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Bad Thoughts [Kindle Edition]

Dave Zeltserman
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $4.99
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Book Description

"Dark, brutal, captivating -- this is one hell of a book, the kind of book that doesn't let go of you once you start it. Dave Zeltserman is clearly the real deal." Steve Hamilton, Edgar Award-winning author of THE LOCK ARTIST

From Shamus Award-winning author Dave Zeltserman comes a dark, captivating thriller unlike any you've ever seen, a killer unlike any you've ever imagined, and an ending unlike any you've ever dreamed of that will leave you cheering.

One afternoon 13 year-old Billy Shannon comes home to a living nightmare. His mother being brutally murdered is only the beginning...

20 years later, Bill Shannon is now a cop in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As the twenty-year anniversary of his mother's death is approaching, women are being murdered in the same horrific grisly fashion.

Everything seems to be pointing to one of two possibilities: Shannon has gone insane or his mom's killer is back to his old tricks. Except if it's mom's killer, he's come back a long way to do these new killings... all the way from the grave.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Zeltserman's unconvincing third thriller (after Fast Lane), Cambridge, Mass., detective Bill Shannon dreads every February 10th, the anniversary of the day his mother was brutally murdered in their California home when Bill was 13. Around the anniversary, Bill suffers from debilitating blackouts that often cause long stretches of amnesia. As the 20th anniversary approaches, the blackouts become more severe, disrupting Bill's work and home life. Soon he's spiraling out of control, unsure how to tell reality from nightmare. A series of gruesome slayings have Bill questioning whether he himself could be responsible and terrified that Herbert Winters, his mother's killer, has come back to claim him. Crime novelists from Robert B. Parker to Dennis Lehane have found fertile ground in a similar premise and setting, but Zeltserman falls short of their standard. Bill Shannon lacks the depth required for a character who walks the line between victim and potential killer, and instead collapses into stereotype.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

A compellingly clever wheels-within-wheels thriller, Zeltserman's new novel blends genres in a subtle mix that will appeal to both mystery and horror fans. Police detective Bill Shannon's dreams are being invaded by images of horrific violence, but the source of the intrusion remains shadowed until the harrowing conclusion of the novel, a homage to the Australian Aboriginal concept of "Dreamtime." The reader will be kept guessing as to whether the psychologically hammered cop is being revisited by his own guilt or whether there's an outside factor involved in his recurring visions of murdering his own mother. The resolution of the novel clearly indicates the possibility of sequels to come, so if you want to get in on the ground floor, now's the time. An ingenious plot, skillfully executed. Elliott Swanson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 429 KB
  • Print Length: 279 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Top Suspense Books (June 4, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,957 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unorthodox Means Good May 5, 2010
BAD THOUGHTS is not your typical mystery or crime fiction novel. It reminds me more of something along the lines of the Denzel Washington movie, "Fallen." Something that starts out seeming like crime fiction and becomes something spookier. Zeltserman gives the term "psychological thriller" new meaning, writing in a carefully controlled but seemingly scattered fashion that makes the reader as edgy as the protagonist. Give this one a whirl, especially if you're looking for something off the beaten path. Expect to read it in just a few sittings, though. Once it starts rocking, it really rolls.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a must read for thriller fans July 26, 2007
Considering the trauma he experienced when he was thirteen years old and the emotional abuse he suffered at the hands of his father, Billy Shannon grew up to be a fine man and a fantastic police officer. However, a few weeks before the anniversary of his mother's death, he begins to dream but they are no ordinary nocturnal reveries. This year he dreams of a woman who was murdered and from his mind he pulls out the real time location of where her body is located.

He experiences his usual blackout after he goes on his yearly "binge" but this time the dreams don't stop. Two other murders occur to women and in the same manner in which his mom was murdered, a knife in her throat by drifter Herbert Winters. All the evidence points to Shannon as the killer and he keeps dreaming and hearing the whispers of Herbert Winters claiming one of his alter egos are killing the women. Shannon knows he has killed nobody but he also believes Herbert isn't the murderer because he killed him when he was thirteen after hours of torture. Someone is out to frame him for the killings and when he figures out why, he will know who and the reason this person has such a malevolent lethal grudge against him.

David Zeltserman is a talented noir thriller writer who throws one surprise after another at the audience so that they find themselves totally bewildered about what is really happening to the protagonist. Shannon has not had an easy life but his suffering never turned him to the dark side. Instead it made him a strong person determined to see justice is done which is why he became a police officer. The villain is so over the top that he makes the audience feel creepy as if spiders are crawling all over their bodies. This is a must read for thriller fans.

