The Last Dead Girl

The Last Dead Girl

by Harry Dolan


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425273821
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/07/2014
Series: David Loogan Series
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 561,118
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Harry Dolan is the nationally bestselling author of the David Loogan series, which includes the novels The Last Dead Girl, Bad Things Happen, and Very Bad Men. He graduated from Colgate University, where he majored in philosophy and studied fiction writing with the novelist Frederick Busch. Harry lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Audiobook veteran Michael Kramer has recorded more than two hundred audiobooks for trade publishers and many more for the Library of Congress Talking Books program. An AudioFile Earphones Award winner and an Audie Award nominee, he earned a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award for his reading of Savages by Don Winslow.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher


Praise for Bad Things Happen:
“You better believe [Dolan] has a gift for storytelling . . . the narrative comes with startling developments and nicely tricky reversals.” —Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
“[T]he novel is as well plotted as Agatha Christie at her best. . . . It’s witty, sophisticated, suspenseful and endless fun . . . the best first novel I’ve read this year.” —Patrick Anderson, The Washington Post
“Brilliant.” —Chicago Tribune
Praise for Very Bad Men:
“One of the ten best mysteries of the year.” —Tom Nolan, The Wall Street Journal

Reading Group Guide

On a rainy night in April, a chance encounter draws David into a romance with Jana Fletcher, a beautiful young law student. 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, he soon learns that Jana’s death may be related to an earlier murder, one that she was obsessed with during the last weeks of her life.
And as he retraces her steps, he begins to realize that he’s treading a very dangerous path—and that her killer is watching every move he makes.

Harry Dolan is the bestselling author of Bad Things Happen and Very Bad Men. He graduated from Colgate University, where he majored in philosophy and studied fiction writing with the novelist Frederick Busch. A native of Rome, New York, he now lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with his partner, Linda Randolph.


  1. The Last Dead Girl features many strong women, most notably Jana and Sophie, who both make the first move with David, rather than the other way around. In what other ways are these women similar? How are they different? What does their confidence say about both of them, and how does it shape their stories?
  2. Do you think David’s lack of control in his two relationships—both in their beginnings and endings—serves as a catalyst for him to pursue clues in Jana’s case so thoroughly? Or is this curiosity a facet of David’s character?
  3. Initially, Gary’s case does not seem to be linked to Jana’s death. Why, then, do you think David researches it so passionately from the start?
  4. Angela tells David that’s she’s okay with Gary’s current situation—because he’s not her problem, and she’s not responsible. How do other characters in the book contradict this train of thought, the idea that we only take care of ourselves? Who feels the most responsibility for others in this story? Who doesn’t? Why?
  5. Both David and Roger are interested in Jana romantically. After what happened to her, why do you think Jana is so much more comfortable with David, a stranger, than she is with Roger, her admired professor?
  6.  What do you think of Sophie’s confession, when she ultimately tells David the real reason for her infidelity? Do you think they would have been happy if he’d known before he met Jana? Or do you think that David needed to meet Jana, no matter what?
  7. Discuss Angela Reese’s idea of duality. What different sides does each character show throughout the book?
  8. Discuss Neil and Gary’s relationship. Do you think they’re both beyond saving, as David seems to think? Do you think there’s any real compassion left, on either end?
  9. Why do you think the author chose to tell this story in alternating narratives, and with an irregular timeline? Did it add to the atmosphere of the novel?
  10. Most of the characters in The Last Dead Girl have secrets, both good and bad, and no character is purely good. Do you feel this is an authentic portrayal of human nature? Who do you relate to most in this story, and why?

Customer Reviews

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The Last Dead Girl 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What an enjoyable read with great twists.  Satisfied through the last word.  Going to read his other two books based on this novel.  If you like mystery books you'll love this won't be disappointed!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another good one, cant wait for his next !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well constructed and interesting!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
His best novel to date. Fantastic Murder Mystery! I got the book and finished it in a day I just could not put it down. You feel that you are in the story and can feel and see through the characters eyes. Would highly recommend this Novel. Can't wait for the next one.
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
Billed as a prequel, this novel is a carefully constructed murder mystery which begins one night on a lonely dark road, a chance encounter between David Loogan, riding along in his truck, and Jana Fletcher, a young law student, standing next to her inoperable car. What follows is a brief 10-day love affair. Until one day David enters her apartment to find her lying on the living room floor, murdered. As usual, the lead detective suspects the boyfriend, but there is no proof. Released, David is fixated on learning the truth about Jana and follows his nose, investigating her past and discovering a death in the past that might be related to hers. The novel moves ahead straightforwardly, and the mystery unfolds so that it comes as no surprise when the killer is disclosed, but not before red herrings are introduced. It is a well-written story, well worth reading, and recommended.
Kataman1 More than 1 year ago
Those familiar with Dolan's previous work will realize immediately that this is a "prequel" to his David Loogan stories. Before he was Loogan, he was David Malone. David has a fight with his fiancee causing him to leave abruptly. While he is driving he meets Jana, whose car had struck a deer and is shaken up at the side of the road. David and Jana hit it off and he ends up moving in with Jana. Jana has some hidden secrets and gives the impression that she is being watched. David tries to find the "watcher" and only finds some discarded popsicle sticks. A few days later Jana is murdered and David is hauled in as a suspect by Detective Morretti. Morretti questions David and David suggests Morretti look for the "watcher" with the popsicle sticks instead. David goes to do his investigating thinking that a bruise that Jana had might be a clue. This leads him to Roger Tolliver, who Jana was working for. Tolliver is a college professor leading a group that tries to help "wrongly" convicted criminals by trying to find new evidence to overturn their cases. Jana was trying to help convicted killer Gary Pruit get a new trial. David is sure that Jana's investigation led to her murder as forces behind convicting Pruit may have wanted the case to stay closed and those forces needed to silence Jana. The author gives clues early on that this force may be a character only known as "K" (maybe the author is familiar with Franz Kafka). K is the "watcher" that David is searching for and is very much watching what David is doing. Dolan does a great job in keeping the mystery going and keeping the reader guessing. We are not really sure if Morretti is an inept detective or really a part of the wrong doings. I had a lot of difficulty putting this book down (as I did with Dolan's other two David Loogan books) and really enjoyed this book. The only thing that kept me from giving it the full five stars is the overuse of flashbacks and the fact that the flashbacks were not in a serial manner. This made some parts confusing as I tried to orient myself to the timeline the author was presenting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Discovered this author by accident. I wish all accidents were this rewarding!!!! Great mystery with an interesting cast of characters. I finished this book and instantly bought everything else he has written. Highly recommend!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome book. Very well told murder mystery. Highly recommended author!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This novel kept me guessing for quite a while There are more than a few dead bodies in store for the reader. The plot twists and turns with every few chapters. All in all I found it a very enjoyable by Mr. Dolan. Going to make it a point to read his other efforts. J M Lydon
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