Nick Polchak is a forensic entomologist who understands one thing well … bugs. Everything else about life and people, not so much. And that is what has made Dr. Polchak such an interesting character in all of the novels in Tim Down’s, Bug Man series (Shoo Fly Pie, Chop Shop, First the Dead, Less Than Dead, and Ends of the Earth).
Author, Tim Downs left readers twisting in the wind at the conclusion of his last installment of his “Bug Man” series with Nick was facing the most terrifying crisis of his life. He had faced murderers and examined countless dead bodies but nothing had prepared him for that one. On the last page of Ends of the Earth, Nick asked someone to marry him. Unfortunately we didn’t know who. Nick of Time answers that question.
As we begin Nick of Time we now know Nick and Alena are preparing for their wedding. At least Alena is. Nick is still Nick. He is determined to attend a monthly meeting of experts who assist law enforcement in solving cold cases. Adding fuel to the fire of his determination is a message from an old friend that indicates there is a mystery to solve. So, amidst the protests of his wife-to-be he heads off with a promise to return in just a day. Their wedding, he reasons, isn’t until the weekend and he will be back in plenty of time. If you believe that you haven’t read the other Bug Man stories and you don’t know Nick Polchack.
Like Downs’ other novels in this series it is impossible to say more without ruining the fun. There are plenty of twists and red herrings in the mystery so I will leave those for the reader to discover and enjoy. It is better to focus here on the character that rises to the foreground and that is Alena. She is a woman who lives alone with her amusing crew of highly trained dogs that become important bit actors in this drama. If Nick has no focus, outside of bugs and mysteries, Alena is totally focused. She now knows what she wants and who she wants it with. She will not let go of Nick regardless of how distracted he may be.
With Nick failing to call for days (that’s another story in itself) Alena heads off in her truck to find him. Along the way she faces down would be molesters, a serial thief and an FBI agent. But you don’t need to worry about her. He canine companions are better protection than most heads of state have. If you know anything about Nick, Alena is the only woman on earth that could love him or live with him.
One of my favorite things about this series is the time Tim Downs has taken to develop Nick’s character. Like Dr. House in the popular TV show by the same name, Nick is one of those people that fascinate and frustrate all at the same time. Thankfully the publisher has allowed Downs the time to develop this character over time. There is a payoff in Nick of Time. We learn what happened early in Nick’s life that caused his disconnection from people and fascination with bugs. We get to see Nick have a couple of epiphanies of sorts. And we finally get to see the light bulb go on in Nick’s heart about what loving another human being, namely Alena, really means. But if you are expecting a neatly packaged ending you haven’t read the other Bug Man novels. There are always surprises in store when Nick Polchack does anything.
Reviewed by Tim George
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: May 2011
Review copy provided by Thomas Nelson
This entry was posted on Sunday, May 15th, 2011 at 7:25 am and is filed under Book Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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