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Caturday Reads: The Right Side

The Right Side A Novel by Spencer Quinn Atria Books Mystery & Thrillers , Women's Fiction Pub Date 27 Jun 2017


The Right Side is a very different book from what I’ve come to expect from Spencer Quinn. It is an excellent, moving portrayal of the struggles of an injured vet to regain comfort in herself and in her surroundings. LeAnne Hogan is not pleasant or likable, but you can understand her anger and her fears, her inability to cope with the everyday that is so different from her life before the incident that took her eye and left shrapnel in her brain. Spencer helps the reader understand LeAnne by interspersing memories of her past between the actions of the present. Goody, is in some ways a reflection of LeAnne. She is a strong dog, clearly wounded in the past but still skilled and determined. Goody saves LeAnne from herself, ultimately giving LeAnne the will to continue.

The second half of the book is devoted to LeAnne solving the mystery behind the disappearance of Marci’s daughter. Troubles with memory and temper aside, LeAnne tackles the reason behind Mia’s disappearance.

The Right Side is a novel that packs a powerful one - two punch. It forces the reader to look at the inner experience of veterans returning from war, and reminds readers to consider the experiences of women in war. It also asks if we really are able to give veterans what they need. Both LeAnne and Goody are unforgettable.

5 / 5

I received a copy of The Right Side from the publisher and in exchange for an honest review.



In this riveting new novel by the New York Times bestselling author of the Chet and Bernie mystery series, a deeply damaged female soldier home from the war in Afghanistan becomes obsessed with finding a missing girl, gains an unlikely ally in a stray dog, and encounters new perils beyond the combat zone. LeAnne Hogan went to Afghanistan as a rising star in the military, and came back a much lesser person, mentally and physically. Now missing an eye and with half her face badly scarred, she can barely remember the disastrous desert operation that almost killed her. She is confused, angry, and suspects the fault is hers, even though nobody will come out and say it. Shattered by one last blow—the sudden death of her hospital roommate, Marci—LeAnne finds herself on a fateful drive across the country, reflecting on her past and seeing no future. Her native land is now unfamiliar, recast in shadow by her one good eye, her damaged psyche, her weakened body. Arriving in the rain-soaked small town in Washington State that Marci had called home, she makes a troubling discovery: Marci’s eight-year-old daughter has vanished. When a stray dog—a powerful, dark, unreadable creature, no one’s idea of a pet—seems to adopt LeAnne, a surprising connection is formed and something shifts inside her. As she becomes obsessed with finding Marci’s daughter, LeAnne and her inscrutable canine companion are drawn into danger as dark and menacing as her last Afghan mission. This time she has a strange but loyal fellow traveler protecting her blind side. Enthralling, suspenseful, and psychologically nuanced, The Right Side introduces one of the most unforgettable protagonists in modern fiction: isolated, broken, disillusioned—yet still seeking redemption and purpose—LeAnne takes hold of the reader and never lets go.

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