Sometimes – and they’re often the best times in what my grandmother always called “the writing game” – a character grabs you and won’t let go. This character – a figment of your own imagination but not wholly under your power – demands to be brought to life, and in the case of LeAnne Hogan, the main character in THE RIGHT SIDE, will bring herself to life with or without your help. So – I helped! By now I’ve written many novels, but never one like this, neither in the experience of the writing or in the resulting novel. There’s a take-off point in any novel (except bad ones), a moment somewhere along the line where the story becomes airborne. In the case of THE RIGHT SIDE, I had the feeling of being airborne even before the start, like one of those high-flying planes that separates from the belly of a bomber at fifty thousand feet.
LeAnne’s a warrior, although I wouldn’t call her a lover of war. She’s more of a protector, a lover of duty, the tip of a necessary spear most of us prefer not to think about. LeAnne said things that surprised me, amazed me, shocked me at times, and I wasn’t even sure what I thought of her until the very last few lines. My favorite ending of any of my books: am I allowed to say that?
Duty, war, damage external and internal, trust, love: they’re all important in THE RIGHT SIDE. There’s also the smell of Afghanistan in a stateside closet, a secret affair, a missing child – and a dog. Not a narrating dog, and to give the dog’s name here would be a spoiler. I can say this dog has a powerful personality, and a deeply mysterious soul. THE RIGHT SIDE is different from the Chet and Bernie novels, but I believe C&B fans will like it just as much – or more! And for you non-C&B fans out there: welcome!
The Right Side
“Brilliant. Deeply felt, but totally under control. I loved it.” – Stephen King
“A great suspense novel, and so much more. You won’t forget the heroic LeAnne Hogan — and the same goes for her dog! Not to be missed.” – Harlan Coben
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.