Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Good Boy” as Want to Read:
The Good Boy
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Good Boy

3.26  ·  Rating Details ·  284 Ratings  ·  97 Reviews
For Officer Pete Murphy, K9 duty is as much a punishment as a promotion. When a shaky arrest reignites a recent scandal and triggers a multimillion-dollar lawsuit, all eyes are on Pete as the department braces for another media firestorm.

Meanwhile, Pete's eleven-year-old son Joel feels invisible. His parents hardly notice him—unless they're arguing about his "behavioral pr
Paperback, 368 pages
Published October 21st 2014 by Minotaur Books (first published November 5th 2013)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Good Boy, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Good Boy

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Patrice Hoffman
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. Already The 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
Mystery author Theresa Schwegel has written a heart-wrenching suspense story that plays out on the mean streets of Chicago with her new book, "The Good Boy''.

The action starts when 11-year-old Joel Murphy and his dog Butch follow Joel's teenage sister to a party because he thinks she is in danger. When Joel is spotted by some gang members who threaten to kill Butch, he runs away to protect his best friend. But Butch is more than the family pet -- he also is an officer with Chicago Police Depart
Diane S ☔
Reading a novel that takes place in Chicago is always a plus. Maybe for me, the best part of this book. I have liked other books by this author much better. I think I just had different expectations and did not find it very suspenseful at all. Seemed to be more about a boy and his dog, and yes I love dogs, just wanted a little more mystery and suspense. Loved the concern Joel showed for this animal, Had a hard time liking his father, a recent K9 officer who tries to track down Joel and his dog. ...more
Christopher Enzi
Theresa Schwegel may think that she has updated Jack London's WHITE FANG but I think that she has reheated THE WIZARD OF OZ into an overlong B&W police procedural. The boy's odyssey is all about saving his dog from increasingly dire straits with threat of euthanisation. While I'm not sure that the threat is adequately resolved by the book's end (just as Toto is not safe in Kansas at the end of the movie) any story which requires the death of a cat to set the plot in motion is surely operatin ...more
Oct 15, 2013 Dan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this ARC through the Librarything website.
I liked this book but with reservations; it was my first time reading this author (who won the Edgar Award for her first book, the reason why I chose this one), and because I had just finished the outstanding "The Kite Runner", (please read my review) which is from a different genre, I had some difficulty at first getting used to the different writing style of "The Good Boy". It didn't grab me until 100 pages or so, but then I couldn't put it
Jennifer Boyce
I could not, for the life of me, get into this book.

I found the writing unclear and confusing. While things did get clearer as the story progressed, I found the author writing hard to keep up with. There were many times throughout the story that I found myself trying to remember who a character was or what was going on.

While I’m hopeful that the characters got better, I couldn’t bring myself to really like any of them. The only character I found myself truly enjoying was the dog. All the other c
Craig Buck
Oct 15, 2013 Craig Buck rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's been awhile since Theresa Schwegel published a book, and this one is well worth the wait. The POV rotates between a K-9 cop and his 14-year-old boy who has taken his father's police dog and gotten in trouble. The family dynamics between this father and son (and dog) and the two women of the family (the boy's mother and older sister) are rich and deep. The story is tense, involving and satisfying. And of course there is Theresa Schewegel vibrant, inimitable style. If you like a hard-boiled, ...more
Terry Gibson
Nov 25, 2013 Terry Gibson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was excited to get this book, after reading about it, but was disappointed.. A potentially good story about a dysfunctional family finding itself. I was hoping that it would be a good book for our school library, but the bad language was too much. As a retired police officer I know all about bad language, but the use of it here was excessive and unnecessary. I obviously made a mistake in thinking it was suitable for young people. Sorry, but I give it one star.
Rose Ann
No stars. a cat is tortured to death on page 31 by lowlife punks and I stopped reading. I don't read books where animals are tortured and treated cruelly. There's enough of that in the real world, I don't need it in the fiction real world.
Dec 01, 2013 Maxine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After being demoted to the K-9 unit because of a past incident, officer Pete Murphy has been forced to downsize his life: smaller house, poorer neighbourhood. His wife now spends her time on the phone complaining to friends and family about him, his teenaged daughter, McKenna, has become sullen and rebellious and his son, eleven-year-old Joel, is neglected and spends most of his time with Butchie, his father’s canine partner. Joel is smart and sensitive and, recognizing the dangers of McKenna’s ...more
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

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 att
Nov 20, 2013 Cortana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
The Good Boy by Theresa Schwegel is a compelling and painful story of a dysfunctional family. Pete Murphy is a police officer who has made mistakes in the past. His wife Sarah has turned to alcohol in frustration. Their teenage daughter McKenna has turned rebellious and moves around with the wrong crowd. Their 11-year-old Joel Murphy turns to his father's furry “partner” Butchie for company. It is a sad state of affairs in the family. Together but disjointed, it is a family in a mess.

