The Right Side
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, and 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.

The Right Side Details

TitleThe Right Side
Author
FormatHardcover
ReleaseJun 27th, 2017
PublisherAtria Books
ISBN1501118404
ISBN-139781501118401
Number of pages336 pages
Rating
GenreMystery, Animals, Dogs, Suspense, Fiction

The Right Side Review

  • Susanne Strong
    May 30, 2017
    3.75 Stars* (rounded up)LeAnne Hogan is a woman who imagined her life turning out very differently. She is a former High School pole vaulter who joined the army immediately after, and ended up doing several tours in Afghanistan. She worked her way up through the ranks to become a Sergeant. She then became tougher than almost anyone she knew, including the men in her unit. Her dream once her tours ended was to open a Camp for young girls: to coach & train them to be as tough as she was. And t 3.75 Stars* (rounded up)LeAnne Hogan is a woman who imagined her life turning out very differently. She is a former High School pole vaulter who joined the army immediately after, and ended up doing several tours in Afghanistan. She worked her way up through the ranks to become a Sergeant. She then became tougher than almost anyone she knew, including the men in her unit. Her dream once her tours ended was to open a Camp for young girls: to coach & train them to be as tough as she was. And then everything blew up in her face. Literally. And now, whatever life LeAnne imagined for herself is gone forever. For her view of the world will forever distorted. LeAnne wakes up after that dreaded day in Walter Reed Hospital. There she meets Marci, another Vet who has also suffered heinous injuries. Fast bonds are formed and then just as quickly, things go awry and LeAnne is alone again. Feeling lost, LeAnne decides to trek across the country, to Marci's hometown. Along the way, she meets a stray dog - one, she does her best not to become attached to. Yet somehow, this dog (Goody) accepts LeAnne for who she is and Goody heals her, in more ways than one. When LeAnne and Goody arrive in Marci's hometown, they discover that Marci's daughter has gone missing and LeAnne takes it upon herself try to help find her.The character of LeAnne is an incredible strong and well written one. She is a tough nut to crack and has a hard time letting anyone in (though who can blame her). Though the novel took several turns (some of which may or may not have been necessary), I personally thought that most of them helped the character let go of some of the pain she was carrying around. That said, LeAnne suffered from PTSD - and what she went through & the exploration of her treatment options could have been addressed more fully, in my opinion. The best part of the book? Well, the dog of course! LeAnne learning to trust herself and Goody. The author, Spencer Quinn did a phenomenal just letting that trust build up slowly between both Goody and LeAnne. All in all, I would recommend this book - for it gave me hope that our soldiers who have given up so much, can receive a little bit of healing and most of all, unconditional love from animals (including my personal favorite: dogs!) who have oh so much love to give. Thank you to NetGalley, Atria Books and Spencer Quinn for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. Published on NetGalley and Goodreads on 5.30.17.*Will be published on Amazon on 6.27.17.
