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Bad Things by Michael Marshall
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Bad Things (edition 2011)

by Michael Marshall

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2112355,323 (3.43)7
Member:susanbunny
Title:Bad Things
Authors:Michael Marshall
Info:Harper (2011), Edition: First Harper Paperback Edition, Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:paranormal, crime

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Bad Things by Michael Marshall Smith

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Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
Didn't realise there was going to be a paranormal theme to this book... ( )
  susanbunny | Nov 8, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I thought when I received the book that I would enjoy the read. Turned out that the paranormal events were not what I was interested in. John was an interesting character but the ending disappointed me. ( )
  jsharpmd | Feb 1, 2012 |
You may also read my review here: http://www.mybookishways.com/2011/09/review-bad-things-by-michael-marshall.html

John Henderson is waiting tables at a small restaurant in the Pacific Northwest,and house sitting for a friend in the area. It’s been three years since his young son died on Lake Murdo in Black Ridge,Washington,and he’s doing his best to live life and forget,when one day he receives an email that says simply “I know what happened.” Soon,John is pulled back to Black Ridge and meets a mysterious woman who claims the same thing happened to her husband. John is skeptical,but soon,events begin to lead him in only one direction:something extremely strange is going on,and more people are going to die.

I’m a longtime fan of Michael Marshall’s. I started with his trilogy,which consists of The Straw Men,The Upright Man,and Blood of Angels,which put him on my autobuy right away. His books remind me quite a bit of John Connolly’s Charlie Parker series,in that he’s able to mix thriller with a dash of the supernatural to wonderful effect. As a parent,I can’t imagine having to go through the death of a child,and John Henderson is a man haunted by this,and becomes determined to find the real reason it happened. He’s more than just a former lawyer,and has more than a few tricks up his sleeves. He is not without resources,and in spite of his pain,is a strong and capable protagonist,who will stop at nothing to protect those he loves. Michael Marshall knows how to turn up the creep and also use his character’s surroundings to enhance the mood of the story. Wet,loamy woods surround the lake in which his son dies,and there always appears to be something at the peripheral,lingering in the shadows of the trees. The little hairs on the back of my neck stood up more than once,and I couldn’t read fast enough to find out just what was causing the death and mayhem in Black Ridge. Michael Marshall’s novels are a perfect example of the slow burn. There is action,but the pleasure in these books is the build to the climax. The endings are always satisfying,and sometimes shocking,but the journey is what you will relish,peeling back the layers of each character and soaking in the atmosphere of a town steeped in secrets. Bad Things is a standalone novel,but I urge you to check out his trilogy,and also The Intruders. Heck,you really can’t go wrong with anything by this talented writer! If you like thrillers with a supernatural twist,taut writing,and lots of atmosphere,you’ll love Bad Things! ( )
  MyBookishWays | Sep 30, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I wanted to like this book more than I did. It was well written and I enjoyed the main charecter, John. But, somewhere towards the end of the book things seemed to fall apart for me. The first 90% of the drew me in, and the last 10% left me disappointed. ( )
  jrr731 | Oct 14, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Marshall’s latest paranormal thriller is not up to the high standard he set in The Straw Men. The reader certainly wants to know exactly what happened to Scott, the small boy who dies in the prologue, but Marshall takes his sweet time getting to the answer, or even any clues to the answer. In the aftermath of Scott’s death, his parents’ marriage collapses and his father, John, abandons his successful and lucrative career to become a waiter in a small town pizza joint, avoiding life as best he can. But John is lured back into the world when old threats become new again, and his family, such as it is, is once again in danger. Bad Things is at least 50 pages too long for the story it tells, and a reader familiar with Marshall’s work cannot help but be disappointed in the lack of tension wrought by this mystery. I recommend the Straw Man trilogy or The Servants (written as Michael Marshall Smith) above this book, and hope that Marshall’s next outing will see him returning to the sort of book that compels you to keep reading. ( )
  TerryWeyna | Sep 20, 2009 |
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Stephen Jones
Who knows the darkest parts of the woods — and the path from there to the pub.
First words
It is a beautiful afternoon in late summer, and there is a man standing on the deck of a house in the woods a fifteen minute drive from Roslyn, a nice, small town in Washington State.
Quotations
That night she checked the bolt thirty-two times when she went to bed, though she knew it was too late. Nobody was already inside the gates, and that's what panic actually was, she realized. It was the noise of the world whispering in your ear, when your life was ruled by something that wasn't there.
It was the sound of nobody talking, all the time.
I know how much difference a night's sleep can make, that what seems ungovernable and world-breaking at one A.M. can be made to feel like someone else's dream if you put seven hours of unconsciousness between it and you. Tomorrow's not just another day, another person lives it—and every time you go to sleep, you say good-bye.
There was an afternoon, three years ago, when my son died in front of my eyes, when I'd dived into the water and then stood exactly where I was now, holding something in my arms for which I had made a sandwich four hours before: when I stood knowing that the person for whom I'd slapped cold cuts and cheese between bread, and then sliced the result into the preferred triangular form, had gone away and was no longer there; and that the wet, heavy thing that remained was nothing but a lie.
What is the difference between those two states? Nobody has a clue. The local doctors and the coroner certainly didn't. All they could tell me was that Scott had been dead before he hit the water, and they had no idea how or why.
I'm sorry, Mr. Henderson. But he just died.
This difference is why our species makes sacrifices, performs rituals, repeats forms of words to ourselves in the dark watches of the night. Gods are merely foils in this process, and audience for the supplications of metaphor in the face of the intractable monolith of reality. We need someone to listen to these prayers, because without a listener, they cannot come true, and therefore there must be gods, and they must be kind, else they would never grant our wishes—in which case why would we pray to them in the first place?
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Three years after losing his four-year-old son in a bizarre accident involving a lake jetty, John finds his precarious hold on a normal life destabilized when he receives an e-mail from a stranger claiming to know the truth, a situation that triggers a terrifying sequence of events.… (more)

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