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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Less Than Dead by Tim Downs

Bones have been discovered on the property of a Virginia senator's estate in Virginia. Since he is very close to winning the next presidential election, he wants an immediate explanation.

The FBI calls in Nick Polchak, the Bug Man, to investigate the bones and figure out how old they are and where they came from. While visiting the town of Endor, Nick hears legends about the Alena, whom everyone calls the Witch of Endor because she walks in the woods every night in a flowing white dress with a three-legged dog. Everyone seems to have a different story about her, like how she can raise the dead and control her many dogs. But Nick wants to know for himself, so he lets himself onto her property several times and eventually finds her useful in the case.

Alena is by far the best female lead Tim Downs has introduced into the series so far. She is a highly original character that shows off Tim's hidden originality.

Nick Polchak has a renewed sense of originality about him in this novel. Where he was boring in First the Dead, he was funny in Less Than Dead.

There are multiple other good characters, ones that don't have to be as good as they are.

One of the best things about Tim's writing style is his flair for detail. He doesn't leave anything out, therefore he has no plot holes.

I wish I could say he has returned to the days of Chop Shop, but he has not quite yet.

While the serial killer in the plot is one of the most original serial killers ever created, there are several unnecessary parts, like the car chase at the end. The book could have easily gone without it.

Once again, I have faith in Tim Downs, that he will do that original thing at the right time.

4 stars

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