Tim Downs books in order
Tim Downs is an American comic artist and author of Christian mystery and crime fiction.
Raised in St. Louis County, Missouri, he attended Indiana University at Bloomington, where he graduated with a B.A. in fine arts with an emphasis in graphic design–becoming a Phi Beta Kappa.
Downs is best known for "Downstown", his American comic strip which ran from 1974 to 1986, and his Bug Man Christian mysteries.
Although he grew up in a non-religious household, Downs became a Christian in his freshman year of college and has never looked back since.
Besides inculcating Christianity through his writing, he is also the founder of the Communication Center, a training and consulting ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ which he has been a part of since 1979.
A father of three grown children, Downs currently lives in Cary, North Carolina, with his beloved wife, Joy.
Genres: Christian, Crime Suspense, Inspirational, Mystery, Non-fiction
- Plague Maker (2006)
- Head Game (2007)
- Wonders Never Cease (2010)
- Shoofly Pie (2003)
- Chop Shop (2004)
- First the Dead (2008)
- Less Than Dead (2008)
- Ends of the Earth (2009)
- Nick of Time (2011)
- Where the Wind Leads: A Refugee Family's Miraculous Story of Loss, Rescue, and Redemption (2014)
- The Christian Fiction Collection for Men: THR3E, PLAGUE MAKER, THE LAZARUS TRAP (2003)
Detailed book overview
July Fourth: New York City
Hundreds of thousands line the banks of the East and Hudson Rivers awaiting the nation's largest fireworks display. Soon the sky will explode in cascading showers of silver and gold. Everywhere, faces will turn skyward in wide-eyed wonder. Then the sky will grow dark again--but it will not be empty. The air will be filled with clouds of smoke and specks of debris will rain down everywhere.
Some will pick bits of paper from their children's hair. Some will brush away still-burning sparks or embers. And some will absentmindedly scratch at the tiny, biting specks that dot their necks and arms. Will the beginning of the show mark the beginning of the end? That's what FBI agent Nathan Donovan must decide.
When he is forced to enlist the help of ex-wife Macy Monroe, an expert in the psychology of terrorism, the fireworks really begin--but she may be the only one who can help him stop the Plague Maker in time.
Someone wants you dead. But he doesn't want to kill you...he wants you to do it for him.
He watches your every move. He studies you like a mouse in a maze. He knows everything about you--every dream, hunger, weakness and strength. What you long for and what you fear most. What you live for, and what you cannot live without. He plans to take those things away from you one at a time, invisibly manipulating the events of your life until there is nothing left to live for. Then he wants you to take the final step.
Or is it all in your head?
Is he just a figment of your irrational fear, a face you've given to your terrible misfortune? Everything you love is slipping away. You want to fight back but who, or what, do you fight against?
Let the head game begin.
It’s a brilliant plan, if Kemp McAvoy says so himself—and Kemp never hesitates to point out his own brilliance. Kemp is a night nurse for a beautiful but aging movie star in a medically induced coma. And with the help of her agent and a struggling young publisher, he’s concocted a can’t-fail scheme that will make them all rich.
Olivia Hayden is about to receive a heavenly visitor—an angel with a message for all humankind. All it takes is a blinding light and little adjustment of her meds, and when she awakes she'll think it was real—and they'll have an instant bestselling book.
The scheme seems foolproof. All they have to do for it to work is be good angels and stay out of trouble. But Kemp McAvoy has never been good at staying out of trouble—and he doesn’t realize there may be out-of-this-world consequences for impersonating an angel.
Welcome to Los Angeles, the City of Angels, where traffic never stops, people never sleep, and wonders never cease.
Forensic entomologist Nick Polchak (a.k.a. the Bug Man) is hired by thirty-year-old Kathryn Guilford, who is terrified of bugs, to solve her friend's death. When Polchak stumbles into the mystery of how Kathryn's husband was killed years earlier, the action kicks into high gear -- and Polchak finds himself on the run with his client from someone who will do anything to keep a secret.
This fast-paced murder mystery is more than the typical "Christian fiction;"it is good clean fun -- on a thrill ride. Biblical values are implicit rather than explicit, and its fascinating elements provoke thought on a conscience, consequences, and world-views. But mostly, this book is a sizzler of a story that will not let you go.
Intern forensic pathologist Dr. Riley McKay has noticed irregularities in autopsies at the Allegheny County Coroner's lab. Suspecting foul play, she seeks help from Dr. Nick Polchak, the "bug man" renowned for his ability to solve murders by analyzing the insects on victim's bodies.
Nick and Riley uncover a sinister link between the lab's director and PharmaGen, a start-up drug company specializing in genetic research. They also discover that PharmaGen fronts an underground system to procure transplant organs for wealthy clients by finding and murdering matching donors. But PharmaGen learns of their security breach and orders the couple destroyed.
While staying a step ahead of PharmaGen assassins, romantic attraction develops between Nick and Riley. But the attraction is complicated by a tragic secret that Riley hides -- a secret closely tied to one member of PharmaGen's operation which propels the novel to its astonishing conclusion.
When a national disaster strikes, "first the living" is the rule.
Unless you're the Bug Man.
When Hurricane Katrina strikes New Orleans, forensic entomologist Nick Polchak signs up to help with the recovery effort. He is known as the Bug Man for his knowledge of insects and what they can reveal about the dead. The government's mandate is clear--rescue the living first, recover the dead later.
But something is very wrong in the toxic soup-bowl of post-Katrina New Orleans.
Someone is using the cover of disaster to kill...hiding the victims of murder in the same watery grave as the victims of Katrina.
It's a tale only the dead can tell. But no one besides the Bug Man is listening.
Dogs have long been man’s best friend, but the Bug Man’s friends is a rare breed . . . the cadaver dog.
All roads lead to the White House for John