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Bad Things Happen | [Harry Dolan]

Bad Things Happen

The man who calls himself David Loogan is leading a quiet, anonymous life in the college town of Ann Arbor, Michigan. He's hoping to escape a violent past he would rather forget. But his solitude is broken when he finds himself drawn into a friendship with Tom Kristoll, the publisher of the mystery magazine Gray Streets - and into an affair with Laura, Tom's sleek blond wife. What Loogan doesn't realize is that the stories in Gray Streets tend to follow a simple formula: Plans go wrong.
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Publisher's Summary

The man who calls himself David Loogan is leading a quiet, anonymous life in the college town of Ann Arbor, Michigan. He's hoping to escape a violent past he would rather forget. But his solitude is broken when he finds himself drawn into a friendship with Tom Kristoll, the publisher of the mystery magazine Gray Streets - and into an affair with Laura, Tom's sleek blond wife.

What Loogan doesn't realize is that the stories in Gray Streets tend to follow a simple formula: Plans go wrong. Bad things happen. People die.

Elizabeth Waishkey is a single mother. She's also the most talented detective in the Ann Arbor Police Department. But when Tom Kristoll turns up dead, she doesn't know quite what to make of David Loogan. Is he a killer, or an ally who might help her discover the truth? Loogan suspects his friend's death is part of a much larger puzzle, and he's not going to wait for someone else to put the pieces together.

As Loogan and Elizabeth navigate their way through Kristoll's world, they find no shortage of people with motives for murder, from a young graduate student obsessed with Laura Kristoll to a trio of best-selling writers, all of them with secrets they don't want uncovered. But as the deaths start mounting up - some of them echoing stories published in Gray Streets - Loogan begins to look more and more like the most promising suspect. Soon it becomes clear that only Elizabeth can find the path to solving both the murders and the mystery of Loogan himself.

©2009 Harry Dolan; (P)2009 Penguin Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"Fans of Peter Abrahams and Scott Turow will find a lot to like. While the solution may strike some as a tad improbable, the talent Dolan displays suggests he has a bright future." (Publishers Weekly)
"Dolan's neatly symmetrical plot is tight, his dialogue is crisp, and his humor wry." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.4 (60 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.3 (29 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
3.6 (29 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Fritz Moraga, CA, United States 10-22-12
    Fritz Moraga, CA, United States 10-22-12 Member Since 2008

    No matter where you go, there you are.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Potential, but too mechanical"

    A clever mind at work here, but far too mechanical and complicated. It involves most of the tricks and gimmicks used by crimes writers, if not them all. Definitely the first book I have read that sprayed suspicion on each and every character in the story. May be a tongue-in-cheek effort by a professional editor or College Professor incapable of an original plot or story.
    Something about it seemed off, like it was written separately by a team of people and then coalesced by the HAL 5000. It left me wanting.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Falls Church, VA, United States 02-08-12
    Laura Falls Church, VA, United States 02-08-12 Member Since 2011

    belfebe

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very entertaining"
    If you could sum up Bad Things Happen in three words, what would they be?

    Light, fast, fun


    Would you recommend Bad Things Happen to your friends? Why or why not?

    I would. It's a light listen. Very engaging. There are some lose threads at the end, and you have to suspend disbelief. Despite all that, it was a


    What about Erik Davies’s performance did you like?

    He really gets into the character.


    Any additional comments?

    This is not the deepest novel ever, but it's really entertaining and you will find that you can't turn your device off. You always want to know what happens next.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna Genoa, IL, United States 04-04-10
    Anna Genoa, IL, United States 04-04-10 Member Since 2008

    I love books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Okay- not great"

    I was expecting a better story when I purchased this audiobook based on reviews I'd heard. The narration was fine, and the story was okay- but it was not as engaging or intriguing as I was hoping it would be. I liked it enough to finish it, and some parts of the story and characters were much more interesting than others.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Raylene Pickerington, OH, United States 02-13-13
    Raylene Pickerington, OH, United States 02-13-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Slow start but sucks you in."

    At first I thought I wasn't going to finish this book, but I kept listening and pretty soon I didn't want to stop until the book was done. Unusual plot, interesting slightly odd characters, and fine narration. I'm glad I kept going.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thor, goT 09-28-12
    Thor, goT 09-28-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Great book with solid characters"

    It is interesting to watch how various writers take on the "detective genre", which has been so overdone that we all recognize the various elements of these stories: the divorced detective that drinks too much; the hard nosed cop with the heart of gold; the former special forces soldier that somehow works in a small town; the "civilian" that helps the cops through a difficult case; etc. We all recognize these elements so well, that such characters do not even really have to be fully developed anymore.

    In this case, the characters are interesting, fresh and the story is entertaining. Here, the main character is a mysterious guy that is working as an editor for a crime publication, as such he and the various published writers can all put forth theories - and become suspects - based on various plotlines. There is a continual refrain "if this were a story in Grey Streets...", which I think adds to the atmosphere, and really helps convey how the character is trying to deal with the facts of a murder.

    I really liked this and look forward to the next one by this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Helene Washington Island, WI, United States 09-19-11
    Helene Washington Island, WI, United States 09-19-11 Member Since 2006

    An older (70) avid audio reader, I enjoy all kinds of books. Frequently will audio-read a book that I wouldn't spend the time to print-read...especially classics that were read in high-school or college. I'm a Ph.D. Industrial Psychologist, intelligent with a genuine appreciation for good writing in almost any genre.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Bad Things Happen - and this is one of them"
    What would have made Bad Things Happen better?

    A less contorted story line; much better editing, and a far better reader. Every cliche in the literary world was used in this book, especially, "if this was a story in Graystone," the mystery magazine used as an anchor.


    What was most disappointing about Harry Dolan’s story?

    Most disappointing was that the book had been so well reviewed - must have been Dolan himself or his best friends writing the reviews. The story line stretched on beyond far beyond where it should have stopped and put us out of our misery.


    What didn’t you like about Erik Davies’s performance?

    At first I thought I was listening to an amateur - perhaps the author - reading the book. Davies' articulation of sentence structure was awkward at best; his accents - of African American and Asian American characters - were terrible. He took a bad book and made it worse.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment - if I had had anything else to listen to at the time, I wouldn't have wasted 10+ hours on this.


    Any additional comments?

    Please, better, more honest reviews; LISTEN to the book yourselves - this was so far below the usual Audible standards that I was astonished it got by.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judy San Francisco, CA, United States 09-13-10
    Judy San Francisco, CA, United States 09-13-10 Member Since 2006
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    "Might have been better"

    I have never written a negative review before, but after about 15 minutes of listening to this story I had to stop. Just couldn't take the monotone, boring reader any longer. The story might well have been a good one, but if you can't stand the reader, what's the point. A masterpiece can be ruined by one.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michele Santa Clarita, CA, United States 08-26-09
    Michele Santa Clarita, CA, United States 08-26-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Entertaining but not stellar"

    Erik Davies did a respectable job on narration. The story took a bit to get into but ended up holding my attention. Not the best book I've ever written but it was entertaining.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
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