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Nick of Time (Bug Man Series #6)

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted July 27, 2011

    Nick of Time by Tim Downs

    Never before have I ever been so ashamed to read a book. Yes, Nick of Time was a great book with unforgettable characters, but it's also smack in the middle of a series. I read it because I signed up to read it on a website, but now I wish I'd read the entire rest of the series first.

    Nick Polchak is a forensic entomologist, which means he knows bugs better than pretty much anyone else on the planet. He has quite the messed up personality, too, so that's why everyone was shocked when he announced he was getting married.

    Alena Savard is a dog trainer, but unlike any you've seen before. She's lived alone for most of her life, and there's no better partner for Nick. Yep, that's right, the Bug Man and the Dog Woman are getting married. There's only one problem: it's the week of the wedding, but Nick is nowhere to be found.

    Nick went to a monthly convention-this much Alena knew-but it turns out a friend of his was recently murdered, so he set out to find his own answers-even though it was his wedding week and he had no way to contact his fiancée-and he eventually starts uncovering what could be a much more sinister plot.

    Nick of Time is a great book. At times it had me shivering, at others it had me laughing. One of the plot twists you can't see coming, and when it's finally revealed, chances are you'll burst out laughing (if you're not the type to laugh out loud, then you'll at least chuckle in your head).

    The characters were well-created, each with their own personality (it sounds like something that should always happen-and you're right-but some authors are just bad at doing it). The story was cool, and you could feel many of the emotions of the characters. Tim Downs is a great novelist, but I just wish I'd read the books in order.

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  • Posted June 20, 2011

    Highly recommend

    A great crime thriller, Nick of Time, is a story about a man that uses his knowledge of bugs to help solve murders. Nick is arrogant and rude you love him anyway. He takes off a few days before his wedding leaving his fiance, Alena, somewhat unhappy about it. Will the bug man make it back in time?

    The two of them end up getting involved in all kinds of intrigue, plenty of action and surprising twists. An interesting and fast moving plot with humurous and snippy dialogue, this book is hard to put down. You can't guess what is going to happen next, that is a feature I love in a book.

    Wonderful characters, great storyline.

    Tim Downs is a fantastic writer, he now has a new follower! I give Nick of Time 5 stars.

    I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Posted June 13, 2011

    A Must Read!

    Nick of Time
    By Tim Downs

    I have a wide amount of book preferences, from romance, to humor, to how tos, and books about bettering yourself, but at the end of the day, sometimes, you just want to get lost in an amazing book, and that's just what happened when I decided to read this book!! I have a love and soft spot for books with great descriptions, thrilling plots, and awesome twists and turns. This book delivered on all levels! Nick Polchak is a bug man, a forensic entomologist a career built around maggots, blow flies and decomposing bodies! He's a single guy, but it's no surprise given his career choices! However, Nick meets, and falls in love with a reclusive dog trainer named, Alena. They decide to get married, but, Nick has disappeared!! He's gone off, chasing the murder of an old friend. The closer he gets to catching the murderer, the farther he gets from his love, and almost wife Alena! Although this book sounds firm and gruesome, but exceptionally written, and well thought out. The characters were believable, the plot was cleaver, and it was an all-around pleasing mystery to read! There is wonderfully witty dialog, and a plot twist at the end that you won't see coming!!

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookSneeze in exchange for an honest opinion.

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  • Posted June 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Bugman's Adventure

    Nick has finally made the decision to marry, but when a friend invites him to a meeting in Philadelphia of the Vidocq Society he heads off. An adventure awaits him when he arrives. Loved this clue leads to another and with the wedding on Saturday!
    Alena...Nick's intended feels threatened when Nick takes off so close to their wedding date. Loved the way she trains her dogs...she uses her dogs to find cadavers. They also protect her when she commands them!
    Right from the beginning you wonder if Nick will make it back in time? This story keeps you wanting to turn the page to find out what is going to happen next. You will never guess the ending!
    When Nick is stopped, several times in the book, he is a wise guy! No wonder he misses the important phone calls!
    If you want a page turner, and a really good read, that you cannot figure out what is going to happen next...this is the book for you!
    I was given a copy of this book by Book Sneeze, I was not required to give a positive review.

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  • Posted May 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Perfectly imperfect, like real life!

