Monday, July 18, 2011

THE ENDS OF THE EARTH, by Tim Downs


Forensic entomologist Nick Polchak (the Bugman) is called on to investigate a murder on an organic tomato farm. Once he arrives, he finds that the murder victim's wife is a woman he once had feelings for.
When suspicions arise that the murder may have been drug-related, he asks Alena Savard (the "witch" from Downs' previous novel, Less Than Dead) to bring her super-talented dogs to aid the investigation. Alena jumps at the chance to renew her friendship with Nick, but is not thrilled when she finds she has a rival for his affections.
To further complicate the plot of The Ends of the Earth, a strange variety of tomato pest is discovered on the organic tomato plants, suggesting genetic manipulation. How Nick winds his way through the minefield of his heart and unravels the mystery will keep readers flipping pages.
Less Than Dead was the first Tim Downs novel I read and reviewed, but he's written several others. I’m a fan of Downs' stories. The Ends of the Earth is another humor-filled mystery--this one with a romantic subplot that adds to the intrigue.
The ending was a bit unusual, to say the least. If you’ve read The Ends of the Earth, I’d love to hear your opinion of the way Downs wrapped up the story.
I recommend The Ends of the Earth. If you’re new to Tim Downs, however, I’d suggest you start with Less Than Dead or one of his earlier books (Shoofly Pie or Chop Shop) to get the full effect of this novel.

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