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Bad Things Mass Market Paperback – November 30, 2010


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Reprint edition (November 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061434418
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061434419
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 4.2 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,502,704 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At the start of this unsettling novel of supernatural suspense from bestseller Marshall (The Intruders), four-year-old Scott Henderson dies from no apparent cause after falling into a lake in Black Ridge, Wash. The boy's devastated parents, John and Carol, divorce, and both leave the area. Three years later, John is lured back to Black Ridge by a chilling message from a woman who says she knows what killed his son—a siren call that John can't ignore. John's return is a trigger for other ominous events that will lead him to relive Scott's death and confront the dissolution of his former life. The small town's surface normality contrasts nicely with the unnerving behavior of some residents and even inanimate objects (e.g., cars that suddenly won't start). While much of what's going on doesn't make a lot of sense, this spooky tale shows Marshall (who writes horror and SF as Michael Marshall Smith) has a knack not only for the frisson of dread but also the telling psychological insight. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“This spooky tale shows Marshall...has a knack not only for the frisson of dread but also the telling psychological insight.” (Publishers Weekly on BAD THINGS)

“A genuinely scary thriller with satisfyingly malevolent villains.” (The Sun Herald (Sydney) on BAD THINGS)

“Marshall builds up suspense slowly . . . Black Ridge – like the Maine towns populated by Stephen King’s characters – is not a place you want to visit.” (Booklist on BAD THINGS)

“This is a psychological thriller guaranteed to keep you up at nights.” (Arcadian Lifestyle)

“Fast-moving, sinister and highly accomplished…This is ferocious story-telling of the highest order, with corkscrew twists and turns that make it deliciously scary as the secrets unfold.” (Daily Mail (London) on BAD THINGS)

“Michael Marshall is the new Stephen King, to the nth degree. He successfully complements Carol O’Connell’s tormented characters for roller-coaster-like psychological twists and thrills....BAD THINGS deserves six stars.” (www.BookReporter.com on BAD THINGS)

“taut action and appealing characters” (San Francisco Chronicle)

More About the Authors

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Customer Reviews

The story unfolds slowly and is well written...I did find the book very hard to put down.
Kellie
Then again, those bad things in the woods might be just metaphorical; my point is that the book doesn't really succeed in letting the reader know the answer.
Clarice
After reading Bad Things I will definitely be looking for him in the future, just as I do for Stephen King and Dean Koontz.
Silly Sister

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By barry TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Michael Marshall can write - that's for sure - but he uses so many different styles in this novel that it becomes a difficult read. The premise is very promising and the aurthor does the rare thing of grabbing the reader from page one. The intro is mezmerizing. It continues on strong as characters are established years later and we see how they are dealing with the tragedy that intoduced the book. I was on the edge of my seat for the first 50 or so pages and was prepared for an exciting, suspenseful spooky read.

Sadly, after the first 50 pages the book went all over ther place. It went from character to character, was told from different perspectives and it was often hard to even know who you were reading about. The plot that had such a solid beginning also went a little haywire. The story starts with a family and the mysterious death of the son. As the novel plods along it looses track. Different plot lines are meshed together and plausibility is somewhat lost as the story becomes hard to follow.

The book is one you will want to finish for through all this it is apparent that the writer is talented and the reader will want to see where he is leading things. I skimmed through some of this book as I pushed to make it to the end. I just feel a big let down for so much could have been done with this plot. The author is talented but this is not one of his best. Suspenseful at times it just doesn't really work.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Daring Di VINE VOICE on May 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Michael Marshall has created a formidable story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Even the innocent rustling of leaves makes your scalp crawl. I cannot read this book at night when I'm alone--it's just too creepy. But creepy in an excellent way.

When two people have died mysteriously -- a little boy and a sixtyish man--no one seems concerned about investigating. But three years after his son dies, John Henderson is drawn back to that horrible place and back into the nightmare. Will the woman who says she "knows what happened to his child" be able to lead him to the truth? Or will she, too, die before the that truth is exposed?

Something wicked lurks in North West Washington State. This book is a must read for those who like their thrillers with a touch of ghoul.

Definitely recommended read.

Diane Davis White
Author, Moon of the Falling Leaves
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Carol M on June 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I had high expectations for Bad Things. It sounded like it would be a fast-paced thriller novel and spooky natural story, presented in a character-driven work. It is all those things. But somehow the combination didn't gel the way I had hoped.

As a character-driven novel, Bad Things succeeds pretty well. I felt a real empathy for the main character, John Henderson, and his "retreat" into a solitary life after the death of his son. His actions throughout the story were very consistent with his personality - that of someone who was extremely confident and competent, and then had faced complete impotence in the protection of his own son. The cast of supplemental characters is rich. None of the individual characters is explored completely, but as a whole they are a varied and interesting group.

As a fast-paced thriller novel, Bad Things is okay. There are plots and subplots, twists and turns. There dangerous action sequences, and they are completely realistic and believable. The story arc and pacing feel right. But there's not enough action and suspense to really excel as a thriller.

I found the weakest aspect was the supernatural elements. The supernatural stuff is more hinted at, than clearly explained. I suppose that is intended to leave more to the reader's imagination, and to increase the sense of spookiness. But for me, I ended up thinking "Huh? What happened? I don't get it." more often than feeling that chill up my spine.

All in all, I did enjoy this book. But it won't be on my favorites list.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Betty-Anne Olton on August 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I expected to be much more impressed with Michael Marshall's Bad Things. Having read - no, devoured - many of his previous novels, I began this one with very high expectations.

Approximately the first 50 - 60 pages fully lived up to my expectations. I got very involved with the character of John Henderson and felt that I understood why he had made the decisions that he did. The set up for the mystery was also well presented and well written, and it was what kept me reading.

I began to have problems with some of the plot elements after this point, and while I didn't lose interest in the story, I found myself confused by some of the twists introduced.

The supernatural angle of the story began to pull me back in, only to turn out to be very dissatisfying. When I got to the end of the book, my first thought was - not that original after all. This I think was my biggest disappointment because I had come to expect real originality from this author in the past.

Overall, his storytelling was as strong as ever, but was negatively affected by a weakly tied together plot. My recommendation would be to start with other books by this author, so that this one doesn't unfairly turn you off his writing.
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