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The Last Dead Girl

(David Loogan #3)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  2,129 ratings  ·  343 reviews
A Wall Street Journal Best Mystery of 2014!

David Loogan’s dark past is revealed in this prequel to Bad Things Happen—the critically acclaimed mystery that Stephen King called a “great f***ing book.”

On a rainy night in April, a chance encounter on a lonely road draws David into a romance with Jana Fletcher, a beautiful young law student. Jana is an enigma: living in a run-d
Hardcover, 402 pages
Published January 9th 2014 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
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Average rating 4.04  · 
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 ·  2,129 ratings  ·  343 reviews

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Jeffrey Keeten
Dec 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
”There was nothing he could do about it now. He needed to put her out of his mind. But that was part of the problem too. He kept thinking about her at odd moments. He had killed four women in his life, but she was the only one he regretted. Part of him wished she was still alive, because she was an innocent girl who had died because she’d been in the wrong place at the wrong time. And part of him wished she was still alive so he could kill her again.

Sentimental K."

You could say it all started wi
Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Holy crap on a cracker. (4.5 stars) The ending didn't give me what I wanted but the rest of this book!? Holy moly. It started out weird and slow for me but once I got into the meat of the novel it took off and I couldn't get enough.

Twisted love story and murder and an unsolved mystery with so many characters that are connected but you don't really know how until the end.... seriously great book, I just wanted the ending to be a bit more. I was hoping for something of a miracle but it fell short
May 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing

In this 3rd book in the 'David Loogan' series, the protagonist (aka David Malone) gets involved in a murder inquiry when his girlfriend is killed. The book can be read as a standalone.


David Malone - a house inspector in Rome, New York - is engaged to a young doctor when he makes the chance acquaintance of law student Jana Fletcher. Malone falls hard for Jana and spends the next 10 days with her - until she's brutally murdered.

Malone is an early suspect but attention soon shifts elsewhere a
Mar 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Deep, Dark Thrillers
Recommended to Still by: Big fan of Harry Dolan's previous novels

I had to put this book aside this past Sunday (approx. 5 days ago) transfixed by the realities spreading across the world at this time. Pandemics have that effect on me according to whatever century I'm passing through.

I finished this one tonight. I can't write a review at this particular time because I don't know how to do that without unintentionally spewing forth spoiler upon spoiler.

This is one of the darkest noirs I've read in the past two years.
I'll try to give this novel its propers tomor
Crazy good. It made me want to go back and read his other two novels. More complete review to come.

Full review:

I've been hooked on Harry Dolan's mysteries ever since I got the chance to read an ARC of Bad Things Happen. David Loogan was such a mysterious, intriguing character, so when I heard that the newest book in the series would provide the reader with a look into Loogan's background, I was pretty excited. Of all Dolan's books, this one was my favorite because it resonated so powerfully. It'
Schuyler Wallace
Oct 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Harry Dolan has been added to my list of authors who write great stuff. THE LAST DEAD GIRL was a thriller: Nothing new in the way of plot or characterization, but brilliant in execution and vision.

THE LAST DEAD GIRL is apparently a prequel to another Dolan book. I’m going to read it because I don’t see much in the way this book ended to make it suitable for a continuation. But I liked it a lot and I have high hopes.

The main character, David Loogan, is a snoopy guy, sticking his nose where it do
Very clever Harry Dolan. No freaking way could anyone have guessed who the killer was ahead of the reveal. Totally surprised, which is a thumbs up for me.

After the murder of his strange lover, Jana, David/the main character is pulled in different directions looking for the motive and killer. It was like looking for pieces in a giant jigsaw puzzle. It was totally a WTH?!?! didn't see that coming kinda thing.

I appreciate that the author let the details unfold after the identity of the murderer "K
Rob Twinem
Aug 12, 2016 rated it liked it
One night David Malone needs to have a break from his girlfriend Sophie when he finds out she has been unfaithful to him. He decides to go for a drive and meets by accident the beautiful and unpredictable Jane. There follows a steamy romantic interlude and when Jane is discovered dead Malone embarks on a course to reveal her killer and in so doing unleashes a spiders web of deceit, mayhem and murder. This is a fast fun read but with a list of characters I felt little sympathy for and a story li ...more
David Putnam
Jan 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great book
Dead Girl is a slow starter but worth it. Dolan is stylistic in the way he uses point of view alternating first person with the main point of view character and third with the others. He also moves from the past to the present in a seamless manner. The plot is complicated and evolves in a unique manner that I loved.
Boris Feldman
Dec 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I predict that this will be the "Gone Girl" of 2014. Will be released in January. I had an ARC.
Third by this author, but a prequel. Superb plot. Has taken the writing up a level from the prior works. The perfect vacation read.
Jessica Woodbury
A really good, really solid crime novel that appears at first to be simple and then unfolds into some impressively meticulous plotting that takes you by surprise is something to be treasured. I knew Harry Dolan was pretty amazing after reading BAD THINGS HAPPEN, but he continues to impress.

