Bad Things Happen (David Loogan #1)
The characters were excellent. Each was well drawn, an individual without stereotypes or overbearing explanation. It's someone you meet, a slow realization, subtly & fully fed. That includes the mysterious main character that we slowly learn more ...more
David Loogan can juggle more than just oranges, and he ha ...more
A man who calls himself David Loogan arrives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and on a whim, submits a story to Gray Streets, a literary crime journal. The magazine's editor, Tom Kristoll, is impressed with Loogan's abilities and persuades him to come to work as an editor for the magazine. In short order, David and Tom become close friends.
If this book were a story in Gray Streets, the editor would have made Harry Dolan change at least some of the references to Elizabeth's raven hair to black hair. (I swear, he never refers to it as black--it is always raven.
If this book were a story in Gray Streets, the editor would have deleted at least two or three or four or fifteen of the who-knows-how-many plot twists. (Makes you want to scream Enough Already!)
If this boo ...more
David Loogan is a stranger in town, and on an impulse, drops off a manuscript he writes to Gray Streets, a local magazine run by Tom Kristoll who likes the story. Tom is so impressed with David that he ends up giving him a job as editor. As time goes on, ...more
I've rarely read a book so full of first-rate dialogue, and its deft skewering of author egos and its fresh insight into how publishing sausage is made lends to the long list of the book's endless delights. It is the rare mystery novel that cheerfully tosses overboard everything that isn't pure fifth-gear story. No stopping to smell the flowers — or describe them — here, thank you very muc ...more
Author Harry Dolan's education in philosophy and dabbling in fiction writing with Frederick Busch become weighty handicaps to his writing a mystery. He's so interested in a convoluted plot with occasional allusions to classic Noir (Raymond Chandler, for example), that he forge ...more
This book popped up with some decent reviews so I thought I would go for it.
Well, I got "light," but this was really not a very good book. A fast read, yes as it's simple style and pacing lends itself to a quick journey, but not a very good one.
The book felt contrived. Always reaching to try and fool and be clever, but coming across as just trying too hard.
The characters felt like parodies of ...more
Sometimes I'm reluctant to write a review of a book. Not because the book was bad but because it was good. So good that I know I won't be able to do it justice with my own words. Bad Things Happen is just such a book. Harry Dolan crosses Raymond Chandleresque noir with Quentin Tarantino's rapid-fire dialog and complicated plotting style. All this leavened with enough dry wit to make a Jane Austen fan sit up and take n...more
After "mysterious" loner David Loogan helps his boss - the editor of Gray Streets, a literary magazine for mystery stories - bury a body the titular "bad things" begin to happen. Bodies pile up and suspicions are cast on David and the writers who are attached to the magazine. The central conceit - that the victims and suspects are all someho ...more
Back-cover blurbs should serve to sell a novel, but those adorning Harry Dolan's Bad Things Happen almost made me put it down. When Nelson DeMille, Karin Slaughter and James Patterson heap kudos on a book, I start thinking, "Yeah, I bet this will end up being a hyper-commercialized title, the kind of mindless mystery that gives the term 'beach read' a bad name." But while Bad Things Happen certainly has mainstream appeal, Dolan possesses more erudition, good humor and p ...more
The main character, the mysterious Mr. Loogan, arrives in the university town of Ann Arbor, Mich. and tries his hand at writing stories for the local magazine, Grey Streets. He is "discovered" and hired as an editor for the magazine by publisher Tom Kristoll. When Tom's apparent suicide turns out to be murder, Mr. Loogan becomes involved.
Loogan bowed his head and his eyes were lost in s...more
I have been anticipating this book for a year now, and Harry Dolan did not let me down. His style/voice is efficient, but there's an excellent wit and richness to it, without it ever feeling indulgent or amateur.
My plan this morning (around page 45) was to read "a few more pages," but once I hit around page 70, I could not stop. I ...more
Abounding with deep characterizations and twisty storylines, Dolan's first attempt at novel writing is an exceptional and deserving result of great storytelling.
Enters David Loogan, a shady writer with a dark, tense story of his own to tell--a horrific past he wishes he could leave quiet. But from the novel's opening line, "The shovel has to meet certain requirements," Do ...more
p.162: "What was the theme? he wanted to know. If we had to describe a Gray Streets story in one sentence, what would it be? Tom had an answer ready, almost as if he had expected the question: 'Plans go wrong, bad ...more
Loogan is living a low-visibility life in Ann Arbor until he meets Tom Kristoll, the editor of a mystery magazine. Tom first drafts him to edit stories -- and then to get a shovel and help him bury someone.
There is a good bit of misdirection and a high body count. But the plot stays true to Tom's view of crime writing: "Plans go wrong. Bad thing ...more
What's so clever about this book, and so funny too is that the characters, Loogan chief among them, approach the murder investigation as if it were one of the mysteries that they've read or written. All of the tropes you've come to expect in crime fiction, all ...more
In a delightfully perverse twist, not only is the principle murder victim a mystery pulp editor -- slain with Shakespeare, no less -- but the entire stable of suspects are themselves mystery writers and genre junkies. Thus, nearly every conversation provides opportunity f ...more