“Right Handed Lefty” by Ryan Coughlin

I read this book back in October. That’s when I gave it five stars. I stand by this five star rating six and a half months later because I still think about this book.

Ryan Coughlin tells the story of friendship in “Right Handed Lefty,” of Ellis, George, and Mason forming a trio of steadfast friends as the outsiders and loners in their tiny Wisconsin town. They are not alike, not outsiders because they share much beyond a sense of not belonging. They are alike because they are good kids. Another story of friendship within the book is that of Ellis Sayre and Boscobel – and that plotline pulled me in right away too. And a third friendship is that of Ellis Abbott and Hank the Chief, child Ellis’ biological grandfather and the heir of sorts to Boscobel. Early on it was clear that the grandfatherly sorts would have a moment to shine and they do.

Taken together, Ellis, George, and Mason form a band of misfits that rivals the boys in IT and in STRANGER THINGS. Only theirs is a crime drama instead of a supernatural one. This does mean that it veers a little toward the cliched side of things but it is infinitely readable and would be infinitely watchable.

There is a backstory of Two Left Feet, and Indian who used to live in the town, and that’s interesting enough that idea read a book about him too! Just saying, Ryan Coughlin, that you’ve got a reader in me!

One of the running themes that works so well is that Ellis, of the trio of buddies who go on the run after witnessing a murder, thinks no one will miss him because his adoptive parents are getting a divorce. But they do miss him. Marty fast becomes one of the best fathers I’ve read in this sort of novel in a very long time as he panics and turns over every proverbial stone in search of his son.

This was an unexpectedly good story. It’s not a genre I’d normally choose but I am very glad to have had the chance to read this book. The friendship between Chief Hank and Ellis Abbott is an excellent mirror image of sorts to the fine line Ellis Sayre has to walk as a child of two worlds, or more. Backstories and sidestories don’t always work as well as they do in this book. I loved it and I’m going to read it again soon!

<i>Thanks to NetGalley and CHBB Publishing for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest and original review. Apologies for the shamefully late and inexcusable review. All thoughts are my own.</i>

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