Review

Bad Things Happen

by Harry Dolan

Plans change. Bad things happen. People die…

…“Listen, David, you can go if you want. I shouldn’t have called you. I’ll deal with this. You don’t need to get involved.”
“I’m already involved,” Loogan said.
“It’s too much to ask.”
“You already asked.”
“There’s still time to come to your senses.”
“That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you,” Loogan said.

The man who calls himself David Loogan has recently moved to Ann Arbor, set himself up in a small apartment, and started writing short stories. But Loogan has a past that is murky, secret and nearly untraceable. He also has an enviable bravado not often found, yet he is afraid of the dark. Some consequence from an earlier life? Few people who know him have any idea of who Loogan really is. In fact, few people know Loogan at all. He tends to keep a low profile.

When his friend, Tom Kristoll, asks him a favor, a doozy of a favor, really --- to help bury a body --- Loogan’s quiet new life is quite understandably turned upside down. He never should have agreed to Kristoll’s harebrained idea. Of course, he never should have slept with Kristoll’s wife either. And it’s possible he never should have changed his name and come to Ann Arbor.

Not a man who is generally prone to poor judgment, Loogan certainly should have known better, but this time he stacks one bad decision on top of another. Maybe if he hadn’t, so many people wouldn’t have died. How could burying one ex-con with a penchant for burglary (that’s what Kristoll told Loogan about the dead guy) cause a chain reaction of such huge proportions?

It’s not long after Loogan and his friend have planted the body in the woods that another victim turns up. Followed by another. And then another. Where will it stop? Ann Arbor has never seen so many bodies with questionable causes of death. And the list of possible killers just keeps growing.

Very slowly, Loogan starts to figure out what’s going on --- or, at least, he has a pretty workable theory. If he is right, he could be the next to die. Solving the puzzle of whodunit becomes a race for his life. 

Fortunately, the cop on the cases, Detective Elizabeth Waishkey, has a good head on her shoulders. Even when an abundance of evidence and the general police sentiment point at Loogan as the prime suspect, Elizabeth maintains her doubt. If not for her, the outcome might have been far different for Loogan. And because of Loogan, the outcome might have been far different for her too.

Caustically witty and hair-raisingly scary, BAD THINGS HAPPEN bursts onto the literary scene with a story teeming with new twists on nearly every page and action that will leave its readers breathless. David Loogan is a great new character, as is Detective Waishkey, a pair readers will want to see a lot more of --- if they survive. If ever there were a tale of one’s past coming back to haunt, this is it.

Reviewed by Kate Ayers on December 22, 2010

Bad Things Happen
by Harry Dolan

  • Publication Date: December 16, 2010
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade
  • ISBN-10: 0425234401
  • ISBN-13: 9780425234402