Harriet Klausner
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Different to Zeltserman's Latest Novels October 29, 2010
This is not a bad novel but if you're expecting something plot wise like Zeltserman's last couple of novels such as Small Crimes and Outsourced, well you're in for a surprise. Bad Thoughts is a combination hard violent crimes and homicide police detectives type story running into supernatural Nightmare on Elm Streetish type world. Although not his first novel, (he did write one called Fast Lane six years before this in 2001) this was still an early career effort for Zeltserman, in fact it was only his second novel. At the times the quality of writing especially in conversations isn't as high as he would later develop with more recent novels. The villain's traits also seem a bit cartoonish at times, but none of this means you won't enjoy Bad Thoughts. It's just a fair bit different from his more successful later work. If your thoughts were you'd like to read more, there's also a sequel called Bad Karma.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a thrill ride! October 28, 2009
If you want to be completely creeped out, then, this is the book for you. There is a bad guy in this story who will show up throughout under the most unusual circumstances, and will have you looking over your shoulder and investigating every creak and house whisper before you're halfway into it.

Dave Zeltserman really has a gift when it comes to creating believable characters, and showing us the strength of the human spirit in the face of a nightmare. Definitely read Bad Thoughts on a dark, stormy night when you're all alone in the house. I guarantee that you will enjoy the ride!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Hmmmm, this is a great piece of hard boiled writing situated around a sort of silly premise. Its too bad.

Given Zeltserman's history of creating likeable dreggs of humanity characters, you are unsure exactly what is happening here. Is Bill Shannon behind a spat of horrific recent murders or is some Dean Koontz style mystic force behind them and setting Shannon up for the fall?

Im not giving away anything by saying that Zeltserman injects a comic book style bad guy into this story who has the ability to wander through other peoples thoughts. You will find this out pretty early on in the book. What makes this story worth reading regardless, is that you want to know what will happen. The writing is good enough to 'almost' make the evil doer worthy of Zeltsermans narrative gift.

I would say, DONT START with this Zeltserman book. It is his least well put together story. Its a good attempt at breaking the mould he was setting up for himself. And your unsure how the story will resolve itself til the end. (which is saying something). I hope that Zeltserman continues to try to break his restraints and would not mind seeing him come back into the mystic realm for another try at this. Just not his finest work thus far.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Liked the book. It was a good read and kept my interest through out. I would recommend reading this book.
Published 2 days ago by Robert Winkler
5.0 out of 5 stars Page Turner
This book was hard to put down. It had enough twists and turns to keep things interesting. Highly recommend it.
Published 2 months ago by Kindle Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Strange
I read mysteries and was surprised that this story dabbled in out of body experiences. It was not my favorite.
Published 4 months ago by Valerie J Harris
2.0 out of 5 stars predictable, barely pleasant
This book was so very predictable and the characters were not only cliche but annoying. However, I give it two stars because the actual writing is good, the details not too heavy... Read more
Published 4 months ago by M. E. S.
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Went between too out there and just right. The book kept you in the edge of your seat. I have issues with unbelievable plots but this book made you think it could be possible. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Janice E. Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars I've got GOOD THOUGHTs about "Bad Thoughts"
First off, I'm glad to be introduced to a writer of psychological thrillers who is new to me and that I can enjoy! I see that Mr. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Helene Stephens
3.0 out of 5 stars Moderately liked it
I guess I enjoyed reading it, but found the storyline to be a bit far-fetched for me to be adequately scared.
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars It's Possible
Scary, because the whole concept of a person learning to invade another person's mind and putting thoughts there that aren't theirs is possible...
Published 5 months ago by Carmen
4.0 out of 5 stars Glad to know there is a Hell for people like that
Seriously?? An out of body psycho killer putting suggestions in people's heads via their dreams?? I never doubted it for a second. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Kelly Ann
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good mystery
I am not a mystery reader, but now and then I'm in the mood, generally during long dark cold days in the winter. This one is just that. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Annajustmay
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More About the Author

Dave Zeltserman is the Boston-based author of the award-winning Julius Katz mystery series. His crime novels have been selected by NPR and the Washington Post as best novels of the year. His first novel, The Caretaker of Lorne Field, was short listed by the ALA for best horror novel of 2010, was nominated for a Black Quill Award for best dark genre novel of the year, and was named a Horror Gem by Library Journal. His most recent horror novel, Monster, was named one of the best books of the year by WBUR and made Booklist Magazine's 2013 list of top 10 horror novels. His crime novels Outsourced and A Killer's Essence have both been optioned for film.

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