VERY BAD MEN by Harry Dolan

Book Quote:

“In a movie there might have been more warning. I might have heard a tiny mechanical click, the sound of him releasing the safety. But in reality that single impatient breath was the only warning I got. Then the muzzle brushed my side and he pulled the trigger.”

Book Review:

Review by Eleanor Bukowsky В (AUG 7, 2011)

David Loogan lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with his girlfriend, Detective Elizabeth Waishkey and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Sarah. Loogan edits a mystery magazine, and he has made the mental leap from writing and critiquing stories about crime to tracking down villains in real life. In Harry Dolan’s latest novel, Very Bad Men, David tells us a story that will explain “the motives people have for killing one another.” As we will see, the reasons for taking someone’s life can vary from a matter of convenience to a thirst for revenge. Loogan, who is a witty first person narrator, gets embroiled in his latest adventure when someone drops an unsolicited manuscript at his office, in which the anonymous writer confesses to committing murder and even provides the name of his next victim.

An emotionally disturbed individual has targeted particular men whom he believes must die; if he has to dispatch others who are not on the list, so be it. When Elizabeth and David become familiar with the case, they discover that it is far more complex than it at first appears. Very Bad Men involves a seventeen-year-old bank robbery, corrupt public officials, an aspiring senatorial candidate, and an ambitious young newspaper reporter who stirs things up.

Harry Dolan has created a large cast of characters, each of whom plays a role in what will turn out to be a Greek tragedy, Michigan style. The author is good with details: how to kill someone who is locked up in prison; what it is like to live with excruciating migraine headaches; a fine description of the landscape and inhabitants of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula; and the tricks that tenacious journalists use to get their stories. Although the plot is ridiculously convoluted and not particularly believable, Very Bad Men is entertaining enough to hold our interest. As bodies pile up and events occur that shed new light on what is happening, David and Elizabeth decide to dig deeper into the past. They suspect that the slaughter will not stop until secrets that have been hidden for many years are finally revealed.

AMAZON READER RATING: stars-4-5from 22 readers
PUBLISHER: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam (July 7, 2011)
REVIEWER: Eleanor Bukowsky
EXTRAS: Excerpt
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August 7, 2011 В· Judi Clark В· No Comments
Tags: , ,  В· Posted in: Sleuths Series, US Midwest

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