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When She Was Bad (E.L. Pender #4)

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  642 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
The author of "Twenty-Seven Bones" and "The Girls He Adored" delivers another nailbiting thriller featuring former FBI agent E. L. Pender. Breathtaking and suspenseful, yet leavened with a perverse and quirky humor, "When She Was Bad" examines the terrifying relationship between two hot young lovers who also happen to be coldblooded killers."Multiples in love: imagine the ...more
Hardcover, 340 pages
Published September 4th 2007 by Simon and Schuster Adult Publishing Group (first published January 1st 2007)
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Mar 10, 2015 Stephanie rated it really liked it
This is the fourth book in the EL Pender series but a sequel to The Girls He Adored which is why I jumped. "Max" has spent the last two years in a high security insane asylum being treated for DID under the care of a Dr. whose idea of treatment is questionable. In comes Lily (and Lilith)...she has suffered the same horrible abuse as a child and now as a result, also suffers from DID. Could it be a match made in multiple personalty/psychopathic heaven!?

I finished this book in a day. It was awesom
Sep 05, 2007 Cindy rated it really liked it
Nasaw is back to his (good) old tricks with this one. Great look into the world of multiple personalities. Ulysses is back in this one.
Apr 20, 2008 Eva rated it it was amazing
Unlike anything I have read. I didn't realize it was part of a small series, I am reading them over from the beginning. Definitely a different kind of thriller.
Nov 16, 2014 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
This book is a genius masterpiece!
Nov 21, 2016 Nikki rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
Multiple personality disorder is both fascinating and frightening. This book had two main characters suffering from the condition, which made it all the more interesting. I couldn't help but feel sorrow, knowing that their condition was a result of seriously traumatic events they had endured as children. Very well written, I may have to look into reading more from this author.
Apr 22, 2010 Manda rated it it was amazing
Let me say... This was my first Jonathan Nasaw book. I was wandering through the library, looking for something different and new. Needless to say, I was missing a little of the story, as this is the sequel to The Girls He Adored but it worked well enough as a stand alone.

Everything starts simply enough-- We're introduced to Lily DeVries, your typical 17 year old girl. Apart from the brutal abuse that she suffered as a child, which in turn caused her to develop Dissociative Identity Disorder or
Apr 10, 2013 Levian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lyssy and Lily were both diagnosed with Multiple Personality Disorder. Lyssy was sent to the mental institution where Dr. Al took a whole new approach of electrocution to subside the multiple personality in his patients. a few years had passed since Lyssy's other personality surfaced, Dr. Al was eager to announce his successful approach. but at the same time, Lily was sent into the institution by psychiatrist Irene and FBI agent Pender. Irene was Lyssy's last victim in The Girls He Adored (2001) ...more
Oh, I enjoyed this book quite a bit! It was a very fast read, and it made for a rather happy ending for everyone involved - which was nice, since though it’s the fourth installment in the E. L. Pender series, it actually functions as a direct sequel to the first book in the series, The Girls He Adored. Nearly all of the characters reappear here. Though, I was a little disappointed for Max's fate - he was a pretty charming (and very disturbing) killer in the first book... also, the end of this on ...more
May 03, 2008 Jenn rated it liked it
Recommends it for: SS lovers (maybe)
Those who know me know I absolutely LURVE the sick stuff. For me, Nasaw was always one of the good guys at sloshing out the sick stuff. This one....not so much.

An interesting tale of Max the psycho killer coming back to take care of the psychologist lady. (See, I can't even remember her name!) It was neat that they brought in a new playmate for Lyssy/Max. Not sure I liked the DID theme though, as I always think of Sybil and wonder why they needed to change the name of multiple personality disord
Darcia Helle
Jan 06, 2010 Darcia Helle rated it it was amazing
Ulysses and Lilly, two people suffering with multiple personality disorder, fall in love. This story starts there and goes full tilt until the very end. One personality is a serial killer, another a hard-edged biker babe unafraid to kill. Then there's the sweet, naive man-child and the trusting, hopeful young woman. Personalities fight for dominance and the good and bad guy are all wrapped up in one package.

