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They Did Bad Things: A Thriller Kindle Edition
|Length: 322 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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"A superior riff on And Then There Were None . . . Forry expertly maintains the nail-biting suspense while fully developing her characters. Agatha Christie fans won’t want to miss this one."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Forry keeps readers on edge. . . . The solution to the past and present mysteries involves a well-executed twist. This is one for fans of Lucy Foley's The Hunting Party."—Booklist
“As ingenious as Knives Out, as twisted as Gone Girl, They Did Bad Things is a very good thing indeed.”—Paul Witcover, author of Tumbling After and finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award
“Lauren A. Forry creates a chilly, claustrophobic thriller with a group of misfit characters who not only have a history together but also a bucketful of secrets. They Did Bad Things covers all the 'dunnits'—who, what, why, where, and how—and you’ll want to read to the end to find out all the answers.”—Raymond Benson, author of Blues in the Dark and The Secrets on Chicory Lane
"Lauren A. Forry . . . is obviously well-versed in nightmares."—The Skinny
Praise for Lauren A. Forry's Debut Novel, the Gothic Thriller Abigale Hall
"I mean, come on, who doesn't love an atmospheric, creepy-as-hell Gothic novel featuring two tormented sisters? ABIGALE HALL recalls the classics of the genre while smartly pushing and prodding at the genre boundaries as well as the discomfort level of the reader."—PAUL TREMBLAY, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and Disappearance at Devil's Rock
”Set in Britain’s difficult postwar years, Abigale Hall is a moody, Gothic fantasy that transports the reader from the grimy streets of London to a remote, crumbling mansion in the Wales countryside. Forry’s well-drawn, idiosyncratic characters find themselves absorbed into a surreal world where reality is not what it seems, and which becomes more horrifying with every turn of the page. A tense, intelligent read that surprises right up to its unexpected conclusion!”—RICHARD COX, author of The Boys of Summer
“From the first paragraph . . . readers know they have entered a splendid gothic novel, with dark shadows and a disturbing creep of horror. It then comes as an intriguing surprise that the book is set in the years following the end of WWII . . . Forry shows herself a master at seductive prose that keeps the reader turning pages, eager to discover the next shocking turn of events.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"This is the kind of book that grabs the reader by the throat and doesn't let go. I am usually a silent reader, but this story made me squirm, gasp and even scream several times. Forry expertly ratchets up the tension on every page . . . And while the story is timeless, as all good tales of terror are, Forry anchors it with period details that explain the psychology and concerns of the characters. Fans of gothic classics such as du Maurier’s Rebecca and James's The Turn of the Screw will love this creepy, gruesome tale of terror. Just don't read it before eating or going to bed. Highly recommended."—The Historical Novel Society
“I had thought it not possible for any contemporary writer to be able to retrieve the feelings of gloom and dread encountered in such iconic novels as du Maurier’s Rebecca, Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, and even the more jagged side of Shirley Jackson. Lauren A. Forry, whose work is new to me, takes the gothic—and neo-gothic—sensibility common to these authors and folds in a harsher, yet equally atmospheric, texture . . . a mix of deep wonder, texture, complicated players, and a sense of unease that never is relieved—even at the end. ”—Hell Notes
"Full of atmosphere and with that irresistible creeping dread from start to end, this Gothic horror is a real treat."—HEAT MAGAZINE
"Lauren A. Forry was PA to Zooey Deschanel on The Happening— that being an M. Night Shyamalan movie, she's obviously well versed in nightmares . . . This debut novel of the Faber & Faber Creative Writing MA prize winner, touted as Daphne Du Maurier meets Hitchcock, is one to watch."—THE SKINNY
"Lauren Forry has created a brilliant debut novel, one that creeped me out, kept me hooked and will have me recommending Abigale Hall to everyone."—READING WITH A VIEW
"Abigale Hall hooks you in... Death hangs on the edge of the pages."—HEATHER WRITES (4 Stars)
"The mansion is something out of a gothic horror in its own right, and there's even a sinister housekeeper something along the lines of the terrifying Mrs Danvers from... what was that book... Ah yes, Rebecca!"—CRIME FICTION LOVER
"A beautifully written novel full of rumours, intrigue, love and loss."—THE WELSH LIBRARIAN
"Forry ratches up the tension expertly, until we don't know if it's madness, ghosts, someone toying with Eliza, or her own imagination that makes the mansion such a place of fear. Whatever it is, it works — keep the lights on when reading!"—CRIME WORM
"It’s all the ingredients for a classic tale of Gothic style horror, yet Forry still manages to wring fresh blood (figuratively and literally) out of the genre. . . . In the course of the novel, there come plot twists that are so genuinely shocking at one point it feels like being slapped across the face. The final denouement is extraordinary. But be forewarned: in such a dark world do not look for a happy ending." —Woman Around Town
