"'Charlie's Angle' clearly documents author John Paul McKinney as a skilled novelist with an impressive knack for deftly crafting an original story and populating it with memorable characters. Entertaining and engaging from beginning to end, "Charlie's
Angle" is highly recommended reading and would make a decidedly popular addition to community library contemporary
- The Midwest Book Review
"In his new novel 'Charlie's Angle,' author John Paul McKinney has successfully captured the raw emotion behind some of life’s most beautiful and intimate moments.
McKinney develops a straightforward storyline and spends a majority of the book allowing his readers to build camaraderie with its characters.
While reading the story I found myself laughing when they laughed, smiling when they smiled, and ultimately crying when they cried.
With each page turned, my curiosity for more was satisfied and then quickly intensified. McKinney artistically entwines an overall good-hearted feeling with wild splashes of suspense.
A good book should make me forget I’m sitting on my
couch. While reading McKinney’s novel, I spent the last week thinking I was somewhere in the heart of Waumeka, Wisconsin."
- The Rocky Mountain Collegian - Peyton Garcia
How much would you risk to maintain your integrity? John Paul McKinney’s novel, Charlie’s Angle, explores concepts of integrity and commitment within the boundaries of a clever, original, character-driven story. I don’t want to oversell the theme, because this isn’t an afternoon television show with a lesson attached. McKinney’s novel is good adult drama.
Charlie Brannigan is a principal in a small-town Wisconsin high school. He faces two challenges that inform each other. His wife suffers from a serious illness, so Charlie needs his job. And, Catherine Newsome, a prominent member of the school board, has asked for the resignation of one of Charlie’s teachers. Catherine’s son Tommy flunked math. Tommy is a star athlete, and the failing grade has consequences. The stakes escalate when Charlie discovers that the stars of the team engaged in hazing ceremony.
Integrity is easy when the cost is small. And the Newsome family has clout. McKinney’s tale inserts the essence of power politics into the nuts and bolts of his plot. Couple this with a deep understanding of human behavior and the attending motivations, and you have a drama worth reading. McKinney is a fine author, and this is a wonderful novel.
The story’s setting is important. If you grew up in a small town, you’ll recognize Waumeka. Between Charlie and his town, a kind heart runs through the spine of this tale, which helps balance the disturbing and realistic political machinations that occur. Charlie is a good guy—a principal with principles—and you find yourself rooting for him. (Five stars out of five)
- Rabbit Hole Reviews - Brian Kaufman
"A school board gone bad? How can that be? John Paul McKinney cleverly weaves power plays and school board dynamics throughout. 'Charlie's Angle' is a sometimes all too real story that satisfies."
Jana Ley, Colorado Association of School Boards
Former president of Poudre School District Board of Education, Fort Collins, CO
"As life unfolds in this novel by John Paul McKinney, you will find
yourself struggling right alongside Charlie with the all-too-real politics of his job as a high school principal, and with each of the challenges he faces at home. 'Charlie's Angle' has all of the throws, near-falls and escapes of a wrestling match. Lucky for
Charlie, he has a wrestling background. Everyone can relate to the metaphor of life as a wrestling match and will be inspired by
Charlie’s angle. As an academic leader and ex-wrestler myself, I certainly can."
Marty Loy, former wrestler, college dean
(Dr. Loy is Dean of the School of Professional Studies at the
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point - JPM)
"Quite simply a beautiful book. A very clever weaving of characters in interrelationships and their gripping journey…written in a powerful way while being very sensitive to the interplay of social, political and economic factors.
Having been personally involved in education at both school and administrative levels in Ontario, Can., I can assure you that the author has captured the essence of situational dynamics that can often occur."
"After I finished it, I kept thinking to myself, 'This is one of the best books I've ever read.'"
Fort Collins, CO
I just finished chapter 6 and am enjoying it thoroughly. I taught high school French and served as an asst principal in the 70's, so I can identify with Charlie and his life.
Couldn't sleep. Finished the book. It was a page turner. I wanted to read what would happen next....You captured school politics, warm friendships, kindness and reciprocity, concern for well being of others, gratitude, love...it was a good read,
John Paul McKinney brings humor , honesty and integrity front and center . Tragedy and elitism threaten everything . McKinney ties it all together nicely .
Fort Collins, CO
I loved your book. Couldn't put it down till I finished it.,
Windsor, ON., Canada.
... kept my interest right to the end... it was difficult to put it down. Enjoyed how it ended, not leaving it to my imagination and the good overshadowed the bad.
This novel is not only one that peaks your interest at all times but it is also one we can all relate to at one time or another in our lives.
Grand Haven, Michigan