Bad Things Happen (David Loogan Series #1)

Bad Things Happen (David Loogan Series #1)

by Harry Dolan

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A gripping novel about a man trying to escape his violent past and soon becomes a murder suspect when a publisher—and the husband of the woman he's having an affair with—turns up dead.

The man who calls himself David Loogan is hoping to escape a violent past by living a quiet, anonymous life in Ann Arbor, Michigan. But when he's hired as an editor at a mystery magazine, he is drawn into an affair with the sleek blond wife of the publisher, Tom Kristoll—a man who soon turns up dead.

Elizabeth Waishkey is the most talented detective in the Ann Arbor Police Department, but even she doesn't know if Loogan is a killer or an ally who might help her find the truth. As more deaths start mounting up—some of them echoing stories published in the magazine—it's up to Elizabeth to solve both the murders and the mystery of Loogan himself.

"Witty, sophisticated, suspenseful and endless fun...the best first novel I've read this year." —Washington Post

"A hypnotically readable novel, with...dialog worthy of Elmore Leonard."—Douglas Preston

"Fans of Peter Abrahams and Scott Turow will find a lot to like."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101105061
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/23/2009
Series: David Loogan Series , #1
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 79,449
File size: 329 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Harry Dolan graduated from Colgate University, where he majored in philosophy and studied fiction-writing with the novelist Frederick Busch. He earned a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and currently works as a freelance editor. He grew up in Rome, New York, and now lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with his partner Linda Randolph.

What People are Saying About This

Douglas Preston

"From the astringent first sentence -- 'The shovel has to meet certain requirements' -- Bad Things Happen by Harry Dolan builds like a Midwestern thunderhead into an atmosphere of darkness, dread, and impending doom. It is a hypnotically readable novel, with richly wrought characters, a corkscrew plot, and dialog worthy of Elmore Leonard. What a breathtaking debut."--(Douglas Preston, author of The Monster of Florence and Blasphemy)

Nelson DeMille

"A wonderfully moody and atmospheric story reminiscent of the masters of the noir mysteries. Tightly plotted, sophisticated, and engrossing, this is a winner."

James Patterson

"Bad Things Happen is a very smart, well-written roller coaster ride that is always threatening to hurl the reader out into roaring empty space. Go along for the thrill ride!"

Karin Slaughter

"Bad Things Happen is a tense read that keeps you tightly in its grip until the very last page. Harry Dolan has written an incredibly rich, smart read reminiscent of A Simple Plan or Presumed Innocent -- not to mention that it's just a damn good story. Readers are in for a breathless ride."