When Mc Ken
Gloria Feit
Jun 17, 2014 Gloria Feit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This newest novel from Theresa Schewegel is at its heart a tale about a boy and his dog, either (or both) of which could be the eponymous Good Boy. The boy is 11-year-old Joel Murphy; the dog is his father Pete’s K-9 partner, Butchie (more formally Lieutenant Commander Edward Henry Butch O’Hare, and from time to time variations of any part of that “full title”), a hundred-pound shepherd mix. I opened this book expecting something along the lines of the author’s earlier books, specifically a crim ...more
Sep 01, 2013 Kendra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-books-read
This was an ARC from the publisher - Minotaur Books.
Chicago Police Officer Pete Murphy has been assigned to K9 duty, rather than given the promotion he qualified for, as a result of a baseless scandal from a previous assignment. Pete is one of the good guys, who believes in police work rather than merely policing, but finds his life spiraling downward as the family loses their home and are forced to move to a rental house in a different neighborhood. Pete's wife, Sarah, has problems of her own a
Sep 13, 2013 Scott rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I recieved a free copy of The Good Boy via the GoodReads First Reads program.

The Good Boy tells the story of K9 police officer Pete Murphy, his family, and his K9 dog. When the story starts, Pete and his family have moved to a new house to escape a scandal that involved a judge and the trial of a gang member. Unfortunately, Pete finds himself involved in a second scandal when he mistakingly pulls over a minivan, and his dog, Butchie, bites the brother of the gang member from the previous trial.

Sep 23, 2013 Christa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
***ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***

The Good Boy is such a great read! All Joel wants to do is protect his older sister and his best friend Butchie (his Dad's K-9 partner) and despite his best efforts everything seems to go horribly wrong. The journey that eleven year old Joel goes on, alone in Chicago, with Butch is crazy! But the journey that the father goes on trying to find his son and dog is just as crazy! I was hooked from the beginning. Was Jo
Dan Radovich
Schwegel mixes family turmoil into this police thriller, almost making it less thriller and more drama; but it works. If you know the Chicago area, you will see where much of the action takes place as she describes neighborhoods in detail. Pete is a cop with a past that comes back to bite him. His young son Joel is the overlooked child of the family, and one night he takes Butch, Pete's K9 partner, along with him to a party his sister goes to. Joel witnesses things he should not see and soon he ...more
Carol Vincenty
Nov 28, 2013 Carol Vincenty rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I did not like this book. I am an animal lover & I did not to expect to read about the torture of a cat and further cruelty to dogs ( a dog fighting ring), also cruelty to children (first chapter). The only thing worth reading was the relationship between Joel & Butchie. I have read Teresa's other books & liked them, but I am sorry that I read this book.
Jan 19, 2014 Jon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Hated it. Despite good reviews, it was boring, painfully obvious, full of cliched characters and poorly written.
Nov 18, 2013 Jill rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I chose this book mainly for the narrator. However, I couldn't get through the scene with the cat in Chapter 2 and had to turn it off.
Jun 12, 2014 Carl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Best read all summer!!!!!
Aug 21, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book was ARC copy given by publisher through the GoodReads FirstReads program. Thanks for the book!

Joel's and Butchie's relationship is what first drew me to this book. I'm a huge dog lover and finding a book chronicling a boy's and dog's journey through the rough streets of Chicago instantly pinged my "want to read!" monitor. That relationship was one of the things that kept me reading throughout. The attraction between these two characters shone with strength and love. The lengths that this ki
When I initially saw The Good Boy on Netgalley, I will admit that the only reason I requested it is because I knew it featured a dog. I know, that’s bad, but I love books about dogs so that’s why I requested it. It’s been sitting on my Kindle a while and with all my ebooks cleared for the time being, I clicked on this one to read next!

