Evocative of Raymond Chandler in title THE WRONG SIDE OF GOODBYE, Michael Connelly’s latest Harry Bosch title also channels Chandler in tone with a per fine ounce of a dotty, near dead, industrialist’s issue with his issue.
THE WRONG SIDE OF GOODBYE is a two tiered intriguer that has Harry Bosch working two cases, one officially sanctioned by the San Fernando Police Department involving a serial rapist dubbed The Screen Cutter, the other a private investigation for ailing aviation billionaire, Whitney Vance.
In a prologue – that’s book talk for a pre title sequence – a US Army helicopter made by the Vance company is shot down over Vietnam half a century ago. That short sequence resonates throughout the novel, until it neatly dovetails into the book’s end.
Between prologue and epilogue, Connelly engineers the binary investigations with the consistent craftsmanship that has made him one of the most reliable reads on the planet.
It is neither hubris nor arrogance that the book’s cover boasts a headline, The New Harry Bosch Bestseller. It is mere fact verified by the legion of fans attracted to the endearing character and ingenious plots of his novels. Welded on fans wont be disappointed with this latest Los Angeles thriller and for newcomers it will come as a revelation and a calling card to binge on the back catalogue.
The private investigation regarding an apparent heir to the Howard Hughes like industrialist snakes through the tendrils of time, cuts through the obnoxious suffocating weeds of class and racial discrimination and results in a righteous blooming of justice delayed but finally delivered.
Class and race raise their persistent and pestilent hydra in the concurrent investigation of the Screen Cutter Rapist, a misogynist monster pervert preying on the vulnerable, timing his attacks on his victim’s menstrual cycles.
“There were people who would have no sympathy for her…people who would argue that her remaining silent about the attack allowed the rapist to move on to the next victim……Bosch could find some validity in that but he was more sympathetic to the plight of the silent victim. Without even knowing the details of how she had gotten to this country, Bosch knew her path here had not been easy and her desire to stay no matter what the consequences…was what touched him. Politicians could talk about building walls and changing laws to keep people out but… neither would stop the tide…nothing could stop the tide of hope and desire.”
THE WRONG SIDE OF GOODBYE is a thought provoking thriller that pricks social conscience as it high kicks action, tension and twists. And it features Micky Haller, the Lincoln Lawyer, Bosch’s half brother for a further teaming of the attorney and the atoner.
Whether he’s playing pro bono cop or highly paid private dick, Bosch’s dogged determination and old school moral code delivers a high end payoff.
THE WRONG SIDE OF GOODBYE by Michael Connelly is published by Allen & Unwin.