The Right Side

Atria. Jun. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9781501118401. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501118425. F
Sgt. LeAnne Hogan is a patient at Walter Reed Hospital in Maryland. Wounded during a Taliban attack in Afghanistan, she has lost her right eye and suffered head trauma. Her physical wounds are on the mend, but her memory is still spotty. When her friend and roommate dies unexpectedly, LeAnne checks herself out and begins to travel around the country. Flashbacks to her childhood and her military service follow her westward. Awkward meetings with her mother and an army intelligence officer prompt her to visit her late friend's hometown. There LeAnne is befriended by a stray dog, who eventually gets named Goody. While visiting her friend's mother, she discovers that the friend's daughter has gone missing. With the dog she's reluctantly adopted, LeAnne begins her own search for the missing girl; at the same time, she struggles to fill in the gaps in her memory about the night she was wounded. A trip to Afghanistan and confrontations there and back in the States lead to solutions both fulfilling and unexpected.
VERDICT Although Quinn's stand-alone pairs nicely with his "Chet and Bernie" dog-centric mysteries, canine-loving readers might be a little disappointed that Goody doesn't show up sooner. However, the fascinating characters and satisfying plot more than make up for that slight negative. [See Prepub Alert, 1/4/17.]
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