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  • Sandy
    April 28, 2017
    How could I not read this? Just look at that cover…..a woman & a dog. It’s not exactly love at first sight but they just might end up saving each other. When we meet Sgt. LeAnne Hogan, a few things are immediately clear. She has PTSD following a horrific attack in Afghanistan that also cost her an eye. Her brain is seriously scrambled. And she’s really, really angry. Thank God for Marci, her one-legged hospital roommate. LeAnne’s memory of the attack is as fragmented as the right side of he How could I not read this? Just look at that cover…..a woman & a dog. It’s not exactly love at first sight but they just might end up saving each other. When we meet Sgt. LeAnne Hogan, a few things are immediately clear. She has PTSD following a horrific attack in Afghanistan that also cost her an eye. Her brain is seriously scrambled. And she’s really, really angry. Thank God for Marci, her one-legged hospital roommate. LeAnne’s memory of the attack is as fragmented as the right side of her face. But when an army investigator shows up with a briefcase of questions, she begins to wonder if she screwed up. Any interest she had in cooperating goes out the window when Marci suddenly dies. The hospital becomes an unbearable place & LeAnne is soon on the first bus out of town. She has no idea where she’s going but it feels good to be on the move. Her prickly personality & damaged face keep people at bay as she struggles to adapt to her new reality. Just keeping track of her slippery thoughts can be exhausting. It’s the memory of Marci that eventually gives her direction & LeAnne  heads to Bellville, Washington to visit Coreen & Mia, Marci’s mother & daughter. Once there, she discovers not only has she missed Marci’s funeral but Mia is missing. And while some people are welcoming there are others who’d prefer she move on. LeAnne rents a small cabin & soon acquires a new friend who is large, black, pushy & opinionated. And she has sharp teeth to back up the major ‘tude. But she also senses her new human’s frailty & as LeAnne begins to search for Mia, her furry partner becomes a constant presence on her right side. It’s the beginning of a mystical relationship that gives LeAnne strength as she digs for clues in the present & faces up to her past. Mia’s story line doesn’t appear until the second half of the book & despite the blurb description, it’s really a vehicle for the development of the MC. This is LeAnne’s story. Through her character, we experience all the fear, confusion, anger & hopelessness that shadows someone struggling with PTSD. She begins as a lost soul who can’t even trust herself let alone others. When she finally attempts a relationship, it’s with another outcast & I loved that the author chose to make that character a dog. Anyone who’s had a furry child knows there’s something about their silent acceptance & unconditional affection that makes the worst day a little easier to get through. In LeAnne’s case, she finds a companion whose circumstances mirror her own…..another scruffy looking stray trying to figure out where she belongs. Like most friends, they have their disagreements. But when the chips are down, they also have each others’ back. By the end most of the past & present has been resolved. Instead of a cheesy miraculous transformation, LeAnne is changed in subtle ways which is much more realistic. She’s an interesting, compelling character & if she & the ferocious furball decide to hit the road again, I’d happily go along for the ride.                       
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  • Elvan
    May 25, 2017
    The blurb for this novel is far more dramatic than the actual story. I can’t call it false advertising because it does include all the elements listed. LeAnne Hogan is a veteran of several tours of duty in Afghanistan. She has returned Stateside with traumatic injuries. Her right eye is missing, she has shrapnel lodged in her brain and she is suffering from severe PTSD. She does form a bond with her roommate Marci and this connection influences LeAnne’s soul-searching travel plans. When she even The blurb for this novel is far more dramatic than the actual story. I can’t call it false advertising because it does include all the elements listed. LeAnne Hogan is a veteran of several tours of duty in Afghanistan. She has returned Stateside with traumatic injuries. Her right eye is missing, she has shrapnel lodged in her brain and she is suffering from severe PTSD. She does form a bond with her roommate Marci and this connection influences LeAnne’s soul-searching travel plans. When she eventually reaches Bellville, Washington, Marci’s daughter is missing. There is a dog. Here’s my problem with this blurb. The best part of this story is the focus on LeAnne dealing with her PTSD, her survivors guilt, and some unresolved issues with her past. The dog does make an appearance at a low point in her journey and seems to have some sort of calming effect on the now impulsive, angry and bitter LeAnne. Problem is, this connection comes quite late in the story. Later still is the mystery of Marci’s missing daughter. It comes almost as an afterthought. Considering LeAnne has barely been aware of her need to bathe and feed herself up to this point, taking part in a rescue mission seemed unlikely, clever dog or not. Add in the times when this author struggled to remember he has created a female protagonist, making her actions, and thought processes more male than female and I was left wondering how this author has become a best seller. Well done on the PTSD, survivor’s guilt angles, weak on the blurb claims and LeAnne might has well have been a Len. Once again I was swayed by a great cover. ARC received from publisher via NetGalley for review.
