Darwin's Blade
By Dan Simmons
Harper Collins - 2001
ISBN 0-380-78918-3 - Paperback
for violence

Reviewed by: Beverly J. Rowe, MyShelf.Com
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Dan Simmons is best knows for his sci-fi and horror writing: Carrion Comfort, Children of the Night, Hollow Man, and Hyperion. This exciting book is a definite departure from what I have come to expect from this author.

Darwin Minor is an accident investigator and expert on violent ways to die. His brilliant insight into a seemingly unconnected series of strange fatal accidents is putting his own life in jeopardy. Dar suspects that there is a conspiracy of contrived accidents that is bilking insurance companies out of millions. His search for proof sends ex-Russian hit-men after him in a hair raising 160 mph chase, with a spectacular airborne Mercedes in flight, leaving the Russians dead in the resulting fiery impact. That doesn't end the attempts on his life; there are more hit-men in pursuit.

Sydney Olson, a State Attorney's Chief Investigator who takes on the task of bodyguard to Dar in a kind of reverse macho role, also provides romantic interest.

Colorful, likable, characters and a tight, chilling plot, with high-tech weapons and blistering action make this book impossible to put down. I must confess, though, that the author lost me in one short section when he and Syd got into mathematical formulas when they were doing some accident reconstruction. For math aficionados, that section might add interest, but my interest lagged at that point, and I found myself just scanning until I got past it.

Simmons is an imaginative, creative writer that you can trust to provide you with a great story and keep you up all night. The world of insurance scams is a new one to me, and I hope that a sequel is forthcoming. I am definitely a Simmons fan.

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