Michael Connelly is the prolific author of both the Lincoln Lawyer and the Harry Bosch series of which “Wrong Side of Goodbye” is his latest. Since this is my first Harry Bosch novel, I don’t have a sense of all that has gone on in Harry’s past. But judging from some details that Connelly has included in this story, Harry Bosch is a complex character.
After thirty years working for the LAPD, Harry has retired. The reasons he left were fairly acrimonious. He now divides him time between working as a private investigator and volunteering as a detective for the SFPD, the San Fernando Police Department, on cold cases. This non-paying position helps him keep a hand in police work but doesn’t interfere with his private investigator’s work.
Since Harry wears two hats, the plot in “The Wrong Side of Goodbye” features two story lines that do not intersect. As a private investigator, Harry has been hired by a wealthy California industrialist who wants to find any heirs that he may have. As a young man, he had a very brief relationship with a Mexican woman, but his family forced him not to have contact with her after she learned that she was pregnant. This he says is a decision that he has always regretted.
Working for the SFPD, he is involved with finding a serial rapist known as the “Screen Cutter ” because of the way he gains entry into the homes of his victims. So far SFPD has run into a brick wall trying to identify and arrest this criminal.
Connelly is able to successfully develop each story and a cast of characters for each. The plots are different in that the search for the industrialist’s possible heir involves research and following up clues that are forty years old. The rape case eventually evolves into the kidnapping of Bosch’s female partner.
Both aspects of the plot are well crafted and exciting. Harry Bosch is a perfect example of an old-fashioned cop. There is nothing high-tech about his investigations. He relies on hard work, logic, and a lot of footwork.
I enjoyed “The Wrong Side of Goodbye,” but I think I should go back and read some of the earlier books in the series. There’s a lot more to Harry Bosch than was revealed in this the twenty-sixth novel in the series.