    Nick, a forensic entomologist, is known as the Bug Man. He isn't very good with the human species, but to everyone surprise he is finally getting married. However, a friend is murdered and Nick's single-minded focus keeps pushing him to solve it. But what about his wedding in a few days? He is going to forget it or is he subconsciously running from it? This is the 6th book of the Bug Man series, but for some reason after the 3rd they aren't marked as clearly. However they do follow each other, so I would suggest that you stay in order. I had read the first 3 novels and became a fan of the Bug Man. When I got Nick of Time, I found out that I had missed 2 other Bug Man books. I quickly got and read those, so I could be caught up. I enjoyed being in Bug Man mode for a couple weeks! I really enjoyed Nick of Time. I continue to love Nick's quirkiness and wittiness. We were introduced to Alena, Nick's fiancée, a couple of books ago. She is an excellent addition with her own uniqueness. Tim Downs added a twist that I totally didn't see coming, and I usually am able to figure out books and movies pretty quickly! Also, the ending wasn't "perfect" which I felt was a breath of fresh air! It was closer to reality than books that try to wrap everything up neat and tidy. All I have to say is "Go get her, Nick!" Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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  • Posted May 21, 2011

    Excellent Suspense - Couldn't Guess the Twist

    I was hesitant to select this book, since it is Tim Downs' sixth book in a series; however, I was pleasantly surprised. Mr. Downs does an excellent job of continuing the series while engaging a new reader. I had no trouble immersing myself into the storyline.

    I love the quirky main character, Nick Polchak! He's a forensic entomologist, a guy who studies bugs. I equate him to one of those people who thinks on such a higher level, he has trouble interacting with 'average' people. What makes Nick endearing is he says whatever he's thinking. He clearly has no edit button on his mouth; and his exasperated (and borderline sarcastic) commentary is hilarious. I laughed allowed throughout the entire read.

    While I didn't connect as well with the other characters, they were easy to keep up with and follow. Nick's fiancée, Selena, is quirky in her own right; and I'd like to get to know her better. Nick's FBI and Vidocq Society friends, while incredibly intellectual, are quite down to earth. In every scene, I felt each character was approachable and real. The banter between characters reminded me of dialogue from movies like Ocean's Eleven. If you like fast-paced novels, you'll like Nick of Time.

    What I loved most about Nick of Time is the unexpected twist it took. I thought I had the plot figured out, and then WHAM! What I thought would happen, didn't. Bravo to Mr. Downs for throwing this reader off the suspected finish. For that very reason, I cannot wait to read the other Bug Man novels. I believe I have a new favorite.

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  • Posted May 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Witty and Smart

    Dr. Nick Polchak, Prof. Of Entomology at North Carolina State is a genius, a man who understands bugs more than people. He is engaged to be married in less then a week to an equally eccentric woman, dog trainer Alena Savard. Premarital discord ensues when Nick finds it necessary to help a colleague on an cold case requirng his forensic expertise. Nick arrives in Pennsylvania only to find his friend murdered and makes it his mission to find out why? With Nick missing and a wedding date looming, what is a fiancée to do but to track him down with her pack of dogs. This case only deepens when nothing is what it seems, leaving you wondering if Nick and Alena will make it to the alter and whose the murderer?

    I've just read probably one of the most wittiest novels in a long time. I couldn't put the book down, Nick is the ultimate character you love to hate. He's funny, brilliant and at the same time rude and egotistical. The ending was an unexpected twist which worked wonderfully with the story. Kudos to Tim Downs, I highly recommend this book.

    **Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

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  • Posted May 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Surprisingly good!

    The premise is tricky and multi-layered: a murder mystery, wedding planning, and cold feet. This is probably why I didn't expect much--because, really, how can your regular run-of-the-mill author pull all those odd threads together?

    Apparently, Tim Downs is not your regular run-of-the-mill author. I've never heard of him before Nick of Time and I terribly underestimated him. Besides, the cover was unattractive, and I've never read a good mystery from a Christian publisher. So there.

    But Nick of Time paints a convincingly dark, CSI-ish world with an interesting, eccentric Grissom-like main character (minus the irreverence and obnoxiousness).

    Lots of dry humor, snappy banter. A solid, intriguing mystery that moves a step ahead of you, with an equally weighty subplot of relationship woes. Plus one of those really good twists that catches you off guard. None of the ready made formula endings, this one.

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  • Posted May 16, 2011

    Very Good Book!

    This book was an intense page turner. When I started reading this book I did not expect to learn so much about bugs! One of the reasons I enjoyed this book is because just when you think you know what is going on the author adds another little twist! The story starts out when this couple enters a wedding planners office called "Wedding 'n' Such: Everything you need to make your special day unforgettable." The couple (Nick and Alena) are planning on getting married in a few months! The groom's profession is forensic entomologist (pretty much it means he can look at the bugs on or around the corpse and be able to tell how long the body had been dead) and the bride's profession is training cadaver dogs! Only days before the wedding Nick gets a call from his forensic bug buddy saying he needs help on a case. Alena, however, doesn't hear from him for three days and on the eve of their wedding takes her dogs and goes looking for him. Nick of Time is definitely a must read!

