Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Very Bad Men (David Loogan, #2)” as Want to Read:
Very Bad Men (David Loogan, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Very Bad Men

(David Loogan #2)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  1,858 ratings  ·  307 reviews
A new book in the nationally bestselling series that has wowed critics and readers alike.

David Loogan returns! Loogan is living in Ann Arbor with Detective Elizabeth Waishkey and her daughter, Sarah. He's settled into a quiet routine as editor of the mystery magazine Gray Streets -- until one day he finds a manuscript outside his door. It begins: "I killed Henry Kormora
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published July 7th 2011 by Penguin Adult HC/TR (first published 2011)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Very Bad Men, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Cathy I read them out of order. it was not a big issue but I would recommend you read them in order. The question of the protagonist's "goodness" is essenti…moreI read them out of order. it was not a big issue but I would recommend you read them in order. The question of the protagonist's "goodness" is essentially answered by reading them out of order(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,858 ratings  ·  307 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Very Bad Men (David Loogan, #2)
Aug 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not quite a 4 star read, but darn close & anyone who looks over my ratings will see that I usually rate this sort of book with only 3 stars. Dolan has a really twisty mind, though. Motivations are not what they seem & everyone has secrets that slowly come together into a wonderful ending. I'm very impressed by how well Dolan managed all the bits & pieces. Every time I wondered how the mystery could get deeper, Dolan did it in such an unexpected, perfect way that I almost chortled with delight.

Diane S ☔
Jun 14, 2011 rated it liked it
3 1/2 - An ARC won through Librarything and a thrilling story with strong characters. Logan, editor of Grey Streets, is at times amusing and at times brash, his girlfriend, she of the glass beads, is a dtective who is called to investigate a dead body at the same time Logan receives a manuscript detailing the murder. Alot of suspense, twists and turns as they try to figure out the perpetrator of the crimes. Good read for all suspense afficiendos.
Aug 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
I attended an author reading when Mr. Dolan's first book, "Bad Things Happen," was published and found the contrast between the author - to this roomful of strangers: quiet, reserved, read from the book, that was it, no questions, nothing, looked pained in front of an audience, a total cipher - and the fabulous, complex book he'd written to be striking. Happily, none of that complexity has been blown entirely on the first book - this second title, "Very Bad Men," is really complex, maybe a wee b ...more
It is a decent second novel, but I don't like it as its prequel Bad Things Happen, the opening is very strong (the murderer is so very damn clever and creative), the developments of the murderer's POV and the schemes about the politician's family are good too. The ending isn't bad either, but it is a weak comparing with the breathtaking opening.
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
There is kind of a leap from Bad Things Happen to this book since David is now living with Elizabeth and her daughter, Sarah. David is the editor of Grey Streets magazine, the job that he accepted near the end of the first book. Considering how little time he spends in the office, one wonders when the next issue will be published.

There is an intricate plot with a large cast of characters. What I was told about this book before reading it was that it was like an episode of "Columbo" because we k
Ann Collette
Sep 03, 2011 rated it did not like it
I didn't like this book at all. I missed the first one in the series so that may have something to do with why I found the protagonist so lackluster and underdeveloped. The awkwardly named David Loogan edits a small mystery magazine (a job that would pay next to nothing and since he barely finishes editing one story in the course of the book I kept wondering how the hell he supported himself). One day he finds a ms. outside the door to his office, where the writer takes responsibility for the mu ...more
Dec 13, 2014 rated it liked it
The author clearly has a thing for hair. In the first book I lost count of all the raven locks and chestnut tresses that spilled over the pages. Unfortunately, the hair porn persists in book number two. Not only are the raven locks still around, now people's pants are being compared to raven hair. As in: "her slacks were the color of her raven hair". So, black slacks. Gotcha. It's a minor detail, I know, but I can't seem to get over it. What compels a man to obsess about women's hair so much? I ...more
Midwest Geek
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery/suspense fans.
I listened to this more than six years ago, and, somewhat to my surprise, I really enjoyed it. I say that because, although has been overwhelmingly classified as a mystery, its structure is more like a thriller. We know from the beginning that Anthony Lark is the killer, and that David Loogan, an editor and sometime writer, is the "detective." In fact, Elizabeth, with whom he lives along with her teenage daughter, is a police detective. The motivation for Lark is the mystery, and figuring out wh ...more
Aug 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
I always know I will enjoy a book from the Amy Einhorn Books imprint of Putnam Books. Most of the ones I have read are by female authors- Kathryn Stockett's The Help, Sarah Blake's The Postmistress, Eleanor Brown's The Weird Sisters, and Liane Moriarty's What Alice Forgot. All of these books have strong female protagonists, which is part of the appeal for me.