THE LAST DEAD GIRL has a noir-ish feel, with simple prose and a hero of few words. He often knows he's being stupid and yet he pushes forward anyway. This is a pretty common trait in this type of book. If the
Washington Post
Jan 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is dark material, yet Dolan balances it with his portrayal of a world much like the one we know. Malone is a likable fellow, his romantic tribulations ring true, he quotes good poetry, and we cheer his determination to find Jana’s killer. This is a world in which people smoke weed, bum cigarettes and cheat on their spouses, a world in which popsicle sticks become important clues, and Malone recalls the boyhood pleasures of catching fireflies on summer evenings, even as the killer conspires ...more
Jan 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book.... Cancel all your meetings. Forward your mail. Set your out of office message. Hang the IV drip. You will check out of humanity and into Rome New York for the duration of the read.

Dolan is a master wordsmith. His name-changing protagonist David Malone (the one in the last novel that was debating which kind of shovel a person would use to dig a grave) remains a mysterious figure, yet I feel like I know him.

Quality mystery! Extreme noir!
The last dead girl, it has been long since I read a crime thriller in fact if I am to be frank, I prefer to watch then read. Why ? The answer is simple ; I don't get the feel while reading which I experience while watching it. The feeling of anticipation. Whenever I read a book (crime thriller), I never felt this one feeling; the completeness. Every damn time something was missing. Something that made me think of a different scene to what was present before me. Every time the feeling of disconte ...more
switterbug (Betsey)
Nov 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Harry Dolan’s comic noir, BAD THINGS HAPPEN, was tight and absorbing, with an even mix of cerebral and emotional energy to keep me satisfied, and characters that developed organically with the plot. That piqued my interest in reading this prequel, which clues the reader into how and why David Loogan (Malone) became interested in investigating crime, particularly murder.

It begins in David’s hometown, Rome, New York, where David is a home inspector, and engaged to a surgeon. When she admits to sl
Bonnie Brody
Dec 19, 2014 rated it liked it
One evening, after a blow-out with his fiancee, Dave Malone takes a long drive by himself. He happens onto Jana Fletcher who has hit a deer. Dave offers her help and one thing leads to another with them ending up in her apartment. Jana is mysterious. She has a large bruise on her cheek and is not forthcoming about how she got it. Dave is suspicious that someone hit her. They spend nine days together and, during that time, Jana has the feeling that someone is stalking her. Dave gets back to her a ...more
Maureen DeLuca
Dec 03, 2016 rated it liked it
This book had more twists and turns than a Disney 'e' ticket ride... Our main character David Malone (who at the time is engaged) meets a young lady named Jana- who on a rainy night hit a doe- David stops the car to help her out and from their a bizarre turn of events takes place.

A few days later Jana is murdered and David is hauled in as a suspect by Detective Morretti. From there David explains to the detective that he 'thinks' he can help solve the murder of Jana. It's not an overly complica
Jul 14, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
I confess, I didn't read this from beginning to end. I kept asking myself why David cared & would risk everything to find out what really happened to Jana. He'd only known her for 10 days before her murder. He was engaged to someone else. Why when he was cleared of being a suspect didn't he just get on with his life. Just didn't seem plausible to me. I did skim thru the middle & read the last third but this just wasn't a page turner for me. ...more
Neo-noir, is that a thing? This is like that book everyone's mom reads for their book club... but well-written and laced with noir.
A true Hitchcock beginning; the Everyman-in-a-bind-he-doesn't-understand-but-damn-if-he-won't-investigate-his-way-out-of-it scenario. Clever use of multiple points-of-view and time jumps. Murder!! Suspense!! Mystery!! If you're looking for a modern Jake Gittes (I'll never read that name NOT in John Huston's creepy drawl), this is your book.
Kind of a tangled mess of a story that stretches credulity. We’re expected to believe that the protagonist, Dave Malone, a home inspector—not a cop, not a PI, not a lawyer, not a journalist—a home inspector who apparently has a lot of time on his hands, will go to the lengths he does to investigate the murder of a woman he’s known for only 10 days and for which he himself is under suspicion. Still, I did stick with it to the end because I wanted to find out what happened, so there’s that.
Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Last Dead Girl is twisted! It's not at all what you think, and the story kept me guessing.

