Sunday, August 21, 2011

Book Review: "Very Bad Men" by Harry Dolan

Harry Dolan's debut novel, Bad Things Happen, was one of the best books I read last year. Needless to say, I was very excited to read his new book, which again features David Loogan and his girlfriend, Ann Arbor police detective Elizabeth Waishkey, and I'm pleased to say that Dolan didn't disappoint this time out.

David Loogan is the editor of Grey Streets, a mystery magazine, and has settled into a comfortable existence with his girlfriend and her teenage daughter, Sarah. One night he finds a manuscript at his office door, which begins, "I killed Henry Kormoran." After describing how Kormoran was killed, the manuscript divulges details about another murder, and warns that another is impending—and even gives the name of the killer's next victim. The manuscript and the corresponding murders draw David and Elizabeth into an ever-widening circle, as they discover that all three men on the killer's list were involved in a bank robbery nearly 20 years earlier, and all are linked in other ways as well.

The story hooked me from the start, and as it unfolded, I couldn't wait to see what happened next. The characters are intriguing and unique but fallible, which makes them even more complex and interesting. While I felt like Dolan threw in one or two twists too many toward the end, it didn't dampen my enthusiasm for the story. I really enjoy Dolan's storytelling ability, and can't wait for his next book. Definitely a book you'll want to race through.

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