Review: The Good Boy by Theresa Schwegal

Title: The Good Boy

Author: Theresa Schwegal

Published: Minotaur Books October 2013

Read an Excerpt

Status: Read from October 26 to 27, 2013 — I own a copy {Courtesy the publisher/netgalley}

My Thoughts:

The Good Boy, Theresa Schewgel’s fifth novel, is part crime thriller, part family drama unfolding through the perspectives of Detective Peter Murphy and his son, Joel.

After a manufactured scandal nearly ruined his career, Pete was demoted to the K9 unit and forced to relocate his family after sacrificing their home to pay legal bills. Drowning in self pity, anger and guilt, he doesn’t have the energy to confront his wife about her excessive drinking, his teenage daughter about her rebellious attitude, or his son’s odd behaviour. It is all Pete can do to get through each day, his only comfort his belief that things couldn’t get much worse, until they do.
Eleven year old Joel doesn’t really understand what is going on with his parents, but he knows his sister is in trouble and he desperately wants to help. Trailing McKenna to a party with his dad’s canine partner, Butch, at his side, Joel is horrified when everything goes wrong and the only thing he can think to do is run.

The Good Boy is a gritty, character driven novel. The loss of innocence is a major theme of the story played out in the lives of the characters, highlighted by Pete’s disillusionment with the justice system and contrasted by Joel’s simple faith in his ability to save his family.

Though I thought the pace overall was a little slow and the tension uneven, I was drawn in by the interesting characters and the desire to learn their fate.

Joel is an immediately appealing character, bright, loyal and resourceful but, ignored by his parents who are too caught up in their own issues to pay much attention to their children, he is also lonely and misguided. Joel’s effort to traverse Chicago to save Butchie, and his family, is a tense adventure as he tries to avoid being caught before he can reach the one person he thinks can save them.

Mystery shrouds the facts of Pete’s transgressions, though it is obvious he, or at least was, is a cop who believes in the truth and privilege of his duty. However, already overwhelmed and disillusioned his son’s disappearance pushes him over the edge and suspecting a street gang after revenge is to blame, goes after those he thinks are responsible. Pete is a decent man buckling under the strain of circumstance, despite the mistakes he makes I found him a character deserving compassion and felt that Schwegal portrayed his sadness, frustration and anger in a realistic manner.

Though I was expecting something more plot driven from novel, I did enjoy the strong characterisation and I’m interested in reading more from Theresa Schwegal. Overall, I found The Good Boy to be a good book.

Available to Purchase From

MacmillanUS I Amazon I BookDepository I IndieBound

via Booko


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Mystica
    Nov 01, 2013 @ 22:38:06

    A new author for me . Thank you for the review.



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