Book Review: The Wrong Side

I discovered author Robert Bailey last year and after reading the first of his Bocephus Haynes series, I was eager for the second book. It did not disappoint.


A battle-worn lawyer fights for a young man’s life in this criminally enthralling legal thriller.

Teen pop star Brittany Crutcher is found dead in small-town Tennessee. For attorney Bocephus Haynes, it’s just another night in Pulaski. Bo swore off criminal work after his last case, but the beloved singer’s murder demands answers.

The prime suspect is local high school football hero and the victim’s boyfriend, Odell Champagne. However, this fallen athlete is one of Bo’s son’s best friends. Bo knows this young man and does not believe him capable of the crime.

When Odell is charged with murder, Bo reluctantly takes the case, sparking outrage throughout the town. But as Bo follows the evidence, he learns that the victim made decisions in her last hours that would give powerful forces motive to harm her. Feeling mounting pressure from the community and the DA, Bo forges ahead. But as the seconds count down, he wonders whether justice is even possible.

My Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Bo Haynes is a successful attorney in the town of Pulaski, Tennessee. He’s a widower, raising his two teenage children. When Brittany Crutcher, a popular up-and-coming rock star is found murdered, her boyfriend Odell Champagne is arrested and charged. Odell is a talented high school football senior with prospects of playing in college and even the NFL. He’s also a friend of Bo’s son, T. J.

After his successful defense of District Attorney Helen Lewis in a murder charge a year earlier, Bo had all but sworn off of taking criminal cases. But when Odell asks for his representation, he visits the boy in jail. Odell’s life had been less than ideal. He was abandoned by his father at a young age and his mother has a serious addiction problem. Odell also has a record of theft and was kicked out of his former school due to an assault.

Brittany’s popularity makes this a high-profile case, and Pulaski’s citizens demand justice for her. If Bo takes the case, it could have consequences—not only for him but also for his children. The last thing he wants to do is place them in any danger. Yet he can’t dismiss his belief that Odell is innocent. One of my favorite lines from the book is by Bo’s son, T. J. “Well… sometimes doing right can put you on the wrong side of your friends.”

Unlike a lot of legal thrillers, this book isn’t exclusively courtroom drama. Bailey delves into the lives of the characters. As a reader who enjoys character-driven fiction, this is a plus for me. It’s written in four parts with short, easy-to-read chapters.

As far as the killer’s identity, I thought I had it figured out, then I didn’t. The story wrapped up with a satisfying ending and left the door open for a third book of the series. For those who haven’t read Legacy of Lies, I recommend reading it first. The Wrong Side is an easy five stars for me.

Book Reviews: A Killer’s Wife & Legacy of Lies

Hey, everyone. During the past few months, I’ve read several books. It’s been a while since I posted a review here, and I have several to share. Today I’ll share my reviews of two legal thrillers, both by authors I haven’t read before.

A Killer’s Wife by Victor Methos

This was the first book I’ve read by this author. The premise of the story sounded promising, so I decided to give it a try.

Federal prosecutor Jessica Yardley created a new life with her daughter after her husband went to prison for a series of brutal murders. She’s well-respected and good in her field. When two new homicides occur, the killer appears to be a copycat criminal of her now ex-husband.

FBI agent Cason Baldwin, with whom Jessica has a past relationship, enlists her help. He wants her to talk with the ex-husband in hopes the psychopathic killer will point them to the new murderer.

Numerous times I wanted to give up on this book. The author is in need of a good content editor. I got bogged down by the numerous repetitive words. Consider the following passage:

“Yardley stood outside the bedroom doors. Double doors, white with copper trim. She pictured Isaac in the morning opening both doors and what he must’ve seen. She took both knobs and pushed the doors open, the way a child might.”

Or this:

“Yardley knew she was lucky to be a federal prosecutor. The state prosecutors were overworked and had little time to help in any investigations or interviews. Federal prosecutors could pick and choose their cases and take all the time they needed. Whereas a state prosecutor might interview a victim once before a trial, Yardley could interview a victim ten times if she wanted. She could send the FBI to collect evidence she required and turn down cases she felt didn’t need to be prosecuted. As a state prosecutor, she wouldn’t have had the time to help Baldwin.”

Those are just two examples. I wouldn’t want to bore you with more of them. Another problem I had was the author’s use of the main character’s last name, which by the way, was repeated time and time again within a passage. Methos doesn’t seem to know how to use a pronoun.

Nonetheless, I kept reading. I guessed the killer’s identity early on (wasn’t difficult) but what did surprise me was Methos revealed the killer halfway into the book. Curious, I continued reading to see what he was going to do.

What follows is unbelievable. A federal prosecutor doing investigations, obtaining search warrants, and conducting the search herself without backup, and being allowed to prosecute a crime in which she had a personal involvement with the killer.

I also didn’t like the ending. Too many loose threads, which leads me to believe there will be a continuation of this story in the second book which is scheduled for release in 2021. I will not waste my time reading it.

I wavered between two and three stars for this one, finally selecting three because I won’t base ratings solely on personal preferences.

Amazon Link

Legacy of Lies (Bochepus Haynes Book One) by Robert Bailey

Having been a fan of John Gresham for a number of years, I decided to give this author a try.

Disgraced attorney Bochephus Haynes returns to his home town of Pulaski, Tennessee to defend his friend, District Attorney Helen Lewis, who is accused of murdering her ex-husband. Crime and corruption know no bounds and this small-town setting is no exception.

While the book contains more scenes involving the investigation rather than the courtroom, it doesn’t make it any less of a legal thriller. The story is compelling, the action well-paced, and the characters well-developed.

And the ending? Well, let’s just say it was quite a surprise.

Although some reviewers were turned off by some of the backstory, not having read any of Bailey’s earlier series, I didn’t find this intrusive.

Legacy of Lies is the first of the Bocephus Haynes series, but could easily be read as a stand-alone novel. I look forward to the next book, scheduled for release in 2021.

Four stars for this one.

Amazon Link

That’s it