THE GOOD BOY: a gritty, heartfelt thriller.

Posted: September 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

I’ve always had a soft spot for books focusing on the relationship between children and dogs. I’m an avid reader and have always been a dog lover.

So, when I heard about Ms. Theresa Schwegel’s upcoming novel THE GOOD BOY, I was instantly thrilled and I knew I had to read it. I was fortunate enough to receive a signed advanced reader’s copy of the novel, and it has become my favorite crime novel of all time.

Why? Because it is so much more than a story of a boy and his dog, so much more than a cop story, and so much more than a family drama. It is a beautiful, gritty mélange of these three, telling the story of Joel Murphy, the 11-year-old son of a Chicago police officer who sneaks out of his home with Edward Henry Butch O’Hare, his father’s dog, and goes to a party where his rebellious sister, McKenna, or Mike, is hanging out with the hoodlums in the area. Butch’s police dog instinct kicks in at a whiff of weed, he attacks a young man, and all this triggers a harsh road to safety for the boy and the dog, as they’re on the run from the teenagers who have something of a score to settle with his father.

This novel features the best dialogue I’ve ever read in a thriller, Ms. Schwegel showcasing her skills for conveying the slang-ridden language of the hoodlums like no one before her. The book is gritty, as said before, and as such, it contains strong language, so it is not suitable for younger readers who might be attracted by the fact that it features a dog. That, however, doesn’t take away from the fact that THE GOOD BOY is a great read. The tension is palpable, the characters are flawed and complex, and the action scenes make it perfect for blockbuster material. Another strong point is the author’s choice to narrate in the present tense. It gives a certain dynamic element to the story, making the reader feel as though they’re out there with the characters.

All this makes me give the book a 10 outta 5! Thank you, Ms. Schwegel! Great, great book!

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