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A Good and Useful Hurt
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A Good and Useful Hurt

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  1,778 ratings  ·  213 reviews
Mike is a tattoo artist running his own shop,
and Deb is the piercing artist he hires to round out his studio’s motley crew of four. The last either expects is romance, but that’s what they get as they follow their off-kilter careers and love lives into complete and total disaster.

When Mike follows a growing trend and tattoos the ashes of deceased loved ones into several cu
Paperback, 293 pages
Published February 21st 2012 by 47North
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Average rating 3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,778 ratings  ·  213 reviews

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Feb 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
One of the best things about being an established blogger is that you get to read new books from authors you might not have known about otherwise. A Good and Useful Hurt was one of those kinds of books for me.

Honestly, it kind of blew me away and I didn't expect that. I accepted the book for review because Aric Davis is a body piercer and is covered with tattoos. Since I have many piercings and tattoos, I wanted to read what he'd written, particularly because of the body modification element. I
Feb 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I decided to read this book because it was about tattoos and the paranormal. I had no idea it was going to effect me like it did. I think I felt just about every emotion possible while reading this book and I was completely vested in each of the main characters.

I will note that I have several tattoos and have spent a fair amount of time in tattoo shops, so this could have a lot to do with my connection to the story, considering that this is the backdrop for the 1st half of the book. That being s
Melissa (Mel’s Bookshelf)
Mar 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Wow, what an unusual book!

Mike owns a tattoo studio and begins to get requests to use the ashes of peoples deceased loved ones in the ink. People are very grateful for these permanent, very special reminders of their loved ones. Especially when strange things begin to happen...
And then before he knows it, Mike is investigating a serial killer!

Loved the characters! Loved the focus of tattoos, piercing and other fun stuff. Really interesting perspective.

I'm glad I read some reviews first and reali
This book was a happy surprise, good, believable characters, and a good mystery mixed with a bit of paranormal. A tattoo artist along with some old friends try to find a serial killer through some unorthodox methods of tattooing and ghosts. I will look for more books from this author.
Mar 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
The book had an interesting concept. It rapidly switched from a slow moving love story to ghost story/thriller. I was completely unprepared for the second part of the book because it changed so radically and I had not read the full description of the novel prior to starting it. I tried to go with the flow of the story, but I admit that it was a little hard. I appreciate that he wanted the reader to feel a little shocked with the second half of the book, but I think it could have been done better ...more
Jan 01, 2016 rated it liked it
I liked this book even though there was SO MUCH I hated about it. Lots of depictions of the torture of women and then there was that thing where every "strong" female character in this book was deemed to be "crazy, but in a good way." I am so tired of that. SO TIRED. But I still liked this book which made me mad at myself. The premise was more interesting than expected.

Can we all agree to stop being faux-feminists that only write the manic pixie dream girl whose sanity is always barely holding
melanie butler
Jun 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
You have to read this. You just have to read it!
Full of intrigue and suspense and a little bit of sadness.
Dec 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
I get very flustered when I finish a bad book. It's like that moment right after having bad sex; during the course of the nightmare romp you try to find a spark - anything! - but sooner or later you resign to the fact that it's just not happening and you lay there in crushing, mind-blowing disappointment.

I promised myself that I would only give 50 Shades of Gray 1 star. I believed that I couldn't find any book that could even touch the crap that was 50 Shades. This book is on the scale of 50 Sha
Richda Mcnutt
Apr 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is probably one of the most unusual books that I have read in my many years of reading. I waa curious about it because you don't see many books that have a tattoo shop as a central location. It combines tattoo artists, body piercers (the good guys) and a serial murderer (the bad guy - duh). The first half of the book focuses on the relationships between the tattoo shop personnel, as well as the relationships that are forged with their customers. The premise of individuals having a tattoo do ...more
Mar 01, 2012 rated it liked it
This should probably go up to 3.5 stars. This was an odd book--didn't launch into anything supernatural until around the middle so I wasn't quite expecting it. That actually worked--it's very character-driven and I really liked the characters, so being able to get fond of them somehow made the supernatural element more plausible/palatable. ...more
Aug 22, 2020 rated it liked it
I actually liked the chapters about the tattoo parlor, but I'm just not into getting into the heads of psychopathic serial killers, so I had to stop. ...more
Apr 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
So I gave this book 5 stars. Why, I have no clue; 4 stars just didn't seem sufficient. I found it to be incredibly different and unique, in a good way. I've read my fair share of mystery/murder/thriller books but this one was unlike any I'd read. There was a bit of civilian-playing-detective but only towards the end and in a way that is quite unorthodox. Instead, the chapters alternated between Phil the rapist/murderer, Mike the tattoo artist, and the clients who had had tattoos which ashes done ...more
Feb 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: amazon-vine, weird, quirky
I'm going to to explain what type of book this is without being spoiling anything, but if I do then forgive me. It's sort of a difficult book to review because it doesn't really fit into any specific category and in order to explain the tone to potential readers, I'll have to be a little more specific. No big plot spoilers that'd ruin the book for you though, so no worries.