Customer Reviews

Bad Things Happen 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 92 reviews.
DLP313 More than 1 year ago
Bad Things Happen is twisty in the very best kind of way, and will hold your attention on every page. The story is a about an enigmatic man named David Loogan who is a new resident of Ann Arbor, Michigan and his experiences that begin with his employ at a mystery magazine. What ensues from there involves many well-drawn and interesting characters and a lot of fun. Dolan is great at describing things without being flowery or too wordy, and I liked that a lot. Dolan gives you just enough information to pique your interest, not hit you over the head with it. Personally, I read a lot of mystery/thrillers and am on average pretty good at guessing what's going to come next in a story. Dolan on the other hand, kept me guessing...and I loved it. Definitely a recommended read.
AIM78 More than 1 year ago
I'm an avid mystery reader who shies away from the mickie dees of mystery novel writers (whom shall remain nameless). Bad Things Happen moved from JUST a mystery novel and into an original literary masterpiece with twists and turns at the end of each chapter. I read the book in just shy of 48 hours. Best darn book I've ever read!
ScarletSM More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. It was a bit different from the typical murder mystery. The locale of Michigan with the possible suspects being the mystery writers at a magazine was a nice change from the stately home or the grim dark streets. The lead character was one that seems to grow on you and makes you slowly change your opinion about him. Hopefully, Mr Dolan is writing a sequel with the same character. I'll be watching for it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great novel of suspense with twists and turns throughout. Half way through I found myself looking for more books by the author.
DFC12481 More than 1 year ago
This is a solid read. I kept wanting a little more action, yet I found myself continuously turning the page. Many characters are introduced, but the development of each character is solid. All in all, a great read.
Kataman1 More than 1 year ago
David Loogan is a mysterious sort hiding a past. He recently moved to Ann Arbor and works on a novel in his spare time. As each revision is finished he takes a printed copy to a publishing house (Grey Streets) and leaves it anonymously through a transom window over a door. One day he is found out by the Grey Street's publisher (Tom), who offers him a job as an editor. Such is the fun way that things occur in this murder mystery. David is enticed into an affair by Tom's wife, Laura. Not that long after David is asked by Tom to do him a "favor" and help him dispose of body. David doesn't really question Tom or make him call the police. Instead David agrees to help Tom and bury the body where it cannot be found. Shortly after people start being murdered and the police start suspecting that David is involved. The investigation is led by a single mother (Elizabeth) that has an attraction to David even though she knows he is hiding something. David does indeed have a checkered past, which is obvious but the question is whether David is actually bad or the victim of some bad luck in his past. As the bodies pile up, the main suspects seem to be those who write for Grey Streets. Elizabeth investigates them and seems to get advice from each one akin to solving a mystery in one of their books. The suspicion seems to shift from one person to the next and everything seems to be tied to a flashdrive and file box that the first victim had. I really liked this book and would have given it a full five stars but as the plot unfolded, some things though fun, seemed a little over the top. This is a rather fast read and a good beach novel.
FashionistaNYC More than 1 year ago
Off to a slow start but picks up momentum ... a really good read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm not a big mystery reader but this one blew my socks off. I loved it! So many twists and turns. Really well done.
DeDeFlowers More than 1 year ago
I have super mixed feelings on this novel. Bad Things Happen was good enough where it held my attention and I wanted to know what was going to happen next, but something was definitely missing. I kept saying while reading that it wanted to be a Hammet novel, but it wasn't. Things are half developed a lot of the time. This is a face paced book once you get about half way through.
GinaK More than 1 year ago
I read this book through, which is a plus, considering my hectic schedule. I preferred the tone at the beginning when the hero was a mystery man. However, the complicated plot wasn't completely satisfying, and the more human the hero became, the less I liked the book. I would have preferred the initial tone throughout.
grumpydan More than 1 year ago
Harry Dolan's novel "Bad Things Happen" is a suspenseful story that begins with the purchase of a shovel which makes us wonder if the purchaser is going to bury a body. But is David Loogan, a killer or the killer. As the story unfolds we learn more about Loogan; why the mysterious past and why was he buying a shovel for his boss, Tom Kristoll, the editor of a literary magazine. Soon people connected to the magazine are being found killed, but why? Detective Liz Waishkey is trying her hardest to solve the murders. This is a mystery story with various layers of mysteries that keep the reader guessing right to the end!
Didun More than 1 year ago