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  • Hobart
    May 24, 2017
    ★ ★ ★ ★ 1/2 (rounded up)This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.---Okay, since I first opened the pages of Dog On It 8 years ago, I've been a Spencer Quinn fan -- it probably took me two chapters to consider myself one. So it's kind of a given that I'd like this book -- but only "kind of." This was so far from a Bowser & Birdie or Chet & Bernie book that they could be written by different people.Sgt. LeAnne Hogan was an excellent athlete in her childhood and teen years, and ★ ★ ★ ★ 1/2 (rounded up)This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.---Okay, since I first opened the pages of Dog On It 8 years ago, I've been a Spencer Quinn fan -- it probably took me two chapters to consider myself one. So it's kind of a given that I'd like this book -- but only "kind of." This was so far from a Bowser & Birdie or Chet & Bernie book that they could be written by different people.Sgt. LeAnne Hogan was an excellent athlete in her childhood and teen years, and then she joined the Army (deciding her West Point plans would take too long -- an oversimplification that'll do for now) and became an excellent soldier, serving multiple tours in combat zones. During her last sting in Afghanistan -- as part of a team working to build intelligence sources among Afghan women -- she is involved in an attack that leaves some dead and her injured -- physically and mentally. Her memories of that fateful day are vague and dim at best, but the scars will not leave. Not only that, she lost an eye, her confidence, her future plans, and career. She slowly befriends a woman who lost part of her leg to an IED in Iraq who shares a room with LeAnne in Walter Reed. Marci dies suddenly and unexpectedly -- and that is too much for LeAnne. She leaves the hospital immediately and sets off on a drive across the country, she really doesn't have a plan, but she needs to be somewhere else.It's pretty clear that LeAnne is suffering from PTSD on top of everything else -- as you'd expect. She comes across as angry and rude to almost everyone she runs across and exchanges more than a few words with. She eventually finds herself in Marci's hometown -- where her daughter has gone missing. For the first time since the day everything changed, LeAnne has a purpose -- bring her friend's daughter home. Along the way, she LeAnne gets adopted by a large dog who will prove an invaluable aid in this challenge.LeAnne is a great character -- not a perfect person by any means, but you can see where a lot of writers (novelists or journalists) would try to paint her as one. She has huge flaws -- some of which are easier to see after the injury (and some of them are new after it, too). There are some other good characters, too -- even if you don't necessarily like them (LeAnne's mother would be an example of this -- she's trying to do the right thing, but the reader can sense LeAnne's apprehensions toward her -- and will likely share them). The people in Marci's hometown (particularly those that are related to her) are the best drawn in the book -- and I'd be willing to read a sequel or two just in this city to spend more time with them. Not everyone gets what LeAnne's going through -- some don't know how to react to her -- but those that come close will endear themselves to you.The dog, Goody, isn't Chet, he isn't Bowser -- he's a typical dog, no more (or less) intelligent than any other. Goody won't be serving as the narrator in a story any time -- he will drink from the toilet bowl and ignore a lot of what LeAnne wants him to do. Like I said, I'm a Quinn fan -- but I didn't think he had this in him. Funny mysteries with dogs? Sure, he's great at those. But sensitive explorations of veterans dealing with the aftermath of life-altering injuries? I wouldn't have guessed it. But man . . . he really got this flawed character, this incredibly human character, right. There's a couple of moments that didn't work as well as they should've -- a couple of moments that were hard to believe in a book as grounded in reality as this book was. But you know what? You forgive them easily, because so much is right with this book -- so much just works, that you'll accept the things that don't. It wasn't all dark and moody -- there's some hope, some chuckles, a lot that is somber and sad, too. While not a "feel good" read by any means, you will feel pretty good about who things end up.This is probably categorized as a Thriller, as that's where Quinn's readers are -- but I can see a case for this being labeled General Fiction (or whatever synonym your local shop uses), it's flexible that way. This is Spencer Quinn operating on a whole new level with a character we need more like -- such a great read.Disclaimer: I received this eARC from Atria Books via NetGalley in exchange for this post -- thanks to both for this.
