Category Archives: Downs, Tim

Tim Downs. Head Game. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2007.

Cale Caldwell didn’t plan on being a soldier, but an Army ROTC scholarship helped pay his way through UNC.  Before Cale could begin a job with an advertising firm in Chicago, the first Gulf War interrupted his plans.  Luckily for Cale, he served in the war with his good friend, fellow Tar Heel King Kirby.  The two young men worked with a seasoned veteran, Pug Moseley, in a psychological operations unit.  They were good at their work–creating pamphlets and other propaganda that encouraged the enemy to surrender rather than fight.  They saw some bad things, but nothing that they couldn’t leave behind.

Or so Cale thought. When the book opens, it’s now more than a decade later.  Kirby has just committed suicide, and Cale has come from Charlotte to New York City to help Kirby’s mom sort through his possessions. Cale is having a tough time himself.  His wife has died in a car accident, and his teenage daughter hasn’t been able to come to terms with her mom’s death. Unable to accept the story of Kirby’s suicide, Pug and Cale poke around in the past even as more bad things happen to Cale and his family in Charlotte.  Soon the men know that someone from their past is out to destroy them, and the hunter and hunted reverse roles as the novel moves to a dramatic conclusion.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2007, Downs, Tim, Mecklenburg, Piedmont, Suspense/Thriller

Tim Downs. Ends of the Earth. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2009.

A call from the sheriff’s department in Sampson County gives North Carolina State University professor Nick Polchak a chance to escape the beginning-of-the-school- year receptions that he abhors.  Professor Polchack is known as “the Bug Man” and he assumes that Sampson County authorities know his reputation and requested his services.  But they didn’t.  It’s the dead man’s wife who asked for Nick.  Kathryn Guilford made her first series appearance in Shoofly Pie, but in the intervening years a lot has happened, including her marriage to a bi-polar man who is the murder victim.

The authorities think that the killing is drug-related but early on readers learn that the victim was connected to a new NCSU graduate student with ties to a sinister, wealthy Russian.  What takes Nick time to discover is that the grad student’s interest in Nick’s work may be his way to keep track of the investigation.  Nick can be forgiven for being a little slow on the uptake.  His feelings for Kathryn re-emerge as they eat meals together and he sees how she mothers her autistic daughter.  Alena Savard, the dog trainer from series novel Less than Dead, has also come to the farm to aid in the investigation. She’s clear on her feelings for Nick and she knows that Kathryn and her daughter are rivals for Nick’s heart.  Bioterrorism, entomology, and matters of the heart vie for center stage in this book.  Rest easy, the terrorism threat is resolved; romantic matters will be settled later.

This is the fifth  novel in the Bug Man series. Not all of the books in the series are set in North Carolina.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Coastal Plain, Downs, Tim, Novels in Series, Sampson, Suspense/Thriller, Wake