Many people are murdered in this book - the plot is very confusing because of all of the people involved, and the twists and turns make your head spin. Many of the characters had ridiculous names also - names you would never come across in real life. The only character I really liked was Elizabeth Waishkey, the detective. Really quite annoying.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this mystery! Not a swear word that I can remember. I also thought his second novel was great. While you are waiting for Harry Dolan's third book, you might want to read "think of a Number" by John Verdon and books by Robert Wilson. Daisy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not the best book I've ever read, but really not all that great either. Probably would not recommend it.
gpolisner More than 1 year ago
I saw this book come to life during the first Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and have followed Dolan's blossoming career ever since. He's got this genre down, with a totally entertaining read sparkling with smart, quirky wit. Have at it.
harstan More than 1 year ago
David Loogan lives and hides in Ann Arbor in hope of moving past a violent history that he knows he will never forget. He begins to write a short story for Gray Streets literary crime-fiction journal. Though he never finishes the project, the magazine publisher Tom Kristoll likes what he has seen. He offers David a position as an editor, which he accepts. David, Tom, and his wife Laura become friends. Tom obtains David's help in dumping a corpse though the former does not believe the latter's explanation. Soon afterward Tom falls to his death from his office window. AAPD Homicide Detective Elizabeth Waishkey suspects David killed Tom especially when evidence surfaces that he slept with Laura. As other people associated with Gray Streets die, single mom Elizabeth focuses even more intensely on David, who conducts his own inquiry to uncover the killer before he is on trial. The fun in this terrific twisting serial killer investigative tale is the writers who are intelligent and witty until they become the star of someone else's plot. The story line is fast-paced and the amateur sleuth prime suspect and the obstinate cop chasing him makes for an intriguing duel. Mindful of the movies' Theater of Blood and Murder by Death, but less hammy, fans will enjoy Harry Dolan's fine thriller that as Vincent Price said (in Theatre of Blood) is "much ado about murder". Harriet Klausner
Darcia on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When I read the opening pages of this book, I wondered why I'd let it sit on my shelf for so long. I was immediately immersed. The writing is crisp and flows well. The plot is unique. Then it all went downhill from there.What I liked:The writing remained crisp and engaging. I enjoyed the author's style, the way he shows us scenes without the overuse of adjectives. I liked the feel of the story, which is a kind of modern whodunit. The problems I had:The characters don't make sense. David Loogan, the main character, is initially portrayed as a dark, mysterious man with secrets. Immediately, in the opening scenes, he helps his boss do something most of us wouldn't even consider. But this behavior is completely at odds with what we later find out about the man's true nature. The detectives are all one-dimensional and the remaining cast is more caricatures than characters.There is absolutely nothing unique in each character's dialogue. In real life, individuals have defining speech patterns. We have words we overuse. We are prone to either long, windy sentences or short, clipped phrases. In this book, they all spoke the same way. Without speech tags and POV cues, it would be impossible to tell who was thinking and/or speaking. The plot becomes a bit of a tangled mess. I don't want to give things away, so I'll just say that the way it played out stretched credibility for me.In all, I was disappointed. Dolan had me hooked at the start, but lost me somewhere in the middle.
marcejewels on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
From my blogDuring the whole time reading this I kept on thinking there is something quietly fascinating about this mystery. I loved every page, the writing was captivating and kept you engaged the whole time.Loogan was an unusual man, but one everyone seemed to like and trust, but is he trustworthy? Loogan took it upon himself to become Detective, even while knowing he was a suspect. When you meet him in the beginning of the story any background was purposely kept from you so you begin to draw your own conclusions while trying to figure out the mystery also.I thought Harry Dolan did a brilliant job with the characters, all intense in their own way. They were like a puzzle piece to a complicated puzzle without the straight edges that had more than one possible place to go. This was the most intricate mystery that I have ever read, so involved and entertaining.The characters were mostly writers, editors or part of the Gray Streets magazine family. The dialogue between them was interesting and when murders start to happen you don't know what is real or possibly from one of the mystery stories that was published by Gray Streets.Elizabeth, the Detective on this case would have Loogan on the phone and say 'This isn't a story from Gray Streets Loogan' and he would say 'but if it was, it would have happened like this'. Entertaining with reserved sarcasm, kind of lightly dark humour.I can't believe this is a debut book, I think it is a masterpiece. This totally worked for me in every way, I think many will enjoy it but something about the quiet way this was in my face amazed me, where it may not be enough of a thrill for others.
