Friday, November 1, 2013

Review: The Good Boy by Theresa Schwegel

Generally, I'm always interested in crime fiction. What heigtens that affection toward crime fiction is when it's set in one of the greatest cities in the world, Chicago. AlreadyThe Good Boy by Theresa Schwegel, was ahead of the curve. Top that off with a young boy and his dog being primary characters. All that's left is the answer to where do I sign.

Pete, an officer for the K9 unit for the Chicago PD, is coming up on added stress after a traffic stop reignites a scandalous past with a suspect that is best laid to rest. Ultimately, this traffic stop leads to a multimillion dollar also referred to as the ghetto lottery. This is the last thing Pete needs as he's having problems at home with his wife Sarah and daughter McKenna.

Joel, Pete's son, always seems to be the one that everyone overlooks. Joel tries to have a relationhip with his sister, but she's too busy being a (bratty) teenager to notice his loneliness. Sarah, seems too consumed with what may be his "behaviorial problems" and her own self-pity. Left to his own devices for enjoyment, Joel follows his sister to a party that results in him and Butch needing to run from some very dangerous people. To make matters worse, the people who are chasing him may in fact have a score to settle with his father.

Theresa Schwegel paints a vivid picture of a modern family living in the often times cruel city of Chicago. Although, I'm not sure I ever really liked Pete, there's no doubt that he cares for his family. The constant guilt of his family's circumstances and absence, drive him to make decisions readers may not agree with. When he realizes his son, and dog, are missing, he reacts as a cop trying to cover his own tracks as opposed to a father who knows the dangerous realities of the streets his son is now traversing. He certainly isn't my favorite character, but there's no doubt of his love for his family and his son as he does whatever it takes to find him.

Schwegel's ability to bring to life the relationship between human and animal are best showed through the interactions between Joel and Butch. Joel is always concerned with Butch and is often battling his own guilt at having put them on the run. They bring a sentimental value to The Good Boy that is missing without them. It's easy to get lost in their journey and not ever care what the others are doing.

The Good Boy by Theresa Schwegel is a thrilling, suspenseful, and compulsively readable novel that crime fiction lovers should look into. The streets are real, the references to Chicago landmarks are spot-on, and the characters are believable. The Good Boy is the first I've read by Schwegel but is definitely not the last. Final thoughts are how far I would go for a fair trial.  ****

*provided by Netgalley*

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