Friday, October 24, 2008

CFBA - Less Than Dead

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing Less Than Dead by Tim Downs - Thomas Nelson (September 9, 2008)


Tim Downs is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Indiana University. After graduation in 1976 he created a comic strip, Downstown, which was syndicated by Universal Press Syndicate until 1986. His cartooning has appeared in more than a hundred major newspapers worldwide.

His first book, a work of non-fiction, was awarded the Gold Medallion Award in 2000. His first novel, Shoofly Pie, was awarded the Angel Award in 2004, and his third novel, PlagueMaker, was awarded the Christy Award for best suspense novel of 2007. First The Dead, the third book in this Bug Man series came out earlier this year.

Tim lives in Cary, North Carolina, with his wife Joy.


Some secrets just won't stay buried.
When strange bones surface on a U.S. senator's property, the FBI enlists forensic entomologist Nick Polchak to investigate the forgotten graveyard. Polchak's orders are simple: figure out the mess.

But Polchak, known as the "Bug Man" because of his knowledge of insects and their interaction with the dead, senses darker secrets buried beneath the soil.

Secrets that could derail the senator's presidential bid.

Secrets buried in the history of a quaint Virginia town.

Secrets someone is willing to kill to protect.

With the help of a mysterious local woman named Alena and her uncanny cadaver dogs, Polchak sets out to dig up the truth.

But with a desperate killer hot on his trail, he'll be lucky to wind up anything less than dead.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Less Than Dead, go HERE


If you are looking to read a book that has an inspirational theme throughout or teaches you life lessons, this is not the book. But if you are looking for a mystery novel without over the top violence do pick this one up.

This is the first novel in Tim Downs' Bug Man series that I have read, so the first time I met Nick Polchak. He is an entomologist, thus the nickname Bug Man. I really liked this character and his quick, sometimes sarcastic wit. Nick has extremely thick eyeglasses, sometimes giving him the illusion of the bugs that he studies. How nice to have a main character that is not defined by his looks, but rather by his knowledge and wit.

The secondary character, and possible love interest, is Alena, mistakenly tagged by the town as the Witch of Endor because of her life of seclusion. She trains cadaver dogs that are tops in the field. Because of her expertise she is pulled reluctantly into an FBI investigation nearby.

Parts of this book read rather like a CSI episode and I'll admit that I got a tad squeamish at the beginning with bug talk. But luckily it was very minimal talk and I was able to move past it. In addition to being a great mystery novel, this book also has an element of political intrigue.

When I saw the cover of the book I was afraid that it would be too intense for me, but once I started reading I was hooked and read this book probably in record time. I will look for more novels by this author.

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