Featured Review: ‘The Wrong Side of Goodbye’ By Michael Connelly

The Wrong Side of Goodbye.jpgMichael Connelly’s latest Harry Bosch novel spins multiple mysteries into one nail-biting adventure.

After being forced to retire from the LAPD where he spent more than three decades as one of the department’s most accomplished detectives, Harry Bosch has found a way to hold onto his badge and gun a little while longer.

The city of San Fernando has a small police force with no budget to expand, so Bosch struck a deal to come on board as a reserve detective working part-time. While he enjoys working with the SFPD, it’s not a paid position. It allows him to keep his foot in the door, solving crimes and using his expertise to put bad guys away, but it doesn’t pay the bills.

To earn a paycheck, Bosch hires out his detective skills as a private investigator. He doesn’t advertise or have an office, and he relies solely on word of mouth from past clients to find new ones. But when a detective with Bosch’s pedigree makes his skill set available, word travels fast. Including the rich and famous. 

Whitney Vance, a reclusive, old billionaire who values discretion, offers Bosch ten thousand dollars to meet with him in secret. It’s immediately apparent to Bosch that Mr. Vance’s living conditions, while extravagant, allow him very little privacy. The billionaire reveals that he has no known next of kin and that he wants to hire Bosch to find out if a past lover might have borne him a child. With his health failing, Vance decides he would much prefer to leave everything he has to his child, even if he’s never met them, rather than to the board of his company. 

Apparently, a woman Vance had a relationship with more than sixty years ago had become pregnant. Last he knew, the woman, who might have been an illegal immigrant, was headed to Mexico to have an abortion. The billionaire never saw her again and wants Bosch to track her down and find out if she did, indeed, have an abortion, or if the child was actually born.

While searching for an heir to the billionaire’s estate, Bosch is also working on a case for the SFPD. A serial rapist, who was nicknamed “Screen Cutter” for his habit of gaining entry into the victims’ homes by slitting a hole in their window screen, is terrorizing the women of San Fernando. After months of investigating, Bosch finally has a lead on Screen Cutter for the first time. But it’s only a small step in the right direction.

As he tries to break the Screen Cutter case wide open, Bosch also realizes that his work with Vance has landed him and, more importantly, any potential heir of Mr. Vance’s fortune, in danger. The board members of his company stand to make huge money when the billionaire dies, and Bosch finds out that he’s not the only one looking for any offspring of Whitney Vance. 

Connelly brilliantly weaves both investigations together with breakneck pacing and more surprises along the way than in previous novels. Longtime fans will be pleased to see several characters from earlier books in the series making cameos, including Bosch’s half-brother, defense attorney Mickey Haller, whose role in this book is small but important.

With heart-pounding suspense written into every page and several never-saw-it-coming twists along the way, Bosch races to uncover the identities of two very different people, for two totally different reasons. 

Harry Bosch is a great character, and nobody does this stuff better than Michael Connelly. The Wrong Side of Goodbye is easily one of the year’s best mystery novels and a must-read for thriller fans everywhere. 

Book Details

Author: Michael Connelly
Series: Harry Bosch #19
Pages: 400 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0316225940
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Release Date: November 1, 2016 (Order Now!)

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