Kelly Ford at Harvard Book Store

presenting

Real Bad Things:
A Thriller

in conversation with E.B. BARTELS

introduced by RACHEL BARENBAUM

Date

Sep
7
Wednesday
September 7, 2022
7:00 PM ET

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes local New England author KELLY J. FORD for a discussion of her new book Real Bad Things: A Thriller. She will be joined in conversation by writer and teacher E.B. BARTELS. They will be introduced by author RACHEL BARENBAUM.

A Return to In-Person Events

Harvard Book Store is excited to be back to in-person programming. To ensure the safety and comfort of everyone in attendance, the following Covid-19 safety protocols will be in place at all of our Harvard Book Store events until further notice:

  • Face coverings are required of all staff and attendees when inside the store. Masks must snugly cover nose and mouth.

About Real Bad Things

Beneath the roiling waters of the Arkansas River lie dead men and buried secrets.

When Jane Mooney’s violent stepfather, Warren, disappeared, most folks in Maud Bottoms, Arkansas, assumed he got drunk and drowned. After all, the river had claimed its share over the years.

When Jane confessed to his murder, she should have gone to jail. That’s what she wanted. But without a body, the police didn’t charge her with the crime. So Jane left for Boston―and took her secrets with her.

Twenty-five years later, the river floods and a body surfaces. Talk of Warren’s murder grips the town. Now in her forties, Jane returns to Maud Bottoms to reckon with her past: to do jail time, to face her revenge-bent mother, to make things right.

But though Jane’s homecoming may enlighten some, it could threaten others. Because in this desolate river valley, some secrets are better left undisturbed.

Praise for Real Bad Things

“Acclaimed author Kelly J. Ford spins a propulsive, sophisticated, and fearlessly queer tour de force in Real Bad Things. Ford’s richly drawn characters and breathtaking storytelling create an inescapable undertow of menace that will not let go until the shocking final page. This is gothic suspense at its most haunting.” ―P. J. Vernon, author of Bath Haus

“Ford’s follow-up to her devastating debut novel, Cottonmouths, is a moving meditation on misplaced loyalties, love, and the legacy of violence and abuse, all wrapped in a mystery filled with guy-wire tension.” ―John Vercher, author of Three-Fifths

“A powerful, grounded, and dark dose of rural noir, Real Bad Things is a tale of a homecoming gone wrong. Kelly J. Ford evokes the work of superstars like Gillian Flynn and Daniel Woodrell in this story of dark secrets coming back to roost and pulls it all through the prism of her own potent voice. This is a down and dirty crime novel that nods to the masters while keeping both feet firmly planted in the present. I loved it.” ―Alex Segura, acclaimed author of Secret Identity, Star Wars Poe Dameron: Free Fall, and Blackout

E.B. Bartels
E.B. Bartels

E.B. Bartels

E.B. Bartels is a writer and teacher from Massachusetts. She has an MFA in creative nonfiction from Columbia, and her work has appeared in Catapult, Electric Literature, The Millions, The Toast, and The Rumpus, among others. E.B.’s first book, Good Grief: On Loving Pets, Here and Hereafter, about how we mourn and remember our pets after they’ve passed away, will be published by Mariner Books on August 2, 2022. In addition, E.B. runs the monthly interview series Non-Fiction by Non-Men on the site Fiction Advocate.

Photo Credit: Small Circle Studio

Kelly J. Ford
Kelly J. Ford

Kelly J. Ford

Kelly J. Ford is the author of Real Bad Things, coming summer 2022 from Thomas & Mercer, and Cottonmouths, named one of 2017’s best books of the year by the Los Angeles Review and featured in the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” from the Los Angeles Times. An Arkansas native, Kelly writes about the power and pitfalls of friendship, the danger of long-held secrets, and the transcendent grittiness of the Ozarks and their surrounds. She lives in Vermont with her wife and cat.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

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