The Last Dead Girl features amateur detective David Malone who, in this novel, is still a home inspector in Rome, NY. Dolan’s latest novel gives David’s back story; it serves as a prequel to Bad Things Happen (2009) and Very Bad Men (2011).
Though he is engaged to be married, David finds himself traveling down a dark trail that leads to Jana Fletcher. After a brief romance with Jana, she is killed by an unknown assailant. The reluctant hero finds himself chasing down leads.
Detective Frank Moretti thinks Jana’s murderer is local thug, Simon Lansky. David incurs the wrath of Rome lead detective, Frank Moretti, when he develops a completely different theory about Jana’s killer.
Moretti wants Malone to “stop playing detective,” but his motives may not be as pure he pretends. David suspects the detective has framed an innocent person and may be hiding even darker secrets.
Dolan alternately illuminates and obscures the facts of the case for dramatic effect. Plot twists and time shifts add tension to this fast-paced, thrilling amateur detective story.