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Bad Things Happen Paperback – June 16, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
The first sentence perfectly illustrates the author's deadpan style: "The shovel has to meet certain requirements." By page four, the reader knows for sure that the man calling himself David Loogan wants the shovel to dig a grave. By that time, it's too late to have any thoughts of doing anything else other than to keep reading; one is hooked, line and sinker. No point in fighting, just let yourself be reeled in by this sophisticated noirish mystery set in Ann Arbor, centering on a literary magazine that prints mystery stories. Part of the pleasure is the contrast between the lurid tales the magazine prints with the complicated puzzle that the author sets the reader.
There are layers upon layers of mystery. What is in David Loogan's past? Who is the dead man he helps his friend bury? Who killed the man?
David Loogan is a man of mystery who just wants to lead a quiet life. Tom Kristoll, editor of Gray Streets, discovers that David has a flair for editing. In addition to hiring him to improve the sometimes dreadful stories submitted to his publication, Tom befriends the reclusive stranger. But there are shattering secrets in the literary circle clustered around Tom. Success, disappointment and betrayal can all be motives for murder. And since the suspects are all mystery writers most of the deaths are staged to look like suicide!Read more ›
Highly recommended--an entertaining thriller that is sure to keep the reader on the edge of his seat.
Tom obtains David's help in dumping a corpse though the former does not believe the latter's explanation. Soon afterward Tom falls to his death from his office window. AAPD Homicide Detective Elizabeth Waishkey suspects David killed Tom especially when evidence surfaces that he slept with Laura. As other people associated with Gray Streets die, single mom Elizabeth focuses even more intensely on David, who conducts his own inquiry to uncover the killer before he is on trial.
The fun in this terrific twisting serial killer investigative tale is the writers who are intelligent and witty until they become the star of someone else's plot. The story line is fast-paced and the amateur sleuth prime suspect and the obstinate cop chasing him makes for an intriguing duel. Mindful of the movies' Theater of Blood and Murder by Death, but less hammy, fans will enjoy Harry Dolan's fine thriller that as Vincent Price said (in Theatre of Blood) is "much ado about murder".
"Bad Things Happen" is at its best when Dolan goes for laughs. For instance, Tom Kristoll, the publisher of "Gray Streets," wryly states, "No one sets out to be an editor. It's something that happens to you, like jaundice or falling down a well." A woman named Bridget makes fun of the contrivances that writers rely on to move their stories along: "It's a cliché...a murder staged to look like a suicide. Every mystery writer uses it sooner or later. I used it in my second book." More of this tongue-in-cheek bantering would have been invigorating.
The author presents a baffling series of events that leave us almost completely in the dark. A sharp detective named Elizabeth Waishkey attempts to find out who committed the aforementioned murders. Liz empathizes with David but is extremely irritated when he starts his own investigation, putting himself at risk and interfering with her efforts. David's personality is not well delineated; his behavior runs the gamut from shrewd to incredibly stupid.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Twisty and intriguing plot. Subtle characters, intelligent writing. I enjoyed reading it and look forward to the rest of the series.Published 3 months ago by Kindle Customer
This was a pretty good book. A page Turner and a quick read. Will read the next in the series.Published 4 months ago by Susan S Montcalm
This is a page turner that twists and keeps on twisting, but I will say, that the twists seem believable instead of over-the-top. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Anthony Mitchell
I've become a Dolan fan. I finished this book and immediately ordered another.Published 7 months ago by ALI-BURT
Crisp writing and interesting storyline. Keeps you guessing and a fun read!Published 11 months ago by CSS
I thought this was clever, intriguing, and genuinely fun to read. I enjoyed it enough to buy the next two in the series.Published 13 months ago by mommygoround