TamiHindes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a book I picked up after reading the review by a friend of mine. It takes place in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a place I called home for a few years. I usually like reading books that refer to places that I know; I'm not sure if that was the case this time, sometimes I found it a distraction as I tried to figure out where the exact spot was but that is my quirk and not yours. David Loogan is a man with a mysterious past. People around him die and all fingers are pointing at him, except those of the reader because we're privy to his whereabouts. First he becomes an editor of a mystery magazine and friends with the publisher and his wife, whom he has an affair. Then, while he breaking up with her, her husband dies - is it murder or suicide. He is found on the sidewalk six stories below his office. And then the bodies begin piling up so to speak. Elizabeth is the detective assigned to the case and probably the only person who doesn't think David is guilty. The evidence against him mounts - fingerprints, a body in his house. You get the picture. The ending is climatic, but not exactly heart-pounding. I found the number of characters and subplots to be hard to keep straight at times, but it was a good read; good enough for me to go out and get Dolan's second book and start it right away.
abcarroll on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
David Loogan is a man content to keeping to himself until he takes a job as an editor at Gray Streets magazine. Soon David is mixed up in something much bigger.
michigantrumpet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Loved this book from the grabber opening chapter through multiple twists and turns, red herrings and multiple Raymond Chandler references, culminating in a satisfying (and interstingly mystical) end. A great debut. Having the action take place in and around my alma mater is a bonus. Looking forward to the next David Loogan mystery.
ccayne on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this and devoured it in two days. Dolan has created a clever mystery set in the college town of Ann Arbor and centered around a literary journal devoted to mysteries. There are many characters, each one seemingly more than they appear. Quite a few people meet untimely ends in a short period of time and the cast of characters is quite large. There are many classic mystery devices and references embedded in the story. I love the opening chapter and how Dolan weaves this fast paced tale of over reaching literary ambitions plus a hint of romance.
johnbsheridan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mixed feelings about this one. It's a book that I've had around for awhile and have put aside probably a dozen times over the last 6 months as it hadn't captured my imagination and I moved onto other books instead. But.....I did come back to it and while it has taken me longer to read this than any other book I ever finished, in the second half which I read this week it finally sparked and it became one of those books you don't want to put down as body count spiralled and the number of potential suspects kept rising. So interesting dilemma is whether to read the sequel or not? Rating reflects that it didn't maintain my interest enough to keep reading it during the first half.
BeckyJG on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
David Loogan is a quiet man. Quiet, and a little mysterious. He's recently made his way to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he's rented the house of a professor away on sabbatical, and now he's trying to lose himself in the bustle of the college town. Loogan happens upon a job editing a literary magazine called Gray Streets, which specializes in crime stories. He becomes friends with Tom Kristoll, the publisher of the magazine. He is seduced by Tom's wife, Laura.And one day he gets a call from Tom. "I need to see you. Bring a shovel." Now that can't be good, but David Loogan, quiet and mysterious, helps his friend dispose of the body in the library. He gets a story from his friend about who, and why, and, though it rings false, goes with it.A short time later his friend is dead, too, seemingly a suicide. Loogan's not convinced. If this were a story in Gray Streets, he thinks to himself, I would be able to solve this mystery, to determine who pushed Tom Kristoll out the window of the magazine's office and to learn the identity of the poor sucker I helped to bury.As David Loogan proceeds with his investigation he discovers similarities between the murders (oh, there will be more murders) and scenes from novels published by...frequent contributors to Gray Streets. As he digs deeper he learns that everybody in the Gray Streets circle has secrets they don't want their friends (and fans) to learn about. There's some ghostwriting going on. There's a giant unpublished manuscript that somebody might just kill for the opportunity to lay claim to it.Meanwhile, Ann Arbor police detective Elizabeth Waishkey is investigating the series of murders, bumping up against David Loogan again and again. And despite indications that seem to point to his involvement in the murders, she sorta kinda likes him, even after a shocking revelation about his past comes to light.Bad Things Happen is a fun, smart, utterly entertaining read. It's got a little bit of the nodding and winking meta thing going on (as books about books are wont to do), but it's all in good fun and not enough to become tiresome. The characters are wonderful, and I have to admit I'm more than a little in love with the mysterious Mr. Loogan.Very Bad Men, Harry Dolan's sophomore release, which also features Loogan and Waishkey, will be released in July. It's just as good as this one.
emeraldessence on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed When Bad Things Happen. There were plenty of twists and turns in the plot, and a large cast of characters. I loved the two main characters in the book, Elizabeth and David. I'm hoping Harry Dolan brings them back in his next novel. Overall a great read with a nice surpise ending.