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Bad Things


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The new psychological thriller from the bestselling author of The Straw Men and The Intruders is a heart-stopping tale of secrets, lies and our culpability in our own misfortunes -- the bad things in the world and the bad things we do to each other. On a beautiful summer's afternoon four-year-old Scott Henderson walked out onto a jetty over a lake in Black Ridge, Washington State. He never came back. John Henderson's world ended that day, but three years later he's still alive. Living a life, of sorts. Getting by. Until one night he receives an email from a stranger who claims to know what happened to his little boy. Against his better judgement Henderson returns to Black Ridge, unleashing a terrifying sequence of events that threatens to destroy what remains of everything he once held dear. Bad things don't just happen to other people - they're waiting round the corner for you too. And when they start to make their way in through the cracks in your life, you won't know until it's far too late... Lead title / A stunning new psychological thriller from the bestselling author of 'The Straw Men' and 'The Intruders'. / A tightly focused plot with a spooky, claustrophic atmosphere. / Featuring Michael Marshall's trademark black humour, intricate plotting and engaging characters. / Backed by a major PR campaign. / Competition: Dean Koontz, John Connelly, Harlan Coben

About the Author

Michael Marshall is a novelist and screenwriter. Before becoming an internationally bestselling thriller writer with 'The Straw Men' and its follow-ups, he had already established a successful career under the name Michael Marshall Smith: his groundbreaking first novel, 'Only Forward', won the Philip K. Dick and August Derleth Awards, and its critically acclaimed successors 'Spares' and 'One of Us' have been optioned by major Hollywoood studios. He lives in North London with his wife, son and two cats.


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 2009 Reed Business Information.

Praise for The Intruders: 'A good, taut thriller, with lots of action and a very gripping ending; Marshall takes the reader with him on the investigation with a great deal of guile and style.' Guardian 'Devilishly clever ! a tautly crafted page-turner of the highest order.' Bookpage 'Bestseller Marshall outdoes his own high standards with this potent blend of suspense, paranoia and just plain creepiness ! a provocative and supremely intelligent thriller' Publishers Weekly 'Sinister' Mirror 'Captures a sense of the menacing inevitable ! one of the more bracingly depressing tales of mystery and terror to have been published in recent years' Time Out 'Subtle, satisfying -- and really scary.' Kirkus Reviews

After his four-year-old son dies under suspicious circumstances, John Henderson leaves his old life behind in Washington State and moves to Oregon. He works at a beach-front restaurant and lives a solitary existence until he feels obligated to help his boss's daughter, Becki, and her druggie boyfriend who have gotten entangled with some shady characters. At the same time, he is contacted by a woman claiming to know who killed his son. John heads back to his hometown-followed by Becki and her boyfriend-to find his former neighbors behaving very oddly. As the novel unfolds, things are increasingly less what they seem-and increasingly ominous for the novel's characters. Verdict Excellent writing and a chilling story line make this psychological thriller impossible to put down. A perfect beach read for those who enjoy a few shivers with their sunbathing. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/09.]-Lisa O'Hara, Univ. of Manitoba Libs., Winnipeg Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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