Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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Set in 1998, this prequel to 2009's Bad Things Happen puts Dolan's gifts as a storyteller on full display. Series hero David Malone (who later becomes David Loogan) finds himself sitting in the Rome, N.Y., police station, the prime suspect in the investigation into the murder of Jana Fletcher, with whom he recently began an affair. David soon learns that Jana was involved with the Innocence Project, an organization committed to freeing the wrongly accused. Believing Jana's murder to have some connection with her investigation of Gary Dean Pruett, a man convicted of killing his wife, David searches out those involved in the Pruett case for answers. Throughout David is secretly followed by K, an elusive, homicidal deviant who wants to stop David from discovering the truth. That K doesn't just kill David right off doesn't really make sense-after all, he has few qualms about murder-but if you can look past this detail, you're in for a suspenseful ride. Agent: Victoria Skurnik, Levine Greenberg Literary Agency. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

*Starred Review* In this prequel to Dolan's terrific Bad Things Happen (2009), David Malone (not yet David Loogan) is driving alone at night in upstate New York when he assists Jana Fletcher, who has hit a deer. They hit it off and spend some time together but 10 days later, Jana is dead, murdered in her own apartment, and David is being questioned by the police. Haunted, he moves into her place and tries to track down her killer. This simple premise only hints at the reading pleasure here. Dolan's seemingly effortless prose sets off dialogue that surprises and delights, and his intricate plot is simply dazzling: a twisting, shifting labyrinth of events, characters, and motivations, puzzled out on the fly by a sleuth who is bright enough to think things through, brave enough to buck personal danger, and amateur enough to make dumb mistakes (like tailing a cop in a truck with his own name painted on the door). Jana's story, when we learn it, is horrifying yet beautifully told. After the slightly disappointing Very Bad Men (2011), this trip into David's past is every bit as good if not better than the first time we saw him.--Graff, Keir Copyright 2010 Booklist


Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

When 26-year-old David Malone stops to aid Jana Fletcher at an accident scene, his life changes dramatically. He spends ten days, and nights, with the mysterious young law student, and then she is brutally and ritualistically murdered. Naturally, he is a suspect but not yet charged. Jana had been passionately involved in the Innocence Project, seeking to free a local high school teacher convicted of killing his wife. David decides to pursue this case on her behalf. Through "interlude" chapters we learn about Jana's earlier harrowing ordeal, the anonymous killer's mind-set, and more murders. Verdict This is a more sober prequel to Dolan's humorous and witty Bad Things Happen, also featuring David Loogan ne Malone. There is little connection between the two books except the author's skill with shocking twists, complex plotting, bizarre situations, and striking characters that keep the reader intrigued-and wary of dark places. With just three books (including Very Bad Men), Dolan is already a seasoned pro, worthy of high acclaim-and so is his protagonist.-Roland Person, formerly with Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.