Book Reviews, YA book reviews

They Did Bad Things: A Thriller by Lauren A. Forry – ARC Review

My Rating ~ Three Stars

RELEASE DATE:  2 June 2020

Format: E-ARC

Pages: 288

Publisher: Arcade Crimewise

Source: Netgalley




In 1995, six university students moved into the house at 215 Caldwell Street. Months later, one of them was found dead on the sofa the morning after their end-of-year party. His death was ruled an accident by the police. The remaining five all knew it wasn’t, and though they went on with their lives, the truth of what happened to their sixth housemate couldn’t stay buried forever.

Twenty years later, all five of them arrive—lured separately under various pretenses—at Wolfheather House, a crumbling, secluded mansion on the Scottish isle of Doon. Trapped inside with no way out and no signal to the outside world, the now forty-somethings fight each other—and the unknown mastermind behind their gathering—as they confront the role they played in their housemate’s death. They are given one choice: confess to their crimes or die.




Thank you so much to Arcade Crimewise for providing me with a copy of They Did Bad Things, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review!


When six university students move into shared housing, they struggle to adapt to living with such varied personalities and before the year ends, one of them is dead.  No-one admits responsibility for his death and they all claim it was an accident and move on with life.  That is until a few decades later, when they all mysteriously end up at the same bed and breakfast for the weekend.  Each believing they were going on a holiday for a different reason, they quickly realise it’s not a coincidence they’ve all been led to the same place.  Someone wants them to admit exactly what happened that night, years ago, in the shared house and not telling the truth could cost their lives.

With everyone a suspect and no-one able to trust anyone else, they enter into a dangerous race against time to find out who has set them up and why, before anyone else dies.

They Did Bad Things is told in alternating timelines – the past, leading up to the roommate’s death and the present, in the holiday house.  I was really intrigued by the mystery in this one, and 100% needed to know who was to blame.  None of the characters were all that likeable, except for the roommate who died, and he was a little ‘too’ likeable – I understand the author really wanted to drive home how wonderful he was and how awful everyone else treated him, but it caused him to seem a little too perfect and 2 dimensional.  The suspense build up, especially with the interruptions to take us back to the shared house, worked really well and had me wanting to know more about each character and how they fit into the story.  Unfortunately the end got really….weird.  Sometimes a very unexpected ending is a good thing, but in this case, I felt like it really should have gone a different way.  All in all, there were some great twists and reveals that I thought were clever and shocking, but the ending just could have been….different.





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