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DARWIN'S BLADE

Simmons, Dan.

1,358 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0380973693 / ISBN 13: 9780380973699
Published by Avon., NY:, 2000
From Kathmandu Books (Winter Park, FL, U.S.A.)

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HC in dust jacket. 1st Printing. A fine copy in a fine dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 18061

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Bibliographic Details

Title: DARWIN'S BLADE

Publisher: Avon., NY:

Publication Date: 2000

Edition: 1st edition

About this title

Synopsis:

In his previous novel--the masterful, critically acclaimed thriller The Crook Factory--Dan Simmons led readers back to a volatile era and an exotic locale. Now he brings his utterly original brand of riveting suspense closer to home.Darwin's Blade

At any hour of the day or night, Darwin Minor is on call to be summoned to accident scenes that strain belief--horrifying tableaux of mangled metal and bodies. As an expert in accident reconstruction, Darwin uses science and instinct to unravel the real causes of unnatural disasters, and he is brilliant at it.

But even though his life is carefully arranged to avoid emotional involvement in his work--and outside of work, for that matter--everything is about to change. A series of seemingly random high-speed car accidents is suddenly leading him down a very dangerous road. The accidents seem staged, but the participants have all died, and though Dar suspects a grand conspiracy, why would anyone commit fraud at the cost of his own life?

The deeper he digs, the more enemies he seems to make--deadly enemies who are part of an international network specializing in intimidation and murder. But Darwin Minor has some deadly resources of his own, dating back to a time in his life he thought he'd left behind. And if he wants to save himself--and untold others--he must reopen a dark door into his past.

One of America's most talented, original, and versatile novelists, Dan Simmons delivers a work of brilliance, dark humor, and electric suspense. In the quietly introspective and fiercely intelligent Darwin Minor, he presents an unforgettable character and a story to match.

Review:

Genre-jumping novelist Dan Simmons makes a splash no matter where he leaps. His 1985 horror debut, The Song of Kali, garnered the World Fantasy Award; the vampiric Carrion Comfort took the Bram Stoker Award; Hyperion, the opening volume of his Hyperion saga, snagged the Hugo. In 1999's The Crook Factory, Simmons spun fact, fiction, and Ernest Hemingway into a ripe WWII spy thriller, and with Darwin's Blade, Simmons dives headlong into the suspense pool.

The country's foremost accident investigator, Dr. Darwin Minor, reconstructs automobile accidents for his friends, Lawrence and Trudy Stewart, whose firm specializes in uncovering lucrative, yet unremarkable, insurance fraud. Odd, then, that two Russian hit men in a souped-up Mercedes E 340 attempt to murder Dar in a 160 mph car chase that results in an airborne Mercedes and two dead Russians.

Sydney Olson, the California state's attorney's chief investigator, who's investigating an accomplice-murdering fraud ring, plans to release a story highlighting the Russian mafia's involvement and Dar's name, and then to spend a lot of bodyguard-time with Dar.

Dar returned her challenging gaze. Suddenly she did not look like Stockard Channing to him anymore. "You're staking me out like that goat in the dinosaur movie... Jurassic Park."

"Exactly," said Sydney Olson, smiling openly at Dar now.

Lawrence raised his hand like a schoolboy.

"I just don't want to find my friend Dar's bloody leg on my moon roof someday, okay?"

As the bond between Dar and Sydney grows, so grow the assassination attempts, a gruesome body count, and the realization that a state-wide charitable organization funded by the country's most famous defense attorney is behind the murderous ring.

With its tight plot, memorable and likable cast, and brisk, intelligent narrative, Darwin's Blade has "series" written all over it. Better make room on the Edgar dais now. --Michael Hudson

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