If my favourite English crime author is Ian Rankin then Michael Connelly is surely no 1 for the mantle of America's greatest living crime writer. Even the hardback cover of his latest book "The wrong side of Goodbye" has a certain dark underbelly feeling mixed in with a dash of noir. The crime writing genre is bursting at the seams with talent and wannabe Connelly imitators but nothing really comes close to the man himself and The Wrong Side of Goodbye is yet another brilliant piece of crime fiction. It is quite amazing how Harry Bosch is still as fresh and keen from, when we first met him, in The Black Echo to this his 23rd outing. The fact that Harry was a "tunnel rat" during the Vietnam war means he is now aged mid 60's and yet we as readers truly believe in him and that fact alone must be attributed to his creator, Michael Connelly
Harry has been asked to find a missing heiress by aviation billionaire Whitney Vance. This job will involve him revisiting his past war history as he searches out Vibiana Duarte who became pregnant after a short relationship with Vance and subsequently deserted by him. Before he dies he wants to put things right. Is she still alive? If not where is the child? In addition he is working with the San Fernando police department trying to find the sexual rapist known as the Screen Cutter. Amidst all this drama he still has almost daily contact with his daughter Maddie, now a student, but very close to her ever worried and fearful dad. During the two investigations a mistake by Harry results in a dramatic and almost tragic situation with an unusual outcome.
As always the writing is tight, the characters believable and well-drawn, with an excellent story, never over complicated, always enjoyable. There is certainly much life left in a maturing Harry Bosch and I look forward to his return in what will be his 24th outing.