Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bad Things Happen

Bad Things Happen by Harry Dolan

The man who calls himself David Loogan is hoping to escape a violent past by living a quiet, anonymous life in Ann Arbor, Michigan. But when he's hired as an editor at a mystery magazine, he is drawn into an affair with the sleek blond wife of the publisher, Tom Kristoll-a man who soon turns up dead.

Elizabeth Waishkey is the most talented detective in the Ann Arbor Police Department, but even she doesn't know if Loogan is a killer or an ally who might help her find the truth. As more deaths start mounting up-some of them echoing stories published in the magazine-it's up to Elizabeth to solve both the murders and the mystery of Loogan himself.

--Bad Things Happen
by Harry Dolan
Copyright © 2009 by Harry Dolan
Published by Penguin Group

My Review
The story starts slowly, introducing the reader to David Loogan and the quiet life he’s living in Ann Arbor, Michigan. But his quiet life isn’t quiet for very long. Tom Kristoll, his boss and owner of Gray Streets literary magazine, needs a favor. He needs to bury a body. Not long afterward, Tom Kristoll is dead.

From there, David’s life begins to change, and his quiet, peaceful, anonymous world slowly begins to unravel. The lead investigator, Detective Elizabeth Waishkey, is suspicious of him because he seems to be completely open and honest, and yet also seems to be hiding something. Who exactly is the man calling himself David Loogan? What’s he hiding in his past and why does he seem to know too much about how a murder investigation is conducted?

When a man is found in David’s home, stabbed with one of David’s own knives, David goes on the run. He needs to find out who’s behind all the deaths and why. He doesn’t quite trust the cops to do the job, but he trusts Elizabeth. Can they unravel the twisted web of lives and deaths before any more Bad Things Happen?

The story really does start a bit slow, even though the opening chapter starts with the burying of a body, but if you invest your time in the beginning, it will pay off by the end.

After the initial start, the tension gradually starts to build, like climbing the first hill of the world’s largest roller coaster. There you are, sitting in the front seat, watching that far-off curl of track that’ll rocket you down the rest of the ride. You’re waiting, your heart picking up speed, your breath growing short, listening to each and every click of the track, watching that curl grow closer and closer. And with each and every click of the track, with each page that you turn, the tension grows stronger and stronger until you finally reach that moment when you go over that smooth curl of track. You’re off and rolling, screaming down that first hill, climbing the next, going through an unexpected tunnel and rocketing up around a double loop. A helix spins you round and round and you have to hold on tight, because you’re being pulled one way and pushed the other. You’re thrown back in your seat and pressed forward. You’re going through twist and turns, bumps and jerks, going up and down until finally, blessedly finally, you come to the end and you think to yourself, “now that was a ride!”.

Yeah. It’s like that.

I give this story FOUR STARS.

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