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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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Reviews

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.

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.

"taut action and appealing characters" -- San Francisco Chronicle "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." -- Daily Mail (London) on BAD THINGS "A genuinely scary thriller with satisfyingly malevolent villains."--The Sun Herald (Sydney) 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."--Booklist on BAD THINGS "taut action and appealing characters"--San Francisco Chronicle "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."--Daily Mail (London) on BAD THINGS "This spooky tale shows Marshall...has a knack not only for the frisson of dread but also the telling psychological insight."--Publishers Weekly on BAD THINGS "This is a psychological thriller guaranteed to keep you up at nights."--Arcadian Lifestyle "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."--www.BookReporter.com on BAD THINGS This spooky tale shows Marshall...has a knack not only for the frisson of dread but also the telling psychological insight. --Publishers Weekly on BAD THINGS" A genuinely scary thriller with satisfyingly malevolent villains. --The Sun Herald (Sydney) 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. --Booklist on BAD THINGS" This is a psychological thriller guaranteed to keep you up at nights. --Arcadian Lifestyle" 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. --Daily Mail (London) 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. --www.BookReporter.com on BAD THINGS" taut action and appealing characters --San Francisco Chronicle"

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