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Darwin's Blade


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H"Stupidity kills. Absolute stupidity kills absolutely." Simmons, who has moved effortlessly from horror (Children of the Night) to science fiction (Hyperion; Endymion) to thrillers (The Crook Factory) obviously had a lot of fun writing this gripping suspense thriller about automobile insurance fraud rackets in Southern California. Former NTSB investigator Dr. Darwin Minor (Ph.D., physics) is the best at what he does. As the country's leading "accident reconstruction specialist," Darwin has saved the insurance industry millions, as well as solving the most confounding cases of vehicular stupidity. But suddenly, he finds himself the target of assassins, resulting in a wild car chase that is only the first of many spellbinding set pieces. Is Darwin being targeted for business reasons, or is the attack somehow tied to the ongoing federal investigation of the Alliance, a Russian mafia-type group that specializes in staging accidents to perpetrate insurance fraud? A delightfully bizarre inside joke concerns the "Darwin Awards," which celebrate those who improve the human gene pool by removing themselves from it, like the young man who attempts to break the land speed record by attaching a couple of rockets to his '82 El Camino and ends up splattered on a cliff face hundreds of feet above the highway. In the course of the novel, Darwin investigates several accident scenes that duplicate either Darwin Award-winning demises or urban legends. A breezy writing style, rollicking humor and ingenious descriptions of weird accidents make this action-packed thriller a real winner. (Nov.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Darwin Minor earns his living by reconstructing car accidents for insurance companies, but his examination of a collision near Los Angeles spirals into an investigation of a string of high-speed wrecks. Someone is killing a lot of people, and Dar's investigations place him high on the hit list. Tracked by Russian assassins, Dar draws on hidden resources to survive. With his girlfriend, the state's chief investigator, he sets a trap for them. The ensuing shootout delivers all that could be expected. Simmons made his name on horror thrillers, but in Darwin's Blade, he shows a knack as well for the high-tech, high-voltage action thriller. Offering an appealing hero and heroine, deadly villains, zippy dialog, and high-tech weaponry and expertise, this is, most of all, a hair-raising adventure to satisfy the most discriminating reader. Heartily recommended for all general collections.√ĄDavid Keymer, California State Univ., Stanislaus Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

"Simmons breaks the rules with literary flair and creative imagination while delivering the thrills and chills that genre readers expect. With generous helpings of gallows humor and over-the-top action, DARWIN'S BLADE should be a smash".

San Antonio Express-News

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