"This is a story that goes from merely atmospheric to outright terrifying as you compulsively turn the pages. Forry lulls you into thinking this is just a typical historic, Gothic thriller in the style of Rebecca, until the increasing panic, merging storylines, and uncovered, deadly secrets begin to precariously pile up, ultimately crashing down in a dark and very sinister collapse. Shirley Jackson's influence clings to every page of this intense debut."—Ra for All
"Without a doubt Abigale Hall is cloaked with an unnerving surrealness."—Little Bookness Lane
"This creepy tale of Gothic horror and suspense is the perfect book to curl up with on a dark and stormy night. But, beware . . . you might go to sleep with the lights on!" — The Book Review
"This Victorian novel will have you on the edge of your seat. This Gothic story is perfect for fans of Shirley Jackson and Gillian Flynn."—Cup of Tea With That Book Please
"This book is full of lovely descriptive passages and creates a great sense of menace and eeriness. . . . The atmosphere builds beautifully as one strange thing after another happens leading to a surprising ending. I'm glad I didn't read this book at night!" —Promoting Crime
"Wonderfully vivid and bleak and horrible."—Bloggy Come Lately
"A SERIOUSLY good read. . . . Lauren Forry has created a brilliant debut novel, one that creeped me out, kept me hooked and will have me recommending Abigail Hall to everyone."—Reading Room With a View
About the Author
- File Size : 1273 KB
- Print Length : 322 pages
- ASIN : B081B9HMN3
- Publication Date : June 2, 2020
- Publisher : Arcade Crimewise (June 2, 2020)
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Language: : English
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #272,201 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The premise of They Did Bad Things is interesting enough. A group of college kids are brought together by the dilapidated, rundown house in which they each rent a room. The students couldn't be more different than each other, but they somehow make coexisting work until it, well... doesn't. The morning after a crazy party, the roommates awaken to find that one housemate has been murdered, clearly by one of the roommates themselves, but no one knows who for sure. After covering up evidence and making the crime look like an accident, the surviving roommates go on to live their lives for the next few decades until they are all lured to a mysterious hotel on an island in Scotland under false pretenses. It quickly becomes clear that no one will be checking out of this hotel alive until the truth about what happened all those years ago is revealed and justice has been served. Death and mayhem ensue and the rest of the novel plays out like your cookie-cutter horror movie.
Now, normally, I would like this, except something just doesn't work here. I could envision the story in my mind and I bet it could be a successful movie, but it just wasn't working as a novel for me. I found it very confusing to follow. The story is told from several narrators' perspectives and jumps from the past to the present to the near-past to the long ago past again, etc. Three of the characters were very similar and I kept getting them mixed up in my mind. I feel like this is something that needed to be cleaned up a little bit to make the experience less arduous for the reader. The twists and turns were far from shocking and even the gruesome bits felt like the author was trying too hard. So much of the mastermind's plan is laughably far-fetched (getting plastic surgery to assume someone else's identity???). None of the characters were likable and the ultimate reason the roommate was killed in the first place never made much sense to me. I also never fully understood how the bad guy knew which one of the roommates was responsible for the original death.
I'm frustrated because I really thought I was going to like this novel. I hate to rate it so low when I've loved her previous work, but I almost quit several times. It's never a good sign when you've made it to 90% completion and you still aren't sure the last 10% is worth your time. Forry did do a nice job when it came to creating a creepy setting in both the college rental house and the Scottish manor, but everything else just fell way short.
As shocked as they are to see each other, with no cell reception or easy way to leave, these frenemies must work together to discover who else is in the house. Told in the past and present by these characters and an unknown narrator, the question is which of them did it and why. Yes, everyone swears they are innocent and quite willing to accuse each other. Soon, the body count starts to rise and as the suspects diminish, more secrets are revealed. Out of all my many guesses, I didn't come close to figuring this one out!
The book description states, “And Then There Were None meets The Last Time I Lied”, and I would add there are references and an overall feeling of Clue as well. I read this on Sunday and did not put it down until I was done. The characters were well-written and though I can't say I liked any of them, nobody deserves to be murdered in an old, isolated house! I can't believe this is the first time I heard of this author, but I will be rectifying that soon.
I received a DRC from Arcade Crimewise through NetGalley.