17 January 2014

Imprint Friday: The Last Dead Girl by Harry Dolan

The Last Dead Girl by Harry DolanWelcome to Imprint Friday and today's featured imprint: Amy Einhorn Books. Stop by each week to be introduced to a must-read title from one of my favorite imprints. I know you'll be adding many of these books to your wish list.

Because I loved the first two David Loogan books--Bad Things Happen and Very Bad Men--by Harry Dolan, one of the books I was most looking forward to this month was The Last Dead Girl, the third novel starring the mysterious Loogan. Before I tell you what I thought (hint: I wasn't disappointed), take a look at the publisher's summary:

David Loogan’s dark past is revealed in this prequel to Bad Things Happen—the critically acclaimed mystery that Stephen King called a “great fucking book.” On a rainy night in April, a chance encounter on a lonely road draws David into a romance with Jana Fletcher, a beautiful young law student. Jana is an enigma: living in a run-down apartment and sporting a bruise on her cheek that she refuses to explain. David would like to know her secrets, but he lets them lie—until it’s too late. When Jana is brutally murdered, the police consider David a prime suspect. But as he sets out to uncover the truth about Jana, he begins to realize he’s treading a very dangerous path—and that her killer is watching every move he makes.
Harry Dolan is a master of suspense, twists, noir, and creepy. Seriously, keep your shades drawn, don't talk to strangers, and never get in a car with someone you don't know.

The Last Dead Girl takes us to Rome, New York, where David Loogan still went by the name of David Malone. Only twenty-six and self-employed as a real estate inspector, David has trouble in love: His fiance cheated on him and the beautiful young woman (Jana) he then turned to was killed just ten days after he met her.

Driven not so much by a need to clear his name, David is instead obsessed with finding out who Jana was and why someone would want to kill her. The story switches among a few viewpoints and two time periods, as Dolan builds the tension steadily and carefully, planting clues and throwing us off track until David (and we) finally discover the murderer . . . just as he is about to strike again.

I loved this look at a younger Loogan and how he was swept up in danger, love, heartbreak, and death--by increments and without intention. Harry Dolan brilliantly filled in some of the missing back story of one of the coolest, darkest protagonists out there. Put the The Last Dead Girl on your must-read list and hope that Dolan has many more Loogan stories yet to tell.

If you're an audiobook fan, don't hesitate to pick up the unabridged edition (Tantor Audio; 12 hr, 53 min), read by Michael Kramer. Although I'm often thrown off when a series changes narrators (the first two Loogan novels were read by Erik Davies), Kramer did a great job capturing Dolan's style, both the humor and the noir.

To learn more about Harry Dolan,visit his website, where you can learn more about him and his Loogan books. You can also find Dolan on Facebook and Twitter. And don't miss his latest GoodReads interview.

Amy Einhorn Books is a featured imprint on Beth Fish Reads. For more information about the imprint, please read Amy Einhorn's open letter posted here on January 25, 2010, or click the Amy Einhorn tab below my banner photo. To join the Amy Einhorn Books Reading Challenge, click the link.

Published by Putnam / Amy Einhorn Books, 2014
ISBN-13: 9780399157967
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy).


Daryl 1/17/14, 8:33 AM  

i too love this series .. i love that the first two are set in Ann Arbor .. i love that in the earlier books David's past is so mysterious and yet its clear he is a good guy .. i have this but must finish The Good Lord Bird first and its taking me a long time ...

bermudaonion 1/17/14, 9:11 AM  

Harry Dolan is on my list of authors I want to read soon. This series sounds like one I would love!

bermudaonion 1/17/14, 9:11 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beth Hoffman 1/17/14, 10:46 AM  

I'm intrigued (and I love the cover). Will put this series on my list.

April 1/17/14, 12:46 PM  

This looks right up my alley and with endorsements by you and Stephen King... I hardly know how it can fail. :)

Sandy Nawrot 1/18/14, 5:34 PM  

I think I HAVE Bad Things Happen on my bookshelves! Gah! It's the kind of thing that just drives me nuts. I can tell you that I'll read it next, but then I don't because I get distracted.

Laurie C 1/20/14, 6:03 PM  

I've been attracted to the Harry Dolan books since the first one came out, but since you mentioned the audios are good, I think I'll listen to them!

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