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The Good Boy    by Theresa Schwegel order for
Good Boy
by Theresa Schwegel
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Chicago police officer Pete Murphy was assigned to the K9 unit after a public scandal erupted during his assignment to protect Judge Kitty Crawford. There was a shooting and it was reported that they were having an affair. Now colleagues speak to Pete dismissively as Pony. His wife Sarah insisted that they sell their house and move after threats in their old neighborhood.

No one likes the new home or its location. And Sarah's unhappiness has been exacerbated by the recent death of her drug addicted brother. Teen McKenna is 'heavy on attitude' and has become involved with a bad crowd at school. Her parents are unaware of it but her younger brother, eleven-year-old Joel, is concerned about her. Joel saw McKenna's boyfriend torture an animal. Joel is also very fond of their K9 dog, Butch, and helps care for him.

Then a new media storm and a multimillion dollar lawsuit erupt, after Pete stops a gangbanger, who turns out to be 'the twin brother of the kid who got killed and thereby killed Pete's whole career trajectory'. As this develops, Joel sneaks out and follows McKenna to a party, along with Butch. Gang members show up; Butch smells drugs; there's a shooting and Joel and Butch flee, Joel concerned that his dog might be euthanized for biting one of the boys. Joel had met Judge Kitty, who told him to come to her if he ever was in a jam. So he sets out to find her.

A police colleague of Pete's warns him of McKenna's presence at the party. Pete is not supposed to get involved in the investigation that follows, but of course he does, not realizing for some time that Joel was there too. And when Pete finds out that Joel is missing he's frantic and will do whatever it takes to get his son - and his dog - back safely. He crosses more than one line to do so, as Joel and Butch head out on their cross town odyssey. The Good Boy is a gripping mystery, in which Pete, Joel and Butch all play heroic roles - don't miss it.

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