Monday, December 9, 2013

Prequel:The Last Dead Girl Sets Stage for Already Amazing Series by Harry Dolan...Out January 9th!

As a Prequel, this novel takes the lead character David Loogan back to the beginning when at 28, he is engaged to be married, but falls in love with a young woman who is soon murdered...

The Last Dead Girl
By Harry Dolan

"...a different cop came in, one I hadn't seen before. Dressed in a gray suit, with a detective's gold shield on a lanyard around his neck. He sat down across from me.
"Why'd you kill the girl?" he said.
"His tone was mild, bored, bureaucratic. I studied his face. He had dark hair cut short, a heavy brow, a long fleshy nose. His skin was olive and he had gone too long without a shave. He must have been around fifty years old. His eyes look tired.
"Seriously?" I said.
"Yes. Seriously."
"Does that ever work for you?"
He tipped his head to the side. "Sometimes."
"A cold open like that--'Why'd you kill the girl?'--and then they just confess?"
"You'd be surprised what works."
He turned his chair so he could rest an elbow on the table. Drew a thumb over the stubble along his jaw.
He said, "Why don't you tell me how you think this should go."
I gestured at the tiled walls. "You could leave me waiting here for another hour."
"You're not going to get all wounded on me, are you? he said, his lip curling in a ghost of a smile. "I don't think you're that delicate. And I've been a little busy."
"You could give me your name."
He rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "That's fair," he said. "I'm Frank Moretti. You're Darrell Malone, but you go by your middle name, David. The girl was Jana Fletcher. Somebody strangled her. The was twenty-five, a law student at Bellamy University. How long did you know her?"
"Ten days."
"That's precise..."

And that's how David got started investigating...LOL... 

I had not read Harry Dolan before, but I've already ordered the next two books for this series... which of course are already available... In this case, I am happy to have read the prequel since I've met the characters right from the beginning. If you're like me, that is a big plus because I hate to "go back" and catch up... The prequel comes out January 9th! So do the same thing I did and read from the beginning of the series!

First off, this writer has received kudos from Karin Slaughter, Nelson DeMille, James Patterson and Douglas Preston, for whom I'm a fan...and high praise from The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, and the NYTimes... So look, the fact that I say I loved it doesn't count more than all those recommendations...But I'm soooo glad to be able to tell you about how David Loogan got started!

Someone was watching. Call him K if you like.
That's how he thought of himself at times like this.
There were things he wouldn't normally do, like
slinking through the woods at night and spying on
young lovers. Not his style. But K was different; he
had no such inhibitions. Truth be told, K liked that
sort of thing...
And he was thinking. He couldn't help it. He was
thinking about the girl and about what he had to
do to her...
He could take her now, he thought. Sprint across the
grass and be on her before she understood what was
happening. The very idea gave him an erection hard
as steel...
But he had to be cautious. He couldn't hope to finish
the girl tonight. He'd have to wait. And plan. The
important thing was not to get caught...If you did
something and didn't get caught, it was just the
same as if it never happened.
Here's the gossip of "why" it happened... David's fiancee was outed when he found a condom cover in her clothes, which he was getting ready for the wash... Yes, they were living together! Later you find out what had happened, but if I were David, I'm not sure I wouldn't have done the same thing... Fate?

David did not plan it, but that night he met Jana Fletcher who had hit a deer and he stopped to help her--then wound up in bed with her--payback, right?

But he fell hard for Jana! And went to her every night until he found her...dead...

Someone else had been there, watching. Sometimes they called him K and he had watched them that first night. Jana had been so happy that she had gone out in the night with his shirt on and she had taken it off, enjoying the freedom and the feeling of being loved,
after so long. K enjoyed the view but decided that wasn't to be the night...
Interestingly, that's when he met Jolene...

He enjoyed being with her, but, it was his chance to practice...

And when he got to Jana, he was fully prepared!

About that time, Sophia, David's fiancee started raising questions... I've got to tell you, though, that these romance issues were secondary to what was really going on! The author used what he called "Interludes" to give us the back story, especially on Jana, so that he's actually solving the case for readers through what is this background. I enjoyed the process--kept getting shocked by what had been happening as I know other readers will also! David and Sophia separate and David moves into the apartment where Jana had lived... Could have been creepy but not the way you think... 

David started collecting clues, somewhat rebuilding how the apartment had looked before... What was actually happening was that he was becoming obsessed about finding out what had happened to her. This took on an unusual twist when he went to her funeral and met a man who had been Jana's childhood friend--who had also loved her. Another suspect?

Now here's the punch part, right at the beginning an older woman had been murdered. Her husband had been convicted for her murder and Jana had joined a group who was working on trying to get him freed as innocent... In fact, there are quite a number of murders throughout the story--some of which eliminate suspects! LOL! That's the part I loved. Harry Dolan weaved us right into his story by all the little tricks he pulled. Readers are thinking one thing, and then Poof! that can't work! Dolan is a true master in pulling the reader in but then busting every imaginative solution we have drawn... I admit it, every single solution had to be fed to me by Dolan except the very last murder! And then he throws in a final ending that had to happen but could have gone several ways...

Romance=0; Murders Solved=All; Reader Satisfaction=100%


HARRY DOLAN is the author of the mystery/suspense novels BAD THINGS HAPPEN (2009) and VERY BAD MEN (2011). 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.

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