cover image The Wrong Side

The Wrong Side

Robert Bailey. Thomas & Mercer, $15.95 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-1-5420-2593-5

The murder of Brittany Crutcher, a senior at Tennessee’s Giles County High School, drives Bailey’s exceptional sequel to 2020’s Legacy of Lies. Charged with the crime is football star Odell Champagne, who was found passed out next to Brittany’s body in the back of a school bus, clutching the victim’s bloody sweatshirt and with the murder weapon, a broken beer bottle, nearby. The night before the murder, Brittany broke up with Odell, who has priors for theft and juvenile assault. Odell, the son of an alcoholic mother and an absent father, turns for help to lawyer Bocephus “Bo” Haynes, who has consistently watched out for him over the years. Believing in Odell’s innocence, Bo agrees to defend Odell, despite knowing that taking the nearly hopeless case could harm his business and make him a pariah in a town whose inhabitants are convinced of Odell’s guilt. Bailey expertly ratchets up the suspense as the plot builds to a surprise punch ending. Readers will impatiently await the next in the series. Agent: Liza Fleissig, Liza Royce Agency. (Aug.)