by Regan McDonell
Psycho. Sick. Dangerous. Réal Dufresne’s reputation precedes him. When the mangled body of his best friend, Shaun, turns up in a field just east of town, tough-as-hell Réal blames himself. But except for the nightmares, all Ré remembers is beating the living crap out of Shaun the night of his death.
Shaun’s girlfriend, sixteen-year-old Evie Hawley, keeps her feelings locked up tight. But now she’s pregnant, and the father of her baby is dead. And when Réal looks to her to atone for his sins, everything goes sideways. Fast.
The tighter Evie and Réal get, the faster things seem to fall apart. And falling in love might just be the card that knocks the whole house down.
I gotta admit, I bought Black Chuck based on the cover. I knew nothing about the story. The red font on the cover grabbed me instantly. I judged a book by it’s cover and hoped for the best. The designer got this one right.
I suspect Black Chuck will be one of my favourite reads of 2018. I know I’m hooked when I’m doing other things in my day and I wish instead I was reading. And when I go to bed early just to have a longer time to read, or stay up later and don’t care that I’ll be tired in the morning (or both!)… That was this book.
Canadian debut author Regan McDonell creates beautiful and flawed characters that pull at your heartstrings. The story is told in third person from the points of view of Evie and Réal, with each character alternating chapters. Each with their own side of the story to tell. Each mustering through their own confusion over the tragic and gruesome death of Shaun — the boyfriend/best friend. Each looking to the other for solace. The writing is beautiful and draws you in to their world, their town, their problems.
What happened to Shaun? Read through to the surprising and satisfying ending. Well done, Regan. I’ll be watching for more stories from you.
Intertwined with fantastic subplots, this story is raw, real, and breathtaking.
*****/5 Highly recommend.
This is an unsolicited review, I purchased this book from Chapters.
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers (April 3 2018)
Recommended for ages 14+