The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly

When I first discovered my love for crime fiction, it was through my mum’s stack of Ruth Rendells and Colin Dexters. From there, I moved onto a staple of Ian Rankin, Val McDermid and Michael Connelly. Of the three, Connelly is still the one I enjoy most consistently, book after book after book.

Although his hero, Harry Bosch, has now been dismissed from the LAPD, the formula here is fresh as ever. Harry tackles two cases – one locating the heir to a billionaire’s fortune, and the second hunting down a serial rapist. His mission, “Everyone counts or no one counts”, is as honest as ever, with Harry working pro-bono for the tiny San Fernando PD to bring a little more justice to the streets. We also dive back into his Vietnam war backstory, which has parallels to one of his cases.

Towards the end of the book, I became so gripped by an unexpected revelation that I almost missed my tube stop, leaping up at the last moment and narrowly diving between the closing doors. I think risking decapitation by tube is a pretty good measure of how successful a book is, so Connelly scores a solid win on that count.

There’s little focus here on Harry’s personal life, which usually forms a backbone to Connelly’s installments, but I honestly didn’t miss it. I enjoy the relationship between Harry and his now college-age daughter Maddie, and the brotherly bond with Connelly’s other hero, Mickey Haller. Their interactions were more than satisfactory enough to make up for a lack of constantly-evolving love life.

I’m secretly hoping we get a Haller book next (I don’t even dare to dream about another Jack McEvoy/Rachel Waller}, but I know Connelly is keep to spend as much page time with Bosch as possible before he has to be put out to pasture. Whoever takes centre stage next time, I’ll be anticipating Connelly’s next installment as eagerly as ever.

[Read from 21-23 October 2016]

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