cover image The Good Boy

The Good Boy

Theresa Schwegel. Minotaur, $25.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-250-00179-5

Eleven-year-old Joel Murphy and his father’s police dog, Butch, take center stage in this nail-biter from Edgar-winner Schwegel (Last Known Address). Officer Pete Murphy, Joel’s father and Butch’s handler and partner, is embroiled in a civil suit brought by the brother of a slain gang member, which all leads back to Murphy’s last big case involving the protection of—and potential affair with—an influential Chicago judge. Wallflower Joel slips through life largely unnoticed, playing elaborate versions of cops and robbers with a neighborhood girl, Molly, while his older sister, McKenna, flaunts her teenage spirit with parties and underage drinking. But when Joel and Butch see something they shouldn’t—and more importantly, someone sees them see it—they take off, each determined to take care of the other at any cost. The reader will empathize with everyone from Pete, who has his heart in the right place but makes several wrong turns, to Butch, who never speaks yet says volumes. Agent: David Hale Smith, Inkwell Management. (Nov.)