Chop Shop (Bug Man Series #2)

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Overview

Intern forensic pathologist Dr. Riley McKay has noticed irregularities in autopsies at the Allegheny County Coroner's lab. Suspecting foul play, she seeks help from Dr. Nick Polchak, the "bug man" renowned for his ability to solve murders by analyzing the insects on victim's bodies. Nick and Riley uncover a sinister link between the lab's director and PharmaGen, a start-up drug company specializing in genetic research. They also discover that PharmaGen fronts an underground system to procure transplant organs for...

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Overview

Intern forensic pathologist Dr. Riley McKay has noticed irregularities in autopsies at the Allegheny County Coroner's lab. Suspecting foul play, she seeks help from Dr. Nick Polchak, the "bug man" renowned for his ability to solve murders by analyzing the insects on victim's bodies. Nick and Riley uncover a sinister link between the lab's director and PharmaGen, a start-up drug company specializing in genetic research. They also discover that PharmaGen fronts an underground system to procure transplant organs for wealthy clients by finding and murdering matching donors. But PharmaGen learns of their security breach and orders the couple destroyed. While staying a step ahead of PharmaGen assassins, romantic attraction develops between Nick and Riley. But the attraction is complicated by a tragic secret that Riley hides — a secret closely tied to one member of PharmaGen's operation which propels the novel to its astonishing conclusion.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Romance among the maggots and blowflies? Well, yes, and plenty of hilarity and suspense in this delightful sophomore Bug Man novel from Downs (Shoofly Pie). After physically threatening a college student who falls asleep in his class, entomologist Nick Polchak is put on temporary probation. He meets up with Dr. Riley McKay from the Pennsylvania Allegheny County coroner's office, who is on the trail of something fishy and needs his help analyzing some corpses. A black market in transplant organs has resulted in targeted murders, and PharmaGen's traffic in applied genetic information may be a screen for other dubious dealings. Complicating things is Riley's own well-kept secret about her medical condition. The pacing drags a bit toward the middle, and a contrivance or two move the plot along, but Downs keeps the pages turning with some excellent twists and first-rate humor. He laudably knows how to show rather than tell-a rarity for Christian fiction. Good entomological details add authenticity to the story, and the heavy themes of the pitfalls of a utilitarian approach to ethics and the hazards of judging human value on the basis of social worth are mostly thought provoking instead of preachy. Downs's flair for the unusual-and his notable improvement over his already strong first effort-make him a writer to watch in the faith fiction market. (July 20) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
VOYA
When Dr. Nick Polchak overreacts to a student sleeping during one of his bug lectures, he is temporarily relieved of his teaching duties and told to get involved in his department's public service outreach. He meets Dr. Riley McKay, a pathologist whose fellowship at the coroner's office also includes community service at an elementary school where he, the students, and the teachers are suffering through that community service. McKay identifies Polchak as someone who can help her. The coroner's office is not doing thorough autopsies on the bodies of murder victims. A forensic entymologist, Nick is soon embroiled in a mystery involving murders that appear without a motive. The opening chapter gives a huge clue to the reader that someone out there is looking for organs for transplant for profit. Who might be involved in such a scheme and who might benefit? Therein lies the tale, and a fine one it is. Downs mixes humor with his tightly woven plot to keep the pages turning. The ending is consistent with the events and characterizations that lead to it. The horror of it, however, seems ragged on top of the light hand that constructed the rest of the novel. Still this reviewer plans to get her hands on Downs' first bug man novel, Shoofly Pie (Howard, 2003), and eagerly awaits the third one. Give this book to readers not quite ready for Robin Cook, Patricia Cornwell or Michael Crichton. VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P M J S (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2004, Howard Publishing, 338p., Trade pb. Ages 11 to 18.
—Lynne B. Hawkins
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582294018
  • Publisher: Howard Books
  • Publication date: 7/28/2004
  • Series: Bug Man Series, #2
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Tim Downs is a professional speaker and writer and has worked as a nationally syndicated cartoonist for fourteen years. His first book, Finding Common Ground, was awarded the Evangelical Christian Publishing Association's prestigious Gold Medallion Award. He has coauthored two other works of nonfiction with his wife, Joy. Tim and Joy are on the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ and live in Cary, North Carolina, with their three children.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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