stormhawk's Reviews > Bad Things Happen

Bad Things Happen by Harry Dolan
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's review
Jun 26, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: recommended-by-friends
Recommended to stormhawk by: mollyjr
Read from June 25 to 26, 2010

I have the good fortune to have a friend who works in a bookstore. Everybody who reads a lot should have a good friend who works in a bookstore. They get all of the best new books first, and, if you're really lucky, they have an innate sense of who might like what book ... my friend takes a lot of pleasure in matching books to people. She's not merely good at this, she's great. She'll thrust a book into your hands and say, "I think you'll like this," even if it's a book that you might not ordinarily choose. She's done this to me a lot. Bad Things Happen is sort of one of these books. She hadn't read it, but she left it with me while I waited in her car and she ran into the supermarket. And I couldn't put it down.

Bad Things Happen is a suitably mysterious mystery. Like many mysteries the plot twists and turns, and offers the reader a number of different possible explanations for the crimes, winnows them down, and slides into an action-filled resolution that wasn't immediately apparent while you were reading, but one that is in consonance with the rest of the story. There are elements of police procedurals and British drawing room mysteries that appear here and there, flavored with some hard-boiled gumshoe. The situations are improbable, of course, but that's what is needed to craft the book that you end up reading, and the improbabilities are quite easily accepted by the reader. I did sustain some expectation that there would be something more to the main character's backstory, but then it wouldn't have been the same book.

Read Bad Things Happen. The only regret you may have is the sleep you'll lose staying up to finish it. I finished it at 4:00 AM. Didn't mean to, it just happened. I really couldn't stop. You probably won't either.

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