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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Early Review: Very Bad Men by Harry Dolan

image Description:
David Loogan returns! Loogan is living in Ann Arbor with Detective Elizabeth Waishkey and her daughter, Sarah. He's settled into a quiet routine as editor of the mystery magazine Gray Streets-until one day he finds a manuscript outside his door. It begins: "I killed Henry Kormoran."
Anthony Lark has a list of names-Terry Dawtrey, Sutton Bell, Henry Kormoran. To his eyes, the names glow red on the page. They move. They breathe. The people on the list have little in common except that seventeen years ago they were involved in a notorious robbery. And now Anthony Lark is hunting them down, and he won't stop until every one of them is dead.
Hardcover, 432 pages
Expected publication: July 7th 2011 by Penguin Group (USA)
ISBN 0399157492 (ISBN13: 9780399157493)
primary language: English
series: David Loogan
Holy freaking crap this is a good book! 

Now, I should start out by saying that this is book #2 in the “David Loogan” series.  I did not read book #1 yet (Bad Things Happen), and do not feel cheated having not read it.  Harry Dolan introduces the characters to you as if this were the first book in the series, but in such a way that if you  had read book #1, you wouldn’t feel as though he is writing down to you, as if you couldn’t remember who the main characters are.  It’s like a refresher coarse on who’s who in the book.

Harry Dolan has colorful characters that I were instantly drawn to.  I saw through David Loogan’s eyes, thought with Elizabeth Waishkey’s detective’s intellect, felt the pain of Nick Dawtrey.  I even felt the manic-ness of Anthony Lark.

Mystery/suspense/crime novels are my forte.  I enjoy them, I devour them, I crave more of them.  They typically follow the same pattern: crime committed, lead-character-hero solves the case, bad guy is caught, all is well and good in the city.  Dolan wrote this book NOTHING like that, and (I guess this won’t come across as weird) love him for it.  We know the who, we know the what, but we are all trying to figure out the why.  I became frustrated at times when David and Elizabeth couldn’t figure it out, but I knew more than they did because Dolan gave me (and you, too, because you better read this book!) more perspective—you will read the story from many points of view.  Yes, it can become a lot to track, but you’ll catch on quick enough.

There are times toward the beginning of the novel that things move a little slow.  Trust me, keep reading!  Once the basics are established, Dolan moves the story quickly, not frenzied, but at a pace swift enough that I lost all sense of time and space and read into the wee hours of the night to finish Very Bad Men.

I am a HUGE fan of Murder, She Wrote starring Angela Lansbury.  You may recall that her character’s name is Jessica Fletcher.  David’s nom de plume’s last name is “Fletcher.”  Coincidence?  Maybe, but I suggest that Dolan is a fan of irony.  For example, the same officer, Fielder, making several appearances throughout the book.  The writing is witty, introspective at times, clever, and entertaining.  Dolan’s second edition in the “David Loogan” series is a smashing success!

I cannot wait to find and read the first entry in the series, and hopefully more will follow Very Bad Men.  Mr. Dolan, please write more!

5 Stars: Very Bad Men is a very good book—don’t second guess yourself, just read the freakin’ book!

Many Adventures,

*This prerelease was provided to me by the publishers through a giveaway on Goodreads*

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