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  • Posted May 14, 2011

    A great mystery thriller!

    The Bug Man is getting married on Saturday... if his fiancée can find him.

    Forensic entomologist Nick Polchak lives in a world of maggots and blow flies and decomposing bodies. No wonder he is still single.

    But Nick has finally found a woman as strange as he is - dog trainer Alena Savard, a woman who is odd, reclusive, and can seemingly talk to animals. It was a match made in heaven.

    Nick and Alena are scheduled to be married on Saturday - just a mere 4 days away- Nick finds himself driving to Philadelphia for the monthly meeting of the Vidocq society. Being among a group of forensic professionals consulting on cold cases will surely allow him to feel useful and normal.
    But while there he discovers that a close friend has been murdered . . . Nick begins to follow the trail of evidence rather than returning to his fiancée. Fearing that his one-track mind won't lead him home by Saturday, Alena and three of her dogs go to track him down.

    When she finally finds him, nothing is as Alena (or Nick) expected . . .

    (summary adapted from the publisher)

    Picture a forensic entomologist and an avid dog lover sitting in a wedding planner's office. Neither know truly what they desire, but Nick sure knows all of this is a waste of time. He heads to his monthly meeting in Philadelphia against the wishes of his intended, 4 days before their wedding. Fast forward -----> He finds his trusted friend and colleague murdered ------> Who else cares enough to solve this mystery? No one but him!

    I enjoyed the this book. The story line and characters were well developed. Tim Downs did a superb job in crafting this book to keep you questioning what is around the next corner.... or on the next page!

    Nick of Time is the sixth book in the Bug Man series. I did not have any trouble picking up on Nick's character, but I do look forward to reading the previous books. There is even one written around New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina!

    Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5

    Note: I received a free copy of Nick of Time from BookSneeze® for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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  • Posted May 12, 2011

    Awesome book! Highly Recommended!

    First of all, I must say that this book was amazing! When I first read the back and read the word "Bug Man" I was a little leery as whether I really wanted to read it or not. But when I sat down and opened it up, I could not put it down.

    Forensic entomologist Nick Polchak is getting married to his beautiful fiancée Alena Savard, a dog enthusiast (and that's just putting it lightly). But only a week before the wedding, Nick heads up to Philadelphia for his monthly meeting with the Vidocq society, a group of forensic specialists, who are the best in their given field, that take on cold cases that were never solved. Nick hasn't been able to make it to the last few meetings and he is especially eager to go to this one because his good friend Pete has invited him over to catch up. But when Nick finds that his friend has been murdered it takes him even further away from is waiting bride to the Poconos in northeast Pennsylvania. Tired of waiting for Nick, Alena gets in her car, determined to take matters into her own hands and bring home her fiancé before her wedding. But is there another reason for Nick's disappearance? Is he having second thoughts about the wedding? Will Alena be able to find him? ??? Read the book! It's a good one!

    P.S. A forensic entomologist is someone who studies bugs and their relations to decomposing bodies. Just thought you should know.

    P.S.S. or is it P.P.S.? This is the 6th book in the Bug Man series, but even though I have never read or even heard of the others (Shoofly Pie, Chop Shop, First the Dead, Less than Dead, Ends of the Earth) I had no trouble following this book or feeling like I was missing something. But I have heard that it is probably best to read the others first if you want a background of the characters but it is not necessary.

    I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. Not officially available until May 17, 2011.

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  • Posted May 4, 2011

    Nick of Time ~ Excellent!!

    Nick Of Time by Tim Downs is the sixth book in the Bug Man Series . This was the first book I've read by this author, but it won't be my last. This book was fantastic, full of suspense, and one of the best plots I have ever read. If you like C.S.I., you will love Nick Of Time !

    Dr. Nick Polchak is a forensic entomologist, a bug man. He is engaged to Alena Savard, a beautiful, but odd woman who lives in a trailer on top of a mountain just outside of Endor, Virginia. And yes, the town thinks she might even be a witch. Actually, she is smart, quick-witted, and a bit sarcastic, just like her fiance. Alena is a dog trainer and her canines are so obedient that they only need slight gestures to be instructed.

    Their wedding is next Saturday. Alena wants a small wedding with all the trimmings, Nick wants no trimmings. Crime and forensics have united these people.

