Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Bad Things Happen

I love murder-mystery novels, especially the beginnings where the plot is developing and all the murders occur,  and you sit up late at night reading because you can't wait to find out who-dun-it.

Later, when the author is trying to untangle the mess he or she had so much fun getting into, things sometimes get a little heavy.  I often wonder, do writers have the solution worked out before they start the novel, or do they just wait to see what happens and hope for the best?  So many loose ends to tie up and things to explain!  I have read books where I am sure the author was hoping the reader wouldn't notice all the disparities and unraveled clues lying about. You sometimes get the feeling that he (or she)  got so entangled that they just said, "Oh, to hell with it! Let's finish it up."

In the case of this book, the  writer has tied up the twists in the plot quite nicely.  There is a plethora of bodies (I think I counted seven) but most of the violence takes place off-stage and none of it is graphic. Ditto for the sex.  In fact, it is quite an old-fashioned book in this sense and being an old-fashioned kind of gal I found that refreshing.  It isn't stodgy, though, and the dialogue is believable and and crisp. The main character is an interesting and very different kind of "hero" and part of the fun is trying to figure out who, or what, he really is.  The detectives are smart and likable, as are some of the villains.

If you like intelligent crime thrillers, I can recommend this book.  Maybe four stars.

Bad Things Happen       Harry Dolan         Berkeley Books

1 comment:

  1. This has been on my to read list for awhile now. Sounds like a fun read!