Bad Things

( 23 )

Overview

A bad thing occurred three years ago. A little boy died for no discernable reason, shattering lawyer John Henderson's world. Today he's a different man, living a solitary, simple existence in an Oregon beach house—until the night he receives a short e-mail from a stranger:

I know what happened.

With just four words, Henderson is pulled back to Black Ridge, Washington, the one place he'd hoped never to see again. It seems that bad things have ...

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Bad Things

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Overview

A bad thing occurred three years ago. A little boy died for no discernable reason, shattering lawyer John Henderson's world. Today he's a different man, living a solitary, simple existence in an Oregon beach house—until the night he receives a short e-mail from a stranger:

I know what happened.

With just four words, Henderson is pulled back to Black Ridge, Washington, the one place he'd hoped never to see again. It seems that bad things have always happened in this small town of generations-old secrets—and the shadows here seem even darker now than when tragedy first drove John Henderson away. The deeper he digs for answers, the more danger he draws toward himself and his estranged, helpless family . . . and he's not the only one who's been called home.

And that's a very bad thing . . .

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Editorial Reviews

www.BookReporter.com
“Michael Marshall is the new Stephen King, to the nth degree. He successfully complements Carol O’Connell’s tormented characters for roller-coaster-like psychological twists and thrills....BAD THINGS deserves six stars.”
The Sun Herald
“A genuinely scary thriller with satisfyingly malevolent villains.”
Daily Mail
“Fast-moving, sinister and highly accomplished…This is ferocious story-telling of the highest order, with corkscrew twists and turns that make it deliciously scary as the secrets unfold.”
San Francisco Chronicle
“taut action and appealing characters”
Arcadian Lifestyle
“This is a psychological thriller guaranteed to keep you up at nights.”
The Sun Herald (Sydney) on BAD THINGS
“A genuinely scary thriller with satisfyingly malevolent villains.”
Booklist on BAD THINGS
“Marshall builds up suspense slowly . . . Black Ridge – like the Maine towns populated by Stephen King’s characters – is not a place you want to visit.”
Daily Mail (London) on BAD THINGS
“Fast-moving, sinister and highly accomplished…This is ferocious story-telling of the highest order, with corkscrew twists and turns that make it deliciously scary as the secrets unfold.”
www.BookReporter.com on BAD THINGS
“Michael Marshall is the new Stephen King, to the nth degree. He successfully complements Carol O’Connell’s tormented characters for roller-coaster-like psychological twists and thrills....BAD THINGS deserves six stars.”
Publishers Weekly

At the start of this unsettling novel of supernatural suspense from bestseller Marshall (The Intruders), four-year-old Scott Henderson dies from no apparent cause after falling into a lake in Black Ridge, Wash. The boy's devastated parents, John and Carol, divorce, and both leave the area. Three years later, John is lured back to Black Ridge by a chilling message from a woman who says she knows what killed his son-a siren call that John can't ignore. John's return is a trigger for other ominous events that will lead him to relive Scott's death and confront the dissolution of his former life. The small town's surface normality contrasts nicely with the unnerving behavior of some residents and even inanimate objects (e.g., cars that suddenly won't start). While much of what's going on doesn't make a lot of sense, this spooky tale shows Marshall (who writes horror and SF as Michael Marshall Smith) has a knack not only for the frisson of dread but also the telling psychological insight. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BookReporter.com
“Michael Marshall is the new Stephen King, to the nth degree. He successfully complements Carol O’Connell’s tormented characters for roller-coaster-like psychological twists and thrills....BAD THINGS deserves six stars.”
The Sun Herald (Sydney)
“A genuinely scary thriller with satisfyingly malevolent villains.”
Booklist
“Marshall builds up suspense slowly . . . Black Ridge – like the Maine towns populated by Stephen King’s characters – is not a place you want to visit.”
Daily Mail (London)
“Fast-moving, sinister and highly accomplished…This is ferocious story-telling of the highest order, with corkscrew twists and turns that make it deliciously scary as the secrets unfold.”
BookReporter.com on BAD THINGS
“Michael Marshall is the new Stephen King, to the nth degree. He successfully complements Carol O’Connell’s tormented characters for roller-coaster-like psychological twists and thrills....BAD THINGS deserves six stars.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061434419
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/30/2010
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 458,798
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 11.66 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Marshall is the author of the trilogy that includes The Straw Men, The Upright Man, and Blood of Angels, as well as the stand-alone novels The Servants, The Intruders, Bad Things, and Killer Move. He also works as a screenwriter for clients in London and Los Angeles, and is currently writing a television pilot set in New York City. He lives in London, England, with his wife and son.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Marshall Enthralls Again

    Fans of Marshall's STRAW MEN trilogy will not be disappointed in BAD THINGS. Much like those STRAW MEN books and his very, very disturbing THE INTRUDERS, BAD THINGS is crafted so well that the reader isn't quite aware what is happening to his own nerves as he reads until it is too late: his hands are sweaty, his pulse is frantic, and he can't read the pages fast enough. Marshall is a master at building dread, at instilling genuine unease in the reader. His perspectives on life and death may not be the most optimistic, but they are truthful, and that is more than can be said for many, many books.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This is a thrilling horror tale

    After falling into a lake in Black Ridge, Washington, four years old Scott Henderson dies though he was rescued in time; no cause for the child's death is found. His despondent parents John and Carol are unable to cope or help one another with their grief. They divorce and both leave the town with neither planning to ever return.-----

    Three years later, John receives a cryptic frightening note from someone claiming they know how Scott died. Though he thinks the woman who sent it is probably a nutcase, John goes back to Black Ridge hoping otherwise as he has not obtained closure. He is unaware that his return to the scene of his greatest personal tragedy will cause inexplicable deadly incidents to occur.-----------

    This is a thrilling horror tale that uses the setting of a seemingly placid rustic town to enhance the tension of what is going on. Readers will feel a sense of impending doom throughout the exciting story line. Although some plausibility is lacking, no one will care as Michael Marshall provides a strong scary tale with a psychological edge to make what is happening in Black Ridge even more frightening.------

    Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 1, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Still Waters Run Deep

    The location and the character. The more you read about John Henderson it seems the less you know. Lawyer to drunk to waiter but not burnt out, just seeking some peace. What did he do in the Army? What made him a catch for the Secret Service even though he did not 'guard anybody'? What makes him so dangerous?

    This is how Mike Marshall writes and I like it. I read his 'bad people' trilogy (The Straw Men, The Upright Man and The Blood of Angels). Now he seems to be in the 'bad spirits' phase. The fact that you are as ignorant as the protagonist regarding what's happening makes a better book. I particularly like that he leaves important facts hidden even from the characters.

    No smarmy outcomes. No cliched happy ending. Good characters die just as dead as bad ones. A contextual morality driven by the situation. No uplift, just cathartic experience and in the end a hint of repetition.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Hard to follow and understand.

    When I read a novel, I like to understand the whys and wherefores of the characters in relation to the plot. This gave me nothing. Why did John give up his law practice and never return? Why was Carol hiding in a small apartment and working part time in a library? Was she as mentally unstable when they were married? And who were these people coming from the woods and why? The ending of this book was just as confusing as the beginning. Save your money on this one.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    still dont get it

    im not sure i really understood what was living in the woods and the lake. it had suspense but the characters were weird. i wouldnt recommend reading it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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