I read Buddy by Brett Williams based solely on Mr Williams' reputation, and I am glad I did. In all honesty, there were several moments reading this story that made me cringe, or plucked unmercifully at my heart strings, but Mr Williams' skill as a writer was not to denied and I soldiered through til the end. Buddy is a harrowing read, and not one for the faint of heart.
The story opens with our young protagonist, Danny James, saving a young puppy from attack by rats. The vermin have already injured the dog but Danny rescues it and wanting to heal it from its injuries, sneaks it into the house to nurse it back to health. Dogs are not allowed in the house, so Danny has to hide the puppy, which he names Buddy, in his room, the better to avoid the wrath of his mother and her boyfriend. We also find out that Danny's brother Tom bullies him at every turn, so Danny and Buddy spend alot of time in his bedroom. Unfortunately, Tom finds out about Buddy and threatens both the boy and his dog daily, making life a living Hell for the young companions.
Again, Buddy is a hard read but it is fast paced and Williams knows how to keep you in your seat, hanging on every word. There were plenty of times I wanted to put the book down for a minute, if only to shake off the emotions the story was wringing out of me but I didn't. The material is not easy to stomach but Williams writes with a very sure hand, telling a story of abuse and love and companionship and trust that hits home all the more harder because stories like this are happening everyday, these things are real. And that's the real horror.
(This counts towards the 2013 Horror Reading Challenge hosted by Midnyte Reader)