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Little Altar Boy by John Guzlowski

Little Altar Boy (original 2020; edition 2020)

by John Guzlowski (Author)

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Title:Little Altar Boy
Authors:John Guzlowski (Author)
Info:Kasva Press (2020), 322 pages

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Little Altar Boy by John Guzlowski (2020)

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A nun, disobeying the orders of her superiors, rushes alone to ask the help of a cop. She’s seen something that was meant to be kept secret, and now the memory haunts her. Then she is murdered. Could the child have killed her? The priest? A stranger? Who?

Hank Purcell and Marvin Bondarowicz are pretty sure they know who did it, but how can they prove a crime when both church and police authorities both close ranks? So they talk and plan, while Hank searches for his estranged teenage daughter on streets of ice and snow.

The novel is set in the 1960s, but the issues might be just the same today: Cops scarred by war, teenage rebellion seduced into a drug culture, and fragile children afraid to disobey their chosen authorities. Hank and Marvin might disobey, but will it lead to resolution?

The dialog is strong and convincing, with authentic voices and dark history behind them. The frozen streets of Chicago form a perfect backdrop for murder, alcohol, and haunting thoughts. And the closest friends might be strangers. “Nothing good” will come from knowing, fighting or changing the result, and readers, with the advantage of history, will know that little has changed. But the novel carries its readers deep into the minds and hearts of good men doing good and bad stuff, and trying for the best result. It's dark, but there's a thread of light.

Disclosure: I was given an advanced reading copy and I freely offer my honest review. ( )
  SheilaDeeth | Mar 5, 2020 |
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