't know anything about what he did over there. I like how the author pulled that tidbit out through Maddy.

One of the best Bosch books yet, in my humble opinion. Recommended if you've read the rest in the series.

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