This is the second book I received from William Morrow Publishing (the first one was The Strain). Michael Marshall’s newest novel is due out May 5 in hardcover. He has been compared to Alfred Hitchcock, Stephen King, and M. Night Shyamalan. He is a suspense novelist. I haven’t read any other of Marshall’s books. This is the first for me.
Bad Things is about a man named John who’s four-year-old son dies mysteriously. The books starts three years after the death and chronicles how John gets sucked into a mystery back in the area where his son died, in a hope that he can also figure out how his son really died. While trying to figure out what is going on in Black Ridge, he
…learns the hard way that bad things don’t happen only to other people-they’re hiding in the shadows, waiting to worm through the cracks of our lives without warning, and we never even realize they’re there….until it’s too late.
I’m not really sure where to start with this novel. I didn’t really get hooked into this book until the last 100 pages. Up until that part, I found it confusing. And, I didn’t like John, so I didn’t really care what was going on. But, I stuck it out and as I came to the last third of the book, it started to get suspenseful. I was still confused, but I finally wanted to know what was going on in this weird town in Washington. I was intrigued that it seemed to have to do with the supernatural and I wanted to see where the author was going with that angle.
When I reached the last page, I was disappointed. I feel like I still don’t quite get “it.” I was a little surprised where all the characters ended up at the end of the book. To be honest, there are times I often miss something in these types of books or movies and this is one of those times.
I spent some time trying to think through it all and I didn’t get anywhere. The whole story was quite convoluted. There was a side plot that I’m not sure really mattered much to the book and just bogged it down. Without this side plot, I think the author could have spent more time developing the characters from the main story which may have made the book make more sense (at least to me). But, as for character development, I was disappointed. I realize this isn’t a character novel, but I think more development would have made a better suspense novel. At least I would have cared more.
The supernatural part was interesting. I think the author was definitely making a societal comment and it was a creative way to do that. Again, however, I don’t think it was developed enough. I was still a little confused at the end about exactly what happened and what each character’s role was.
I am looking forward to my husband reading this one. I’m sure he will have a different take and I look forward to our discussion.