    Nick is invited to The Vidocq Society, a professional meeting for forensic specialists, the week prior to his wedding. His longtime friend, Peter Boudreau, from Nick's college days at Penn State, asks him for help in a murder investigation. When Nick arrives in Philadelphia, Peter never arrives. Nick's investigation takes him to Pine Summit, a little town outside of the Poconos. Nick becomes so wrapped up in his case that he hardly remembers his fiance, let alone his wedding. Nick and Alena begin to wonder if they should even marry.

    It was a treat to read a novel whose plot occurs in my home state of Pennsylvania. The author was quite accurate in his details of Penn State and the Frost Entomology Museum, a place I have visited a few times while home educating my children. I learned a lot about forensics and how investigators determine time of death and motive in criminal cases.

    I loved the characters in this book and often found myself laughing at their comments. The characters speak those sarcastic remarks we often think, but are too afraid to say. The conclusion was totally unexpected and fantastic. Please read this book and then read the rest of this series. Personally, I can't wait to read the next Bug Man novel.

    Tim Downs is the Christy Award-winning author of Plague Maker and the Bug Man novels. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and three children.

    Thank you to Tim Downs and Thomas Nelson for the opportunity to receive this book in exchange for my honest review

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  • Posted April 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Bug Man Fan Is Born!

    First of all, I want to say that I love it when I get to review a book by an author from my state of North Carolina....this one happens to be about 20 minutes from me! How cool is that?! I think that is awesome! Another reason I am happy about this book, is that it starts off in Front Royal, Virginia. I used to live SUPER close to that and would go there sometimes, so it was fun reading that! Anyway, I loved The Bug Man. I loved the book. I loved Tim's work. All of it. This was a hook-line-sinker for me, folks. The Bug Man is a fantastic character and Tim Downs did an EXCELLENT job of blending him in with the plot line of this book.

    From page one, I was laughing. Nick Polchak was a funny yet played the suspenseful role quite well. I enjoyed the banter and interaction between him and Alena. When Nick had to leave just few days before his wedding to Alena, the suspense begins. His close friend is found dead in his home and he's determined to find out why. But will he make it back home in time for the "I do's" with his fiance? She's determined to have him there so her and her tracking dogs set out to find him....only things aren't what she expected. Once Alena sets out, things really get going in the twists and turns department.

    Tim's writing style for this Bug Man novel was awesome. He kept me laughing with Polchak's humorous character, but kept me in suspense with each twist the story took. I couldn't put this book down for I HAD to keep turning the page and finding out the next twist in the scenes!

    If you love suspense novels, then please grab a copy of Tim's Nick of Time. Though you will laugh out loud at Nick Polchak, you'll be guessing what's gonna happen next in this 5 star read. This is the first Bug Man novel I've had the pleasure of reading, but I will tell you this: this will NOT be the last one! I will be collecting and reading ALL the Bug Man novels and will be anxious and hoping that Tim Downs' releases another one SOON! Hat's off to Tim Downs for a ROCKIN' great suspense novel!

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  • Posted April 27, 2011

    This book keeps you turning the page!

    "Nick of TIme" by Tim Downs is part of the "Bug Man" series of books that focus on Nick Polchak, a forensic entomologist (he studies bugs on dead and decomposing bodies to help solve crimes). Nick is known for being strange so those who know him even a little bit are nothing less than shocked when he becomes engaged. His fiancée, Alena Savard, trains dogs use in all forms of criminal justice such as tracking and even finding cadavers and even places where someone has died. The wedding is all scheduled for Saturday, when on Tuesday Nick abruptly leaves town for a meeting and then becoming involved in a murder case involving a close friend of his.

    The question on everyones mind, especially Alena's, is whether or not Nick will make it to their wedding. And if not...what is it that he is really running from? Nick is used to nothing but work, work work, often dedicating himself completely to the task at hand. He therefore does not see how this makes him self-centered. Alena trains dogs and lives on a mountain all alone with over 30 of said dogs. She has an issuing trusting people.

    So strangely...Nick thinks that he can continue to be so focused on his career even to the point of neglecting promises to his 'wife'. While Alena thinks that Nick is another dog that she can train and that he will do what she says. Throughout the book, Nick is reminded of marriage and what all is involved...that it is more than just a wedding and 'I do'. Both he and Alena are put into situations where they are forced to seriously think about what they are (or aren't) getting themselves into.

    The story was really easy for me to follow, even without reading any of the other "Bug Man" novels. The story very entertaining and the author does a good job of keeping up the pace and keeping just enough information from you to make you keep saying "ok....just one more chapter". All in all it was a great read and I can definitely see myself reading more by this author, especially the other books in this series.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted April 6, 2011

    Best Book Ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I can't wait for this book!!!!!! This is definately one of my favorite book series EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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