#284 ~ Bad Things Happen

Bad Things Happen by Harry Dolan

Published by: Amy Einhorn

Published on: July 2009

Page Count: 352

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

My Reading Format: Hardcover purchased at Powell’s

Available Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook, audiobook

Synopsis from Publisher

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.

My Review

Bad Things Happen is another book I read this summer. Taking notes while I’m reading is not my strong suit, but for this book I don’t think they’re needed. I loved this book. I raved about it while I was reading it and for some time thereafter. What initially peaked my interest in this book was its setting and its publisher.

The novel takes place in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Although I’ve only been there maybe a handful of times, Michigan is Michigan. I am smitten with the mitten, y’all. Amy Einhorn published this novel. If you’ve been reading blogs and following the bookish on Twitter over the past year, you’ve surely heard about her imprint. Beth Fish Reads is even running a perpetual challenge. The combination of Michigan and Amy Einhorn was irresistible to me. When I had credit at Powells, this book became one of the first to enter my cart.

What made this book outstanding was the writing, the characters and the mystery itself. Dolan’s writing had the perfect touch of sarcasm and wit. I could effortlessly read well into the night without feeling it. His characters were nuanced and quirky. I loved them all – the good and the bad. I left this book feeling satisfied in the way the mystery unfolded. I never once felt jerked around or cheated the way I sometimes can when reading mystery/thrillers.

Please forgive my tardiness in writing publishing my review of Bad Things Happen. The good news is that this novel would be perfect for fall (or winter, or spring). Read it. You’ll see. In this case my more superficial attraction to this novel really paid off. Had it been set in Timbuktu and published by any other imprint, I would have loved it just as much (well, maybe except that Timbuktu part – sorry. I did openly admit to being smitten with my mitten). I have a feeling you’ll be eagerly anticipating Harry Dolan’s next book as much as I am.

Other Voices

You’ve read what I have to say.  Why not check out these bloggers’ reviews?

Crazy for Books
Amy Reads
Devourer of Books
Beth Fish Reads
Joyfully Retired


  • At 2010.10.26 08:20, Sandy said:

    Yes, yes, yes, I remember the reviews on this one. A mystery/thriller by Amy Einhorn? Not much of a struggle to make a decision, is it? I’m determined to get my hands on it eventually.

    • At 2010.10.26 08:40, Amy said:

      I’m so glad to see another lover of this book! I couldn’t say enough good things about it. Just so fun. Thank you for linking to my review… though it is from my early days *cringe* 😉

      • At 2010.10.26 09:38, Valerie said:

        I used to read mysteries often — but not too much anymore. This sounds like it’d be a great way to ease back into the genre — Amy Einhorn, plus it’s set in Ann Arbor! I lived there for several years. Is the author an Ann Arborite himself?

        • At 2010.10.26 17:25, Michelle said:

          Yay Michigan! This is on my list of Books I Must Read Because They Take Place in Ann Arbor. 🙂

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          • At 2010.10.26 20:49, Jennifer said:

            Thanks everyone!

            Sandy, I’d be happy to send my copy your way.

            Amy, I love your review. Be proud! 🙂

            Valorie, I believe Harry Dolan moved to Ann Arbor. I have a feeling he likes it there from the book.

            Michelle, this is a must read for us Michigan ex-pats. LOL!

            • At 2010.10.28 09:40, S. Krishna said:

              This is one of those books I read and LOVED but never got around to writing a review for! I’m sad because it was so good, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

              • At 2010.10.28 16:12, Beth F said:

                I’m so glad you liked this one. It is definitely one I recommend all the time. I grew up in Ohio, but only 45 min from Ann Arbor, so I’m familiar with the area.

                (Required, will not be published)

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