The latest book from the imprint has a male protagonist- Harry Dolan's Very Bad Men. It is the second novel in the series featuring David L
Gloria Feit
Dec 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing

This new novel from the author of the acclaimed “Bad Things Happen,” his writing debut, has no ‘sophomore book’ problems. “Very Bad Men” immediately engages the reader, and one is quickly drawn into this compelling tale of murder, specifically, the murder of two men who were part of a bank robbery seventeen years ago, and the attempted murder of a third. All three men had been convicted, and served jail time of varying lengths. But what could be the motive? These three men had not seen nor conta
Dwight Okita
Aug 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I remember coming across Harry Dolan's work in the 2008 Amazon novel contest. His prose was clean and compelling. Tinged with a gallows humor. Very Bad Men is no different. While mysteries are not my preferred genre, the author pulls me into his story with sparse, compelling dialog and provocative situations. One of my favorite scenes involves killer Anthony Lark and a curious neighbor across the hall.

She knocks at his door because her cat has gone missing. She wants to give him a flyer in case
Rachelle Urist
Aug 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
The setting is Ann Arbor, where I live, but somehow there was no thrill in seeing familiar landmarks spelled out on the page. Maybe that's because the book just never grabbed me. I realized about 2/3 of the way through that the missing element was a clear motivation for the protagonist to act like a detective. He's a magazine editor, not a professional sleuth. His domestic partner is the detective. So why is he compelled to hunt the killer? He's certainly not authorized to do some of what he doe ...more
Jun 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Harry Dolan had me from the beginning of the book. It starts with David Loogan's memory which sets the tone with terrific ambience - I could feel what kind of character Loogan was going to be from that first moment. I hadn't read Dolan's other book about Loogan but I didn't need to as this story gave me just enough to detail to help me feel comfortable with the original characters.
Loogan is the editor for Gray Streets a mystery magazine where he receives a very interesting notebook - more of a m
Jun 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
A complex plot in this new thriller from Harry Dolan, the second to feature mystery magazine editor David Loogan and his live-in girl friend, Detective Elizabeth Waishkey.

We know the killer right off. Anthony Lark and it's tied into a seventeen year old bank robbery attempt. Five men, one killed, the driver escaped, never to be heard from, and the other three captured, but not before one of them shot a Sheriff that wandered into the bank right in the middle of things, leaving him in a wheelchair
Nov 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-suspense
David Loogan is back, and the bad guys better beware.
Just like in the highly enjoyable first book, readers can expect lots of twists and layers, intriguing characters, and even more from intrepid police detective Elizabeth and her precocious daughter Sarah. Of course, the main appeal is the protagonist. Harry Dolan has created a winning main character in Loogan, a mystery magazine editor and reluctant gumshoe who is reminiscent of the creations of Robert B. Parker or even Chandler and Hammett.
Sep 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Harry Dolan is one of those authors who, when I finish a book, I immediately start looking for the next one. It's easier if you discover those authors after they've written a dozen books or so, otherwise the wait is agonizing!
Katharine Ott
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
"Very Bad Men" - written by Harry Dolan and published in 2011 by the Penguin Group. This mystery starts slowly, but picks up steam pretty quickly. David Loogan edits a mystery magazine called "Gray Streets" and teams up with police detective Elizabeth Waishkey when an unsigned manuscript comes his way detailing murders recently committed and more to come. Loogan tells the reader, "We'll have to put aside the usual rules, because this is a story that doesn't want to follow them. It has its own id ...more
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars for Very Bad men by Harry Doolan.

17 years ago 5 men attempted a brazen robbery of a bank in Ann Arbor, Michigan. During their attempted escape, they were confronted by a policeman. One robber was killed, the police officer was shot and paralyzed, three were taken into custody and one got away, causing a hit and run in the process.

In today's time, Anthony Lark has begun to kill the people involved in the robbery. His reason remains unclear. David Loogan an editor of a mystery magazine rec
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was surprised that I liked this book so much. It was very suspenseful and filled with a lot of mysteries. They seemed to contradict each other and confused me many times, but in the end, they all made sense and connected with each other logically. The solution to the whole complicated web of lies and secrets really paid off.

Mar 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
4.5 really. Good story. I like his writing style.
May 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Second in the series about mystery magazine editor David Loogan, who always seems to be in a position of helping police (including his lover, detective Elizabeth Waishkey) investigate murders (even when they don't want his help). This time, the victims are some of the men who robbed a bank and crippled a sheriff about 17 years earlier. Good mystery and some interesting characters.
May 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ironic that the main character, David Loogan, is an editor. This book could have been easily 25% shorter without much effort. It would have been a better book. Sometimes I was skimming just to get through it!
This is the follow up to Dolan's excellent "Bad Things Happen", with a core of returning characters.
David Loogan has recovered from the events in the previous book & is living a more settled life. He shares a home with Elizabeth, a detective & her teen daughter Sarah. He's now the senior editor at "Gray Streets", a crime fiction magazine & is used to receiving unsolicited manuscripts. But not like this one.
He's left a short story about 3 murders: 2 down & 1 to go. The details of the second one c
Oct 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011-reads
Rating: 3.75