Nasaw is an excellent writer. He tackles a fascinating subject with sizzling suspense th
Oct 14, 2008 Karen rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Karen by: $5 On-Line Steals from Barnes & Noble
I didn't realize that this book was part of a series, which explained some of the holes left in it. All in all, as this is not my normal genre (I gleaned this one from the $5 Barnes & Noble Bargain Bookshelf), I was surprised how it captured my interest. The multiple personalities angle to the book really kept it interesting and made it more than just a book about serial killing. I really enjoyed it and am going to go back and read more in the series... particularly, "The Girls He Adored" as ...more
Lori Strode
Apr 13, 2014 Lori Strode rated it it was ok
This book is a very short read, I managed to finish it in about a day, and that was a work day, too. The plot was very interesting, if not a bit cliched in parts. I enjoyed the descriptive narrative, and also enjoyed the fact that it wasn't as relentless as the prequel. I found that it spluttered and sort of crawled it's way to a finish, however. I wouldn't read this again, but I appreciate what the author was trying to put out. Also, E.L Pender's segments were once again boring, and just seemed ...more
Apr 03, 2016 lia rated it really liked it
i picked this book for two reasons: 1. the cover was all covered in blood 2. it talked about DID and i love thrillers that have psychiatry and mental disorders into them.
i thought it would help me out too as an aspiring author.
it was fun to read but not as exciting and thrilling as i thought it would be. some parts were not interesting enough but that's just my opinion. either way, despite the occasional uninterest, i liked the story overall. i actually wanna read his other books and i think th
Ashlee Foster (Tidwell)
I was honestly shocked when I looked at other's reviews of this book. Most I was were 4-5 stars and when I saw that my jaw literally dropped. This is one of the, dumbest, for lack of a better and more mature word, book I have ever bothered reading. The book has no plot other than escape, kill, escape, on and so forth. It's ridiculous to say this book even has merit. I know we are each entitled to our own opinions, but my god - 5 stars??? Are you kidding me?
Jun 21, 2009 Kay rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psycho-thrillers
Jonathan Nasaw is one of the most underrated writers that I read. His stories always captivate me and are of the ‘don’t want to put this one down’ variety. It’s difficult to find his books and it took me 2 years to locate a copy of this one. After searching the library, bookstore, used bookstores in 2 states I finally broke down and bought it off Ebay. It did not disappoint!
I have read all his psycho books but did not read any of his earlier vampire books.
Jan 20, 2015 Lori rated it it was ok
I liked this book a lot at first. The premise seemed interesting enough and I liked the author's style. As the book went on, I felt like the story was rushed along and I didn't care about the characters. Making myself finish this book was a struggle. The constant shift between the many alters grew tired rather quickly.
May 20, 2010 Genaphur rated it liked it
I love Jonathan Nasaw and I can't remember what it was that made me put this book down for awhile but sometimes when I split a book I'm reading into two different reading times I end up losing something out of it. So I might have rated this book higher if I had read it all at once but I'm just glad I got around to finishing it instead of forgetting all about it.
Aug 22, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this book and found it interesting to follow the different personalities of the two main characters. How interesting that they could actually fake their other personalities, very clever. I did not know until reading the other reviews that there was a book about Max before this one, but I will pick it up!
Jul 28, 2008 Nancy rated it it was ok
My mom had this from the library and because I forgot my book when I went home to visit, I picked this up. Really liked the premise, but at times it was a little more than I could stand... kind of over the top. The best part, though, was that it taught me a TON of new words, like "saturnine". Kind of a Sybil for modern times.
Dec 29, 2013 Lyra rated it it was amazing
I'm a bit uncomfortable with a 5 star review but I have no choice. This was a twisted story of two serial killers with multiple personalities. Excellent writing took a horrific tale of abuse and lots of sick violence and made this a page turner with heart.
Mar 03, 2011 Tabitha rated it really liked it
I only have a couple of chapters left in this book to read. Overall, it's a pretty good read... just a little slow at some parts. Great story/crime plot though, I enjoyed learning more about disassociate identity disorder.
Oct 14, 2013 Amandahomsher rated it liked it
this was an okay book, it was a quick read, the only problem I had with this book is sometimes they are not clear at first which of the characters "personalities" they are talking from. I found myself wondering a few times who it was and in some cases the only way to find out is to keep reading.
Apr 11, 2012 Shannon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scary, series
I enjoyed reading the second part of Max's story, but for whatever reason this was just not a page turner for me. I couldn't put the first one down and this one seemed to lag for me. It is still an interesting read though.
Linda Rowe
Good book

Jonathan manages to write a good follow up adventure without repeating too much from previous books but enough to know what happened previously, even if you haven't read them.
Feb 11, 2008 Heather rated it liked it
I liked the idea of this book and I got it mostly because of the DID content. It was good, but I think it fell short in actually discussing the characters' mental problems. There was so much more that could have been done.
Oct 15, 2013 Toby rated it really liked it
I loved it. The perfect combination of a character drama and suspense thriller. The characters and alters were integral in the telling of the dark story. Plus even though it's fiction, I learned a lot about D.I.D.
Aug 03, 2012 William rated it liked it
A little rough in places. Story about man and women with multi personalities. Very violent in parts, but somewhat interesting. Definitely a thriller.
I would not recommend unless you are into that kind of thing. Somewhat contrived, but quick read.
Aug 09, 2011 Autumn rated it it was ok
Shelves: general-fiction
The premise is great and the plot isn't bad, but the writing is so boiled it hits my ears like chunks of overcooked pork. Like the author was actually throwing chunks of boiled pig at my head. I read more than 2/3 of the novel before giving up, so I'm counting this as a read book.
Oct 29, 2016 Carol rated it liked it
Fascinating story about two young lovers who just happen to have multiple personality disorders. Psychiatrist Cogan and retired FBI agent Pender team together to help them but ultimately they need to be stopped.
Beth Linhart
Oct 06, 2009 Beth Linhart rated it it was amazing
SO good! One of my new favorites... about the lives of two young adults who have multiple personalities.

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Jonathan Nasaw is the acclaimed author of Fear Itself and The Girls He Adored, both Literary Guild Selections. He lives in Pacific Grove, California.

* E.L. Pender
* James Whistler
More about Jonathan Nasaw...

Other Books in the Series

E.L. Pender (5 books)
  • The Girls He Adored
  • Fear Itself
  • Twenty Seven Bones
  • The Boys from Santa Cruz

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“The little office, scarcely large enough to contain Dr. Irene’s desk at one end and the couch at the other, held a world of memories for Lily. Here, fifty minutes at a time, two or three times a week, she’d spilled out her hopes and fears, her childhood nightmares and adolescent insecurities – in a sense, she’d grown up in this room.” 3 likes
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