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First The Dead (Bug Man Series #3) [Paperback]

By Tim Downs (Author)
Find more in Bug Man Series
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Item description for First The Dead (Bug Man Series #3) by Tim Downs...

After Hurricane Katrina takes New Orleans by storm, forensic entomologist Nick Polchak starts finding bodies that were clearly dead before the hurricane struck. He understands that all forensic evidence will soon disintegrate in the hot, contaminated water, and he knows that's exactly what the killer wants to happen.

Publishers Description

When a national disaster strikes, "first the living" is the rule.
Unless you're the Bug Man.
When Hurricane Katrina strikes New Orleans, forensic entomologist Nick Polchak signs up to help with the recovery effort. He is known as the Bug Man for his knowledge of insects and what they can reveal about the dead. The government's mandate is clear--rescue the living first, recover the dead later.
But something is very wrong in the toxic soup-bowl of post-Katrina New Orleans.
Someone is using the cover of disaster to kill . . . hiding the victims of murder in the same watery grave as the victims of Katrina.
It's a tale only the dead can tell. But no one besides the Bug Man is listening.

" . . . stands out from the pack of CSI-inspired mysteries with its quirky hero and creative handling of the Hurricane Katrina disaster."

--"Publishers Weekly" (Starred Review)

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Thomas Nelson
Pages   363
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.4" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.9"
Weight:   0.9 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 9, 2008
Publisher   Thomas Nelson
Series  Bug Man  
ISBN  159554612X  
ISBN13  9781595546128  
UPC  020049135211  

Availability  0 units.

More About Tim Downs

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! TIM DOWNS is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Indiana University in Graphic Design. After graduation in 1976 he created a comic strip, Downstown, which was syndicated by Universal Press Syndicate. His cartooning has appeared in more than a hundred newspapers worldwide. In 1979 he joined the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ, where he founded and directed the Communication Center, a communication training facility. He continues to serve as a speaker and writer. He and his wife, Joy, have spoken at FamilyLife Marriage and Parenting Conferences since 1985. He is author of First the Dead, Less Than Dead, Chop Shop, Head Game, Plague Maker, Shoo Fly Pie, and Finding Common Ground, which was awarded the Gold Medallion Award in 2000. He is also co-author of Fight Fair and The Seven Conflicts: Resolving the Most Common Disagreements in Marriage along with his wife Joy. Tim lives in Cary, North Carolina, with his wife and three children.

Tim Downs currently resides in the state of North Carolina.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > General
2Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Fiction & Poetry > Fiction
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Fiction & Poetry > Fiction > Suspense

Christian Product Categories
Books > Fiction > General Christian > Suspense

Reviews - What do customers think about First The Dead (Bug Man Series #3)?

Bug Man Returns!  May 11, 2008
This is a really great series and the Bug MAn NIck Polchak is a really great and eccentric character. THe Bug Man is a forenscic entomoligist who studies bugs on dead people to see when exactly the died. He is called in to help clean up bodies after Hurricane Katrina. He start noticing that some of the dead bodies are further along in the decomposition stage then they should be after the hurricane and thinks that they died before the hurricane. A great book very exciting read. I would highle recommend to fans of C.S.I. Also check out the first 2 books in the seriesSHoo Fly Pie and Chop Shop.
When the bugs come   May 5, 2008
A really good read. Strange maybe,that a book about the bugs we draw when we die is fun to read. I appreciated that Downs does not use sex or excessive violence to sell his books. My! he does not even use bad language and yet I enjoyed this book very much and having read all of his books they keep getting better. He writes a good story with real life situations but never rubs your nose in an attempt to make the book, "Christian.

john acuff
country lawyer
I thoroughly enjoyed it  Apr 13, 2008
I'm already a fan of the Big Man series, but Tim Downs' latest contribution exceeded my expectations. The plot is suspenseful and the characterization is excellent. Nick is truly a unique "hero" and I enjoy the interesting information about insects and forensics. I heartily recommend it.
Take Comfort  Apr 1, 2008
Tim Downs has been off in the corner, quietly, but not safely, creating one of the best characters in modern suspense. Nick Polchak, the Bug Man, has evolved from the Coke-bottle spectacles and reclusive nature of his first appearance into a more physical creature, using witty sarcasm as a natural defense, and putting his insect-loving ways to good use in the face of danger.