I wasn’t entirely taken with The Good Boy, I will quite happily admit that I think it was a bit too clever for my liking. I followed the story pretty well when it
Lynn Wise
Jul 29, 2015 Lynn Wise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Good Boy by Theresa Schwegel provides insight into the life of a Chicago policeman. It works not only because of Schwegel's law-enforcement knowledge, but her insight into the minds and emotions of her characters add depth to the story as the reader becomes more enthralled. It is obvious that she understands Pete Murphy's strong feelings for police work as a K-9 officer, but Schwegel's keen insight into the characters of Murphy's children, sixth-grader Joel and high school freshman McKenna, ...more
Sep 24, 2013 Claire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In compliance with FTC guidelines, I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

K9 police officer Pete Murphy has made his mistakes and his family is now paying the price. His wife turns to alcohol; his daughter to rebellion and the wrong crowd; his son, Joel, to their dog. Joel clings to his dog, Butch, after their move to a new house where he is invisible to everyone. Pete had screwed up protecting a judge and gets caught up in a scandal of an affair. He screwed up again when he
John Brumbaugh
I wanted to wait to review this book a few days after finishing it because I wasn't too sure what I thought of this book after immediately finishing it. Sure, the book plays itself out as a mystery / thriller, but to me this was a combination story: (1) about a boy and his dog and then (2) a relationship between a father and a son.

The boy and his dog story was tied more in a "long journey" epic about how the boy after witnessing a crime was trying to get from the North Side of Chicago to the cou
Sep 12, 2013 Paula rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
First of all let me get this out of the way. I won this book in a goodreads giveaway. Now ,once again, my very unprofessional review. (But honest-always shoot for honesty). I started reading this book with mixed feelings. I was hoping it would be all I love in a book. I was afraid it would instead be a disappointment. I am so very happy to say this book is fantastic. I LOVED it. Thriller. Suspense. Adorable,smart little boy.His dog. It was so well written. I was kept on edge. I worried for the c ...more
Jan 15, 2015 R.Z. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Police K-9 officer Pete Murphy is a cop who can't seem to get anything right. No matter how much he uses his best judgement to deal with the gangs in Chicago, he just seems to dig a deeper hole for himself. When his young son Joel takes Butchie the police dog from his cage one night and follows his teenage sister to a party to try and save her from the bad crowd that she has been hanging out with, shots are fired, and Joel and Butchie go on the run. Joel remembers a remark that a judge made to h ...more
Meghan Ahn Jee Soo Remillard
I love this book, but some characters annoyed me. However, I realize that these characters like Joel's mom are flawed like we are. Throughout the book, The Good Boy shows what family will do out of love (Joel goin to Zach's party to warn his sister), or Pete, Joel's dad, and Joel's mom fight with each other. They shut each other out. Joel is a loveable character with his incredible memory and loyalty and love for Butch, his dad's K9 dog. I love the way Schwegel switched PoVs (Pete and Joel). I l ...more
Aug 21, 2013 Terri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This book I won from Goodreads. It's written in two views. The policeman who is a K9 officer, and not in favor with the department, and his son who is 11, and tries to be the caretaker of his older sister. It did take me a bit to get into the story, some of the first parts, setting the background, are a bit confusing to read and comprehend. However, when the story gets going, it gets interesting. The young boy sneaks out one night, with the police dog, to follow his older sister after he hears h ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Outlaw (Robin Monarch, #2)
  • Hailey's War (Hailey's War #1)
  • Compound Murder (Sheriff Dan Rhodes #20)
  • Three Can Keep a Secret (Joe Gunther #24)
  • The Raven's Eye (Brock & Kolla, #12)
  • Skating Under the Wire (Rebecca Robbins, #4)
  • Voyager: Seeking Newer Worlds in the Third Great Age of Discovery
  • The Brotherhood
  • Detroit Shuffle
  • Hold Fast to Dreams: A College Guidance Counselor, His Students, and the Vision of a Life Beyond Poverty
  • The Red Queen Dies (Detective Hannah McCabe, #1)
  • The Shogun's Daughter (Sano Ichiro, #17)
  • The Perfection Point: Sport Science Predicts the Fastest Man, the Highest Jump, and the Limits of Athletic Performance
  • Blood of the Lamb: A Novel of Secrets
  • Inherently Unequal: The Betrayal of Equal Rights by the Supreme Court, 1865-1903
  • Bitter River  (Bell Elkins #2)
  • Dandy Gilver and a Bothersome Number of Corpses (Dandy Gilver, #7)
  • Branch Rickey
Theresa Schwegel was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She is the author of four crime novels set in and around the Chicago area. Her debut, Officer Down, was published in 2005, and subsequently won the Edgar® Award for Best First Novel. In 2008, she received the 21st Century Award from the Chicago Public Library Foundation in recognition for an emerging artist with ties to Chicago. Her fifth ...more
More about Theresa Schwegel...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »