Sunday, July 5, 2009

LESS THAN DEAD by Tim Downs

THE SUMMARY: As construction crews begin work to build a large mall, they uncover a long-forgotten cemetery. Mysteries and secrets abound when it is soon discovered that two sets of human remains are buried above the caskets. Entomologist Nick Polchak is hired by the FBI to help determine if it is the work of a serial killer. Complicating the investigation is the fact that the land is owned by presidential candidate Senator John Henry Braden—who wants the entire situation handled delicately to keep from derailing his bid to become Commander in Chief. Nick is not known for wearing kid gloves, and he soon recruits the Witch of Endor to help in the investigation. The citizens in the nearby town of Endor consider Alena Savard a witch because she is known for talking with animals and roaming the woods in search of her missing father. The deeper Alena and Nick dig, the more they uncover long-held secrets—secrets that someone doesn’t want revealed, secrets that are worth killing for.

THE MESSAGE: 1) Lies and secrets will be discovered. 2) Who might be capable of murder? Everybody.

THE PRESENTATION: Of Tim Down’s four Bug Man novels, this book focuses less on the bugs that feed on decomposing bodies and more on the expertise of cadaver dogs—man’s best friends with the ability to sniff out the dead. Also of note, Tim Downs reintroduces FBI agent Nathan Donovan of Plague Maker fame.


FINAL THOUGHTS: Nick Polchak returns in the fourth installment of the Bug Man novels by Tim Downs. Downs again delivers a page-turner that is suspenseful from the start. With unique characters, laugh-out-loud moments, and unexpected twists, this mystery will not disappoint.

THE RECOMMENDATION: 4 out of 5

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