David Loogan is a mystery magazine editor who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with his girlfriend, police detective Elizabeth Waishkey, and her teenaged daughter, Sarah. David and Elizabeth generally keep their professional lives separate; but when he receives an unsolicited nonfiction manuscript laying out the details of two recent murders, David has to share his findings with Elizabeth. The killer, Anthony Lark, has even provided the name of his next victim. Given that Lark has chose
Linda Robinson
Oct 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The case that entangles Detective Waishkey and Buttinski Editor Loogan brings forward a 17 year old bank robbery in Sault Ste. Marie, and those who were involved, may have been, couldn't possibly be and everyone remotely connected between Brimley and Dearborn. We have a fistful of suspects who might be the getaway driver who got away before the robbers appeared on the sidewalk with the loot, a manuscript left on the floor outside the offices of Gray Streets Magazine with a confession, a manifest ...more
Gerald Sinstadt
May 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime
Very Bad Men is a Very Good Thriller. It starts with a hit list containing three names. The man hunting those three is scarily unstable. But there is more - much more - to the events which inevitably follow. The twists are clever, the surprises neat and plausible because the plotting is meticulous. One or two coincidences are necessary but nothing outrageous; life, after all, has its share of coincidences.

The author cleverly keeps the narrative moving by adopting various viewpoints, but never in
Aug 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Second book by author Dolan but I was impressed with the effort. Think I might have to read his first one. There are a vast array of characters in the book and a vast array of murders. Of course all you have to do is figure out who did what to whom. I am being somewhat tongue and cheek but the story line is more complex than most modern mysteries. The principal character is a editor of a mystery magazine who get an anonymous letter indicating a plot to kill several individuals. His wife is a pol ...more
Cristina Trowbridge
Just like the first book, Bad Things Happen, I'm torn on how to rate Very Bad Men. Rally well written, with a strong voice from the main character, David Loogan. The plot is intricately woven with a large cast of characters, but done so well that I was never confused as to who was doing what. The drawback? Too many coincidences...he jumps the shark a couple of times, leaving me questioning the likelihood of the scenarios, and, in turn, the overall story. As a result, I'm giving it 3.5 stars out ...more
Sep 11, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I received a copy of this book from a first-reads giveaway.

Overall, I liked the book. Even though it seems as though the reader knows all the "bad guys" from the beginning, there are still a few plot twists that keep it interesting.
Chris Guertin
Aug 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love to read and especially love mysteries - Grisham, Flynn, Woods, Baldacci and others. Finding These books by Dolan has been awesome. This is the second of his books that I have read and he is just an amazing author. I recommend all of his books.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
50 books to read ...: Very Bad Men 1 9 Aug 01, 2019 11:39AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America
  • And I Was There: Pearl Harbor and Midway--Breaking the Secrets
  • A Spy by Nature (Alec Milius #1)
  • An Unequal Defense
  • Tunnel Vision (V.I. Warshawski, #8)
  • The Last Good Guy (Roland Ford #3)
  • And She Was (Brenna Spector #1)
  • The Wild One (Peter Ash, #5)
  • Hi Five (IQ, #4)
  • Masked Prey (Lucas Davenport, #30)
  • Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea
  • The Rise of Io
  • Fat City
  • Lone Star Planet
  • The Missing (Darby McCormick #1)
  • Land of Shadows (Detective Elouise Norton #1)
  • Salt River (Doc Ford Mystery #26)
  • Tail of Vengeance (Chet and Bernie Mystery, #0.3)
See similar books…
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)
  • The Last Dead Girl (David Loogan, #3)

News & Interviews

Trying to figure out what to read next? Why not add some 2019 Goodreads Choice Award titles to your Want to Read list? After all, these popular...
64 likes · 16 comments
“I almost let it go. I think it was the yellow dress. It made me want to give her the benefit of the doubt. What can you say about a woman who wears a yellow dress to break into an office at night? How bad can her intentions be?
Still, I was reasonably certain she wasn't telling the truth. Not that it bothered me. Not really. I watched her sitting there, bent slightly forward, the palm of her right hand open in her lap, her left hand rubbing her shoulder. Lips curled in a smile. Innocent eyes looking back at me. It was like being lied to by a basket of kittens.(p134)”
“Ornate language tended to unsettle him. Passages from nineteenth-century novels might glow like hot coals or squirm like heaps of snakes. In fact, he tried not to read anything written before the First World War. Hemingway made a good cutoff point. Hemingway's sentences were a nice deep blue, and they mostly held still, like stalks of wheat on a windless day.(p18)” 2 likes
More quotes…