I'll warn you right here and now: this book might sound like a thriller, but it's not. The bulk of the novel deals with deve
Ancestral Gaidheal
Why did I read it? It seemed like it could be an interesting story and it was recommended for those who appreciated Stieg Larsson, though, having read it, I am now trying to figure out why.

What's is about? Mike is a tattoo artist with his own shop, who is haunted by visions of Sid, his girlfriend who committed suicide. When he hires Debs to take on the piercing and body modification side of things, he starts to live again. Mike doesn't really question it when he receives a request from a custome
Mar 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 23, 2012 rated it really liked it

A Good and Useful Hurt
By: Aric Davis

I really liked this novel. It has a unique story and it is told thru good writing, descriptions and endearing characters.
A Good and Useful Hurt takes place in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Most of the comings and goings revolve around a tattoo parlor. The character Mike owns the place and lives upstairs. He meets Deb and hires her as a body piercer. They fall in love. While this is going on we hear about Phil, a brutal serial rapist and murderer.
At the time Mike get
Sally Moore
Jul 18, 2014 rated it liked it
I struggled with whether to give this murder mystery/super-natural/ghost story novel 3 or 4 stars. The story was actually very well crafted and a page turner. I was fascinated with the paranormal aspect of the story telling and I loved most of the characters. If you could spend time with your loved ones again in your dreams, would you get a tattoo with their ashes mixed in the ink in order to do so?

That said, getting inside the mind of a rapist/serial-killer was heavy stuff and too much for me.
Mar 03, 2012 rated it liked it
There is a lot to like about this book. The writing isn't always the smoothest but despite the occasional clunky parts its heart and originality win out. It isn't every day that you can sit down to read a romantic supernatural thriller and get some great insight into the world of body modification, piercing and tattooing to boot. It is about big things: love and death and art and life and friendship. And it is about the little moments too. It was well balanced and had some interesting characters ...more
Amie Cross
Apr 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Rita
Awesome read! This book is about a tatoo artist who, at the request of one of his customers, starts doing tatoos occasionally of thier deceased loved ones mixing thier ashes into the ink of thier tatoos. In a paralel story a serial killer is terrorizing the city and murdering women.
At some point while reading this book it changed from a good story and an interesting read into something much more. It sort of freaked my shit out. Awesome read!!!
Andrew Lennon
Mar 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
That was really, really good!
I listened to the audiobook for this, it actually came free with the Kindle Unlimited download.
This is a brilliant read. The story itself is very unique and really quite gripping.
It had me from the start and didn't let go till the end.

Well worth a read, check it out.
Feb 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: dark-fiction
An interesting plot, for sure. The writing lacked depth for me, but it was a quick and easy read.
Jun 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Very interesting. Gave me some insight into the tattoo culture. Lots of twists and turns in this mystery novel.
Anna-lena Schmitz
May 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
I didn't know what to expect, in the end it was a very thrilling and interesting book. I liked the whole tattoo shop idea especially. ...more
Aug 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I found this book at the library due to its cover. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.
Jonathan Slocombe
Sep 01, 2014 rated it liked it
I didn't know what to expect, but quite enjoyed it. Gruesome and gripping... ...more
Nov 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the book once the plot got going, BUT it took 75% of the book before that actually happened. Everything up to that 75% was meandering. I get that the author wanted to establish the main romantic relationship, but including all the details of what they ate during one date was a bit excessive. Then other parts of the relationship were just plain skipped over. It was very uneven and unfocused.

That being said, I found the characters engaging enough that I didn't want to stop reading (liste
Rachel Franks
Oct 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books I wish I could go back and read again for the first time. I was nowhere near prepared for the range of emotions this book was going to make me feel. The way that this story switches from realistic fiction to magical realism/supernatural can, apparently, put some people off, but I thought this was extremely fitting for the shift in the story and the change in direction that the main character takes. The depictions of grief are raw and honest; Davis makes me feel what th ...more
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an intriguing plot, which made me if this would work in real life. (Wishful thinking). At first the chapters jumped around a bit to seemingly unconnected people and activities. The author soon pulled things together so we could see how each affected the other. I really enjoyed this book. Suspense, imagination and emotion all rolled together to make this a page turner.
I always enjoy Aric Davis books.
Kathleen A. Slagle
Sometimes pain is useful

Aric Davis, you do not disappoint. I found your book so full of “real believable characters”, then there is the
Crisp honesty of love longevity with all of your characters standing on their own! They mix together like a beautiful dance only to be followed by a
madman. I love it!
Peter A. Lio
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Well written, nicely paced, and incredibly satisfying. It felt a little bit like a great Twilight Zone episode, but with much richer characters. I really enjoyed this book!
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Aric Davis is married with one daughter and lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he has worked for the past fourteen years as a body piercer. A punk rock aficionado, Davis does anything he can to increase awareness of a good band. He likes weather cold enough to need a sweatshirt but not a coat, and friends who wear their hearts on their sleeves. In addition to reading and writing, he also enjoys ...more

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