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Darwin’s Blade

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Dar Minor is good at his job. He can look at the scene of an accident, pick out details no one else might notice, and determine how the accident happened. Some accidents are attempts to defraud insurance companies, some are murders staged to look like accidents. Dar doesn’t take sides, he just finds the evidence and makes his determinations. But none of the accidents are uninteresting. Dar only gets called to the complicated cases.

When a dark Mercedes with tinted windows pulls up next to Dar on an otherwise empty stretch of road, his instincts tell him that danger is near. When the tinted window rolls down and a gun appears, Dar stops thinking and starts acting. What ensues gets caught on video by the local news media, and ends up with Dar nearly being charged with several crimes, while at the same time he’s invited to join a task force investigating organized crime’s involvement in insurance fraud.

Sydney Olson, the leader of the local task force, makes it difficult for Dar to refuse . . . for several reasons. Syd is an attractive woman who can keep Dar from getting charged with any crimes. Besides, he’s already been shot at, and he doesn’t know who is after him or why. Helping the task force can’t put him in any more danger. Or can it?

Besides the fact that Dar’s normal work can be fascinating, he’s also got an interesting back story, a possible romance with Syd, and a serious mystery to solve. Darwin’s Blade is a hard book to put down.