Friday 28 July 2017



"Witty, sophisticated, suspenseful and endless fun..." -- The Washington Post 

The man who calls himself DAVID LOOGAN is hoping to escape a violent past by leading a quiet, anonymous life in Ann Arbor, Michigan. But his solitude is broken when he finds himself drawn into a friendship with Tom Kristoll, publisher of the mystery magazine Gray Streets -- and into an affair with Laura, Tom's sleek blond wife. When Tom offers him a job as an editor, Loogan sees no harm in accepting. What he 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 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 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.

A book both my wife and I read and enjoyed while soaking up some sunshine last year in Spain.
A long time posting a few thought on the book then.

Man A meets another man - call him Man B, gets offered a job. Takes it, starts sleeping with his employer's wife and before too long his employer, Man B is dead.

Our Man A starts looking into the murder and has a few mystery authors for suspects, seeing as his job is working for a mystery magazine. Man A has a secret past and a previous identity.

The police are obviously involved in a proper investigation into the crime and we have some involvement and cooperation between the lead detective and our Man B - David Loogan.

Enjoyable and entertaining without lifting off the roof. Call me an old prude, but I kind of disliked both Loogan and his dead employer's wife for doing the dirty on him. As the book unfolded my feelings towards him mellowed and I quite liked him by the conclusion.

There are a few twists and turns and a fair bit of ratcheted tension before we reach the end of the road. I kind of switched between suspects trying to guess the guilty party as I read. A year on, I can't actually recall too much about the killer's identity, but so what.

Did I enjoy it when I read it? Did I like the main characters? Was there enough action to keep me engaged? Was it believable? Was it annoying? Was I counting down the pages until I got to the end? Was it satisfying? Would I read more from the author? Best book ever ?

Yes, yes - mostly, yes, mostly, no, no, yes, yes, no!

The book deserves better than my semi-coherent ramblings.

4 from 5

Bad Things Happen is Harry Dolan's debut novel and introduces David Loogan a character who appears in the two subsequent books from Dolan - Very Bad Men and The Last Dead Girl. The Last Dead Girl is a prequel.

Harry Dolan has a website here. He's on Twitter@Harry_Dolan

Read in June, 2016
Published - 2009
Page count - 432
Source - purchased copy
Format - paperback


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed this one, Col, even though it's not up there with your best books ever. It sounds like an engaging plot, and I always like it when I 'meet' an author whose books I would explore more.

    1. Margot, I did like the plot and eventually the main character. I'll have to dust off the second book soon.

  2. This looks like one for me. Not sure when I can fit it in in the foreseeable future, but I've stuck it on the "wanna read" list at the library (which, to my astonishment, actually owns a copy even though the book's not by Danielle Steel or James Patterson!).

    1. I'm sure Steele or Patterson could plug any reading gap until it's available, haha!

  3. I like the sound of this one, just the kind of investigation I like, will put it on my list.

  4. I am glad you liked this, from the description it sounds good, and wonder of wonders, I do have a copy. So I hope I get to it soonish.

    1. I'll look forward to your thoughts. I hope I can read the next one sometime soon, which in my case could be up to a year away!

  5. Having been to Ann Arbor several times. It is a cool, college town. I would be curious to see how the author handled the setting. The University of Michigan is there and I have seen its 110,000-seat football stadium – the largest in the U.S.

    1. I do like books where I have some familiarity with the setting - not something that occurs too often though. Might be worth a look at this.