Officer Pete Murphy's eleven-year-old son, Joel, is feeling invisible. His parents barely seem to notice him—unless they're having another fight about his "behavioral problems"—and his older sister, McKenna, has lately disappeared into the strange and frightening world of teenagerdom. About the only friend Joel has left is Lieutenant Commander Edward Henry Butch O'Hare—a.k.a. Butchie, his father's German Shepherd "partner" on K-9 patrol, and the one creature on Earth who's never too busy to listen to Joel's problems.
When Joel and Butchie follow McKenna to a backyard party attended by a group of neighborhood gangbangers, the smell of marijuana kicks the dog's police instincts into overdrive. Butchie springs into action, causing the accidental shooting of a partygoer. Soon Joel and Butchie are on the run.
Edgar® award winner Theresa Schwegel returns with her most dramatic and emotional novel to date, a family epic that combines the hard-boiled grit of her acclaimed police thrillers with the intimate portrait of a young boy trying to follow his heart in an often heartless city.