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  • Lori Chambers
    March 26, 2017
    I was so excited to receive this book as a Goodreads giveaway because I adored the Chet and Bernie series. The fact that this novel incorporated a female main character LeAnne, who was injured in active duty in Afghanistan and a dog made me instantly curious to read. I agreed with other reviews that the main plot should not be about the missing girl, but about LeAnne coming to terms with her new reality of life outside of the military and PSTD. As someone who also deals with PTSD, I think that t I was so excited to receive this book as a Goodreads giveaway because I adored the Chet and Bernie series. The fact that this novel incorporated a female main character LeAnne, who was injured in active duty in Afghanistan and a dog made me instantly curious to read. I agreed with other reviews that the main plot should not be about the missing girl, but about LeAnne coming to terms with her new reality of life outside of the military and PSTD. As someone who also deals with PTSD, I think that this could have been explored more and that would have helped the readers feel more sympathetic to LeAnne. She was a character that I struggled to fully connect with. I wanted to, but without the additional information about what torment PTSD was really doing in her mind, I had a difficult time and found myself adding in detail. In addition, another missed opportunity was the character development of Goody, the dog. I loved when Goody entered the story, because Spencer Quinn writes about dogs so well in the Chet and Bernie stories. But Goody, needed more description to make her come alive. I found myself adding in dog emotions, where there weren't any. I think Spencer needs to add some detail about Goody, other than her goofy nature, to help readers picture that amazing dog.Overall, The Right Side was a enjoyable novel, even with it's faults. I'll be reading it again and hope that LeAnne and Goody will have another adventure together as LeAnne continues her journey of healing. Thank you for the Advanced Reader Copy!
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  • Mrs. Clare
    April 28, 2017
    I was very intrigued by the plot summary for this book, but I don't feel it quite lived up to potential. It was an enjoyable read and an interesting look into the mind of a female soldier with PTSD, however, I do always struggle with male authors who try to write female characters with deep minds. Sometimes things come up that I think, "Women don't think like that". But maybe that's just me. Overall, it was a good book, just not outstanding. Worth the read though.
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  • Mystereity Reviews
    February 26, 2017
    Netgalley ARCReview pending until publication, per publisher request
  • Lynn
    January 7, 2017
    From the author of the Chet and Bernie mysteries comes another kind of story. There's a dog in it, but "Goody" is not the main character. It's LeAnn Hogan who is an Army Sergeant back from Afghanistan, broken in mind and body. She's left Walter Reid after her roommate, Marti, died unexpectedly. She's drifting. She's wandering. She's rudderless. She makes her way to Oregon, Marti's home, and there discovers that all is not as it should be with Marti's young daughter Mia. This departure into more From the author of the Chet and Bernie mysteries comes another kind of story. There's a dog in it, but "Goody" is not the main character. It's LeAnn Hogan who is an Army Sergeant back from Afghanistan, broken in mind and body. She's left Walter Reid after her roommate, Marti, died unexpectedly. She's drifting. She's wandering. She's rudderless. She makes her way to Oregon, Marti's home, and there discovers that all is not as it should be with Marti's young daughter Mia. This departure into more serious fiction shows Spencer Quinn to be an author to be watched and read. I read this EARC courtesy of Edelweiss and Atria Books. Pub date 06/27/17
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  • Cheryl
    May 23, 2017
    "She had years and years of contrary stored up inside her, like a smoldering mound just waiting for a blast of oxygen."I enjoyed this story about LeAnne Hogan. A small part of the story is about the large dog that adopts her and a even smaller part of the story is about a young missing girl.LeAnne has always been strong and athletic. Her father had a military background - Sergeant in the Green Berets - and pushed her. LeAnne was in gymnastics and then pole vaulting and all roads were leading to "She had years and years of contrary stored up inside her, like a smoldering mound just waiting for a blast of oxygen."I enjoyed this story about LeAnne Hogan. A small part of the story is about the large dog that adopts her and a even smaller part of the story is about a young missing girl.LeAnne has always been strong and athletic. Her father had a military background - Sergeant in the Green Berets - and pushed her. LeAnne was in gymnastics and then pole vaulting and all roads were leading to West Point until a personal tragedy has her enlisting in the Army.Sergeant LeAnne Hogan has three tours in overseas and is looking to get out of the Army and has her future planned out when she is talked into another tour in Afghanistan, one that ends disastrously for her.I like that LeAnne, the protagonist of this gritty story, is not perfect. In fact, she is far from perfect. She is damaged physically and emotionally, suffers terribly for PTSD, and is just trying to make sense of her life and her future.She is not an easy character to like but I liked her. I enjoyed being included on her journey of discovery. I liked the dog too. Both LeAnne and the dog aren't touchy-feely nice but they feel real."She could feel a daydream about that waiting in the wings. Actually more of a night dream: it lurked behind her right eye socket, where night prevailed. That hit her pretty hard: now she had night inside her, twenty-four seven."I received this book from Atria Books through Net Galley in exchange for my unbiased review.
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  • Hannelore Cheney
    March 8, 2017
    My feelings while reading this book seesawed between deep sympathy for LeAnne and irritation at the way she treats others. Deeply scarred emotionally and physically after a stint in Afghanistan, she's sharing a room with Marci, an vet who lost a leg in Iraq. In the short time they've spent in the military hospital the 2 women have become incredibly close. When Marci unexpectedly dies, LeAnne leaves the hospital, slowly making her way to Marci's hometown.She meets a stray dog who adopts her and r My feelings while reading this book seesawed between deep sympathy for LeAnne and irritation at the way she treats others. Deeply scarred emotionally and physically after a stint in Afghanistan, she's sharing a room with Marci, an vet who lost a leg in Iraq. In the short time they've spent in the military hospital the 2 women have become incredibly close. When Marci unexpectedly dies, LeAnne leaves the hospital, slowly making her way to Marci's hometown.She meets a stray dog who adopts her and refuses to leave her side...the right side, the side of the empty socket where her eye used to be. As a one-eyed person who has always lived with dogs this touched me so much. I ended up absolutely loving LeAnne and Goody and hope to meet them again. In the meantime I ordered 2 Chet and Bernie books from the library to tide me over!Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the eARC in return for an honest review.
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  • Barbara
    May 10, 2017
    Leanne Hogan returned from Afghanistan as a wounded warrior having lost one of her eyes and gained extreme scarring on her face. She is full of anger and treats almost everyone with the full brunt of that anger. One person that she does like is her roommate in the hospital - Marci. When Marci dies unexpectedly Leanne leaves the hospital on her own and heads west, At one stop on her journey a large black dog approaches her and from that day on stays by Leanne's side acting as a protector. This is Leanne Hogan returned from Afghanistan as a wounded warrior having lost one of her eyes and gained extreme scarring on her face. She is full of anger and treats almost everyone with the full brunt of that anger. One person that she does like is her roommate in the hospital - Marci. When Marci dies unexpectedly Leanne leaves the hospital on her own and heads west, At one stop on her journey a large black dog approaches her and from that day on stays by Leanne's side acting as a protector. This is an interesting read even though the main character is very hard to like. One scene in the book that I found very hard to accept is one where Leanne goes to where Marci is buried and digs up the coffin and opens it to be sure Marci is in it. Too much of a chore for one person to accomplish. Other than that I enjoyed the story.Thanks to Simon and Schuster for sending me this ARC.
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  • Tracett
    March 12, 2017
    This is the story of a fiercely broken and very independent woman. The author does a good job of presenting a person fighting not only PTSD, but also fighting through brain trauma brought by shrapnel damage. Be prepared, her angry journey through recovery is the first half of the book. Then the dog shows up and the missing girl mystery arrives. I don't think the mystery part is really very necessary. I would have been more satisfied to read more about her struggle back to health, but now with a This is the story of a fiercely broken and very independent woman. The author does a good job of presenting a person fighting not only PTSD, but also fighting through brain trauma brought by shrapnel damage. Be prepared, her angry journey through recovery is the first half of the book. Then the dog shows up and the missing girl mystery arrives. I don't think the mystery part is really very necessary. I would have been more satisfied to read more about her struggle back to health, but now with a new doggy companion. I hope there will be more road trip stories with Sergeant LeAnne Hogan and alpha-dog Goody. I want to be there to witness her future healing.
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  • Dianne Hurley
    May 23, 2017
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The primary theme is PTSD, and there were some tough times reading. The heroine is damaged from the war, physically and emotionally which makes her character difficult to like at times. Her demeanor is understandable for sure, as she went through a traumatic event in Afghanistan, losing an eye and causing facial scarring. The book takes us from her hospital bed, through a friendship with her roommate, to the death of her roommate and a cross country trip to Washin I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The primary theme is PTSD, and there were some tough times reading. The heroine is damaged from the war, physically and emotionally which makes her character difficult to like at times. Her demeanor is understandable for sure, as she went through a traumatic event in Afghanistan, losing an eye and causing facial scarring. The book takes us from her hospital bed, through a friendship with her roommate, to the death of her roommate and a cross country trip to Washington state. The story continues with a stray dog adopting her, and involvement with the family of her roommate, including her missing daughter and two ex-husbands. A great read!
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  • Sarah Stevens
    May 28, 2017
    I received this as an ARC from NetGalley.I honestly almost gave up on this book. I'm not one who ever gives up on books, so I hung in there. By 50%, I was bored of it though. After 50%, it finally started to pick up a little. I feel like the author crammed the last half of the book into too short of a story. The last part of the story could've been better developed. At times, this book felt cold and uncaring, which I understand might have been intentional, based on the subject matter.Overall, I' I received this as an ARC from NetGalley.I honestly almost gave up on this book. I'm not one who ever gives up on books, so I hung in there. By 50%, I was bored of it though. After 50%, it finally started to pick up a little. I feel like the author crammed the last half of the book into too short of a story. The last part of the story could've been better developed. At times, this book felt cold and uncaring, which I understand might have been intentional, based on the subject matter.Overall, I'm glad that I finished reading it, as I appreciated it more having finished than had I not, but I won't be reading it again or recommending it.
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  • Dgordon
    January 23, 2017
    From Spencer Quinn of the Chet and Bernie comes LeAnne Hogan, an Iraq war vet with PTSD, a missing right eye and the shock of the sudden death of her hospital roommate and friend. At lose ends LeAnne heads north when a stray dog attaches herself to her. As I hope this book is probablya first in a new series so the establishment of the main character is important which this book does, but to the detriment of the overall story. But the book was a quick read and you really want to root for LeAnne w From Spencer Quinn of the Chet and Bernie comes LeAnne Hogan, an Iraq war vet with PTSD, a missing right eye and the shock of the sudden death of her hospital roommate and friend. At lose ends LeAnne heads north when a stray dog attaches herself to her. As I hope this book is probablya first in a new series so the establishment of the main character is important which this book does, but to the detriment of the overall story. But the book was a quick read and you really want to root for LeAnne with all her quirks and traumas. I certainly look forward to the next book in the series.
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  • Laura Mcewen-miller
    June 1, 2017
    thanks to Good Reads I was able to read this book early. I would not normally pick a story from this description but my love of dogs and the stories of how they change peoples lives drew me in. I found the book well written with characters I could really see. The story was well developed and suspenseful enough to make it hard to put down. A very modern novel about cureent conflicts I would highly recommend it.
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  • Evelyn
    May 21, 2017
    Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.LeAnne is a wounded combat veteran at Walter Reed suffering from PTSD and the loss of her right eye. Her only friend is her roommate Marci who lost her leg from an IED. When Marci unexpectedly dies from a blood clot, LeAnne bolts the hospital for a trip home to Arizona and eventually to Marci's hometown in Washington, where she is adopted by a stray dog who seems to understand her darkness.First, this Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.LeAnne is a wounded combat veteran at Walter Reed suffering from PTSD and the loss of her right eye. Her only friend is her roommate Marci who lost her leg from an IED. When Marci unexpectedly dies from a blood clot, LeAnne bolts the hospital for a trip home to Arizona and eventually to Marci's hometown in Washington, where she is adopted by a stray dog who seems to understand her darkness.First, this is NOT a Chet & Bernie mystery-type story even though those do treat PTSD sensitively. Quinn had several opportunities to take the story on a Lifetime/Hallmark Channel path, but chose to keep it real. LeAnne is a complex character whose actions and reactions are the result of her parents' influence as well as her love of gymnastics and sports, not to mention military training. And, of course, the dog, Goody, is a natural. The result is a realistic and compelling read that will stay with you.
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  • Carol - Reading Writing and Riesling
    May 15, 2017
    Fantastic! This one is added to my "Best of 2017" list.
  • Susan Bookman
    March 11, 2017
    I found the book very readable and was actually pretty engaged with it until about half-way through, and then it just became too depressing for me. I am aware that military persons can come home emotionally and physically scarred and with ptsd, but I sure hope they don't lose their trust of and compassion towards all strangers. Prior to her injury, LeAnne is portrayed as selectively chosen to help connect with and win over the Afghani women because of her compassion, but then, after her injury, I found the book very readable and was actually pretty engaged with it until about half-way through, and then it just became too depressing for me. I am aware that military persons can come home emotionally and physically scarred and with ptsd, but I sure hope they don't lose their trust of and compassion towards all strangers. Prior to her injury, LeAnne is portrayed as selectively chosen to help connect with and win over the Afghani women because of her compassion, but then, after her injury, she becomes angry at the world (not just at herself). I just couldn't reconcile this foul-mouthed hateful person she had become with her former persona. I could see a woman in her situation withdrawing, being sad, despondent, blaming herself and maybe being angry at herself...but breaking a beer bottle to go after a nice guy at a bar?! It also bothered me that some of the scenarios seemed too unbelievable. I can't imagine a patient in a hospital setting being able to just walk into their psychiatrist's office, and when they don't turn up, you turn on their computer, figure out the password and read your personal file, and doing it without a hint of nerves?
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  • Debra
    March 17, 2017
    Stephen King recommended book: He said: "Brilliant. Deeply felt, but totally under control. I loved it."
  • Ann
    February 9, 2017
    I picked this book for two reasons. I love Spencer Quinn's Chet and Bernie series and I gravitate to books with female war veterans that face some serious problems and overcome them. This story met my expectations of an exceptional dog character and a strong resilient woman. LeAnne came back from Afghanistan physically and mentally wounded. When the woman in the bed next to her dies unexpectedly, she feels the need to talk to the soldier's family and travels to the Pacific Northwest. Another blo I picked this book for two reasons. I love Spencer Quinn's Chet and Bernie series and I gravitate to books with female war veterans that face some serious problems and overcome them. This story met my expectations of an exceptional dog character and a strong resilient woman. LeAnne came back from Afghanistan physically and mentally wounded. When the woman in the bed next to her dies unexpectedly, she feels the need to talk to the soldier's family and travels to the Pacific Northwest. Another blow meets her there when she discovers that Marcie's young daughter has disappeared. LeAnne makes it her mission in life to find young girl. As she searches she meets and accepts the presence of a dog who goes to great lengths to become her protector and companion. I hope the pair of them appear in another book as they meet the world head on in their own way. This book serves as a reminder that women veterans can have troubles adjusting back to civilian life the same as men, it's just not a big topic of conversation.
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  • Karyn Niedert
    January 13, 2017
    I understand that Spencer Quinn is a popular author, but if this is representative of his work I don't follow why.This book took forever to get to the main plot, and spent more time than necessary developing a character that I'm not sure even the author understands. The book blurb was wholly different that what was delivered.The book was extremely disappointing.
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