21 January 2020

Review: The Right Side by Spencer Quinn

The Right Side by Spencer Quinn cover
* Copy courtesy of Bookstr and Atria Books in 2017 *

Spencer Quinn (pseudonym for Peter Abrahams) is better known for his Chet and Bernie mystery series of books featuring a canine narrator and private investigator.

In The Right Side, Quinn has created a stand alone novel about LeAnne Hogan, an Afghanistan war veteran coming to terms with life after the Army. LeAnne suffers from PTSD and physical ailments as a direct result of her service in Afghanistan, including the loss of an eye and permanent scars on her face.

Recuperating and receiving psychiatric treatment in Walter Reed Military Medical Centre, I found it hard to genuinely warm to LeAnne. Written in the third person, she's abrasive, full of anger and confusion and comes off as abrupt and uncaring. I did enjoy the bond she formed with her roommate Marci though and wanted this to continue longer that it did.

After losing Marci, LeAnne recklessly abandons her treatment and goes rogue as a mystery begins to take over the plot. I found the constant jumps in the timeline a little confusing and some of the elements of her emotional state seemed unrealistic to me but fine for the general reading audience.

Dog lovers will enjoy the appearance of a dog later in the novel and while I'm not a dog person, I couldn't help but enjoy their interactions. LeAnne and the dog have a special connection and bond that was evident on the page and made me laugh out loud several times.

The Right Side by Spencer Quinn contains themes of duty, honour, sacrifice, survivor's guilt, anger, betrayal, recovery, healing and love. I just wanted more.

Carpe Librum!

My Rating:
★ ★ ★

Would you like to comment?

  1. I’ve read the first few of these which I enjoyed

    1. Yes, I saw you'd read at least the first in the Chet and Bernie series when I was looking at it on GoodReads. I think you said it was amusing?


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