This time around (don't forget to read "Shoofly Pie" and "Chop Shop" right away, if you haven't already), the Bug Man finds himself in the swampy mess of New Orleans in the days before and after Hurricane Katrina. Working with DMORT, as a ragtag extension of FEMA, his job is to recover bodies and rescue the living. He's reminded that the living come first on the list of priorities, but that list is challenged by Polchak's discovery of corpses that seem to predate the natural disaster. Could someone be using the catastrophe to cover crimes from the recent past?

Downs does a fantastic job of giving backstory and personality to his lead character, while never slowing the forward progress of the story. He shows great respect for the citizens of New Orleans and those involved in her rebuilding efforts, while never softening his story. Even as the Bug Man works long hours to get to the truth, he is joined by J.T., a young survivor looking for his father, and by Beth, his psychiatrist friend. There is all kinds of room here for romantic development and emotional release for bottled-up Nick Polchak--and, in fact, I hoped Downs would give us a little more of it. On the other hand, this is what keeps the Bug Man so interesting, infuriating, and addictive. Dealing with the destruction of flood waters and breached levees, Polchak continues to keep his own heart dammed.

Last year, I was blown away by the raw beauty of James Lee Burke's "The Tin Roof Blowdown," another Katrina novel. Downs steps to the plate with his own writing, providing a vastly different look and feel that remains true and respectful as well. Some of my favorite Bug Man scenes ever are in this book (imagine a nighttime swim through a flooded house). Though Nick Polchak may still need a heart transplant, I take comfort in the fact he is in the hands of master novelist Tim Downs.
A great read that can't be put down!  Mar 3, 2008
Tim Downs graduated from Indiana University, where he created a comic strip entitled Downstown, which eventually entered syndication after he published three collections based on the comic strip. Downs also founded "The Communication Center," a training and consulting arm of the "Campus Crusade for Christ." Downs garnered a Christy award for his novel PLAGUEMAKER. He also authored CHOP SHOP and SHOO FLY PIE, as well as FINDING COMMON GROUND, a non-fiction book.

Dr. Nick Polchak, better known as "the bug man" is on site with a branch of FEMA called DMORT. Their mission is to collect and process dead corpses amidst any national disaster. Hurricane Katrina has hit, and Nick teams up with his buddy, Jerry Kibbee, a funeral home director from Fort Wayne, Indiana. Although their mission changes from the beginning of this deployment, Nick is still painfully aware that Hurricane Katrina would provide an excellent dumping group for corpses who met their deaths by illegal means. Sure enough, he quickly finds a corpse that fits that category and opens up a can of worms. This seems to be Dr. Polchak's forte, and he is better than anyone at defying authority. When they find a second body, he is in trouble with higher ups:

"'Yesterday you recovered the body of a man from the Lower Ninth Ward, though you were specifically instructed not to. Last nigh your director reprimanded you for that infraction and reminded you of your instructions - yet today you recovered a second body from the same general area. I'd like to know why.'

'I'd like to know who's asking,' Nick said.

'My name is Turlock,' he said. 'Special Agent Frank Turlock.'

'Why is the DEA interested in my little faux pas, Mr. Turlock? Seems like an in-house issue to me.'"

Tim Downs is once again at his best with this installment of Dr. Nick Polchak the bug man's adventures. Polchak strikes a character rich balance as a wise-cracking entomologist, a man who would rather study bugs than try to communicate with his ex-lover psychiatrist, who is also on-site for Katrina. A great read that can't be put down!

Shelley Glodowski
Senior Reviewer

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