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Tuesday 1 January 2013

Tahoe Blowup by Todd Borg


If I’d known how good this book was going to be, I’d have chosen a less busy time of year to read it (the week before Christmas was not a good idea!). So, here’s some good advice:  make sure you have an undisturbed couple of days because you won’t want to put this down.

Fires in the Lake Tahoe district are not unusual, but when they are accompanied by threatening notes and murder, there’s an arsonist about who has to be found…and quickly.  Ex-policeman, turned private detective, Owen McKenna becomes involved in the investigation, not only to help his local fire department, but because it becomes very very personal when his girlfriend, Street, is kidnapped by the fire starter. Owen finds himself in a race against time to find a link and reasons between the fires and murders when the arsonist threatens a ‘blowup’ (an uncontrollable, furious fire) which promises devastation and death.

This was a box of treats in every way; Borg knows his way around the English language—he’s articulate and expressive. I was drawn into the story from the very first page and held right to the last. Borg did his research carefully and thoroughly: not just on how fires behave and how they are controlled, but also on dog training and profiling of criminals. The descriptions of the Lake Tahoe area were vivid and set the scene perfectly. Owen was a likeable, intelligent protagonist: he had compassion, understanding, a love of art, and a fondness for dogs, in particular his own Great Dane, Spot, also fondly known as Your Largeness.

This was compelling, fast-paced, well thought out and well written, with careful character portrayal and a great plot to keep you firmly poised on the edge of your seat.  I was thrilled to bits, when I reached the end of the book, to find that there are another eight Owen McKenna mysteries;  this book, however, stands alone very happily.

Highly recommended.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to review it.

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