A weekly alert for followers of crime, mystery, and thriller fiction.
The Good Boy, by Theresa Schwegel (Minotaur):
Chicago author Schwegel earned her crime-fiction cred with hard-boiled police thrillers such as Officer Down (which won her the Edgar Award for Best First Novel in 2006) and Last Known Address (2009). The Good Boy, however, broadens her storytelling focus and potential reader appeal. It gives us Chicago K9 cop Pete Murphy, whose career is jeopardized by a wrongful-arrest lawsuit. It also introduces his 11-year-old son, Joel, who’s feeling abandoned by both his parents and his teenage sister, McKenna. Fortunately, he finds comfort and friendship with his father’s canine partner, Butchie. But one night, Joel and Butchie follow McKenna to a party in a dodgy neighborhood. Drugs materialize, a gun is pulled, and suddenly Butchie goes into action. Fearful that the dog’s trained response will lead to his being taken away--or worse--Joel and Butchie flee, navigating Chicago’s depths in quest of aid from a judge friend of Pete Murphy’s, and trying simultaneously to steer clear of men bent on making Joel a target of their revenge against his dad.