David and his fiance have separated after he discovers she has cheated on him. He picks up a girl, Jana, and spends the next ten days with her. Then....she is murdered. David, who naturally is a suspect, is obsessed with finding out what happened to Jana. He doesn't believe that the landlord did it -- which is the direction the police begin to take.

This story becomes such a tangled web! David begins to
Jan 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edelweiss, netgalley
Mr. Dolan has done it again. He creates believable characters, puts them into realistic settings, and then proceeds to chop down the foundations of everything you know that is good and right in this world. He tells a story that is so creepy that you hope that it could never really happen, but you are afraid that it could. You say to yourself that people couldn't really treat another human being like this, but then you think of all the news-stories that you hear about human trafficking and you ar ...more
Feb 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In the third installment of Harry Dolan's mystery series featuring David Loogan, we learn a segment of Loogan's (David Malone in this novel) past.

The book opens in an interview room at the Rome, NY Police Department where Malone is accused of murdering a woman he's known for 10 days. Malone is not a very convincing murder suspect, and is released.

Malone met Jana Fletcher on a rainy road 10 nights before, and they had been together ever since, until the night he came home from work and found her
David Ketelsen
Nov 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read Bad Things Happen a couple of years ago and was blown away. So when I won an advanced readers copy of Harry Dolan's new book, Last Dead Girl from Library Thing I was overjoyed. While this book features a much younger version of David Loogan, Dolan's ability to layer plot elements into a quilt of intrigue is even more pronounced in this book. Last Dead Girl is a real winner, a book that keeps you guessing and turning pages as it delivers shocks and surprises again and again.

If there's a th
Thomas Bruso
Mar 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wicked
Fans of BAD THINGS HAPPEN comes another ripping good read by one of the most suspenseful authors working today.

Harry Dolan knows how to keep his readers glued to his stories. In THE LAST DEAD GIRL, told from a few different perspectives, mostly in flashbacks, the story of three dead girls makes headlines in small town America. The most recent murder revolves around a girl named Jana Fletcher. And David Logan, the man who accidentally crosses her path on a rainy night in April, is drawn into a ca
Apr 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I found this book, a prequel to "Bad Things Happen" which I read in 2009, to be simply excellent. David Malone, or Loogan, is living in Rome, New York and is engaged to be married to a young surgeon when he meets Jana Fletcher by way of what could have been a serious accident, when a doe jumps into the middle of the road. David starts spending time with Jana, and inevitably, falls in love with her. However, Jana is murdered, and it turns out she had many secrets, as well as do most of the charac ...more
Jun 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This story was a thriller,and oh boy,was it ever.This was my very first Harry Dolan book..just saying:)You might be thinking ohh..another thriller.But this one folks,well,what got me in this thriller,was the execution of the story.I enjoyed this book very much,but I didn't see any continue in the next book.So far Im thinking that,yes,you can read this book as a stand least for now.I do have his "Bad Things Do Happen" here so we shall see as this book is a prequel to "Bad Things Do Happ ...more
Jun 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't say enough good things about a novel that will stick in my mind for a long, long time. What starts simply enough for a crime novel....guy finds girlfriend murdered....becomes an incredibly complex and eventually harrowing puzzle. The voices and time periods shift constantly, each adding to the mystery rather than confusing the path to the eventual solution.

Since it's a prequel, there's no need to worry about Harry Dolan's other two books in the series. I read them ages ago and will certa
Stephen King recommended this book, and that's all I needed. This was a great "whodunit" that kept me reading late into the night. I was totally blown away by the identity of the killer. I love to be fooled, and Dolan succeeded more than once. I will definitely read the other two books in this series!
Jul 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
Two much back and forth between past and present nearly derails this story. It leaves the listener unsure of exactly where characters are and when. Confusion, pigheadedness and stupidity are prevalent and not strong character builders that overshadow the few heroic acts. 4 of 10 stars
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HARRY DOLAN is the author of the mystery/suspense novels BAD THINGS HAPPEN, VERY BAD MEN, THE LAST DEAD GIRL, and THE MAN IN THE CROOKED HAT. His new novel THE GOOD KILLER comes out on February 4, 2020, from The Mysterious Press/Grove Atlantic. He graduated from Colgate University, where he majored in philosophy and studied fiction-writing with the novelist Frederick Busch. A native of Rome, New Y ...more

Other books in the series

David Loogan (3 books)
  • Bad Things Happen (David Loogan, #1)
  • Very Bad Men (David Loogan, #2)

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