Thursday, October 23, 2008
Tim Downs' Less Than Dead ~ Reviewed
Less than Dead
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (September 9, 2008)
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
How have I not run into Tim Downs and the Bug Man? Seriously! I LOVED Less Than Dead. Creative, clever writing, snappy sarcastic dialogue, three dimensional and humorous characters, and great plotting make this one of my favorite reads of the year. The fact that it contains major forensic oohs and ahhhs only added to the enjoyment. I will go back and pick up the rest of the series, but I can't imagine that they will be any better than Less Than Dead.
I love Nick and his nose for sniffing out trouble, when he's not making his own that is. I think I have maybe found a favorite fictional leading man in Nick. Alena was a tragic and mysterious leading lady and I love the idea that they'll be together in future books. The forensic details and Alena's dog skills were fascinating. The major story is the teamwork between the two major characters and the mystery pales in comparison to their friendship and all it's implications, though the underlying plot of a politician and skeletons is intriguing.
Two notes to others who may be looking to avoid or for something. Though a Christian fiction publisher, the Christian message is very, very light and there is a term or two that could offend very conservative readers or those looking for a strong inspirational thread. Secondly, the book is about murder and details pertaining to murders including icky facts and dialogue, so squeamish souls may want to thoroughly check out this novel.
Crime novel, forensic, mystery, or snappy character fans should find Less Than Dead to be a satisfying read.
Mr. Downs you have earned yourself a new fan.
Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer