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Forensic entomologist Nick Polchak lives
in a world of maggots and blow flies
and decomposing bodies.
No wonder he’s still single.
But Nick has finally found a woman
as strange as he is—
dog trainer Alena Savard,
a woman who can seemingly talk to animals,
a person so odd and reclusive
that some think she must be a witch.
It was a match made in heaven.
(From Book Blurb)
Nick of Time:
A Bug Man Novel
By Tim Downs
One of the ways you could tell if I personally enjoyed a new book and author is to check if I buy more of his books... I just added all of the Bug Man series to my shopping cart! I'm a forensics science fan from years back...
Nick of Time has a surprise ending, for both readers...and for some of the characters! How cool is that! I knew I wanted to go back and read more about the bug man! Ok, for those who will wonder, yes, he reminds me of Grissolm. For me that is a good thing since we lost Grissolm on TV, so you, also, might want to meet Nick Polchak...
She's perfect for Nick...
And for Nick that decision, once made, is no longer taking up much thinking time. So when he is specifically requested by one of his friends to attend the next Vidocq meeting, a group of forensics professionals who would meet to solve cold cases or special cases presented to them by local police offices, he sees no problem in going even though their wedding is scheduled for that coming Saturday. Nick's friend was working on a cold case and had explained that he needed a bug man to help figure the final details out.
Nick promises to call Alena at 9:00 PM, setting a specific time because Alena must come down off of her mountain to be able to use her new cell phone. Problems begin when:
Nick's friend doesn't show up at the Vidocq meeting and he decides to visit his home. There he discovers that he has been murdered... Sooooo, Nick "later" enters the home, even though there is no admittance through crime tape, and is soon arrested.
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Once Nick gets out of jail, he decides he must investigate his friend's murder. He believed it was likely that the cold case he had been working on was what led to his murder, so naturally he started working on that case... The trail leads him into the Poconos. One contact is made by Nick, to the minister, so that Alena at least becomes aware of where he is--in the Poconos, where they are supposed to go Saturday--but on their honeymoon! You're right, on the second night gone, he also cannot place a call at 9:00!
So while Nick is doing a great job of investigating, Alena is fuming, but then begins to doubt Nick's love and commitment. Will he be there for the wedding Saturday? Well, she wasn't going to wait to find out. She chose three dogs--a tracker, a cadaver dog, and one for protection--and got in her truck and headed for the Poconos!
There is an underlying wit in Downs' writing that is contagious. And when you have Nick and Alena together as a couple, you just cannot thoroughly enjoy the similarities, yet many differences, that forged their relationship. Let's just say that the bug man knows insects much better than women. Until, perhaps, it is too late?
A little humor, a great story, murder mysteries, wonderful human and animal characters, and a chance to learn more about forensic science and entomology in particular... What more could you want? Highly recommended!
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