September 05, 2005

Darwin's Blade by Dan Simmons

straight two-lane highway receding into distanceI thought I kept a pretty close watch on Dan Simmons's production, but this book slipped right by me until a friendly librarian recommended it last week. I might have missed it because Simmons is genre shifting again. This book is a straight crime drama thriller, not horror, not science fiction.

Protagonist Darwin Minor is an independent accident reconstruction expert. His job is to figure out what chain of events resulted in the aftermath that's usually all anyone sees of a fatal accident. Early on in the book, someone tries to kill him for reasons he can't fathom. It quickly becomes clear that the murder attempt is connected to an ongoing investigation of a suspicious series of botched insurance fraud attempts. And the rest is the mystery so I'll just shut up.

The book is written in a really interesting voice. It's third person, not first, but the things being told are all the things that Minor would notice.

The book is very tightly plotted and I'd be astonished if the film rights aren't a hot property. It's got car chase gun fights, explosions, snipers, elaborate car crashes, snappy dialogue, a little gratuitous sex, a sweet love story, and a glider vs. helicopter dog fight. What's not to love? I'd pay 8 bucks to see it in the theatre. Great fun.

Posted by jeffy at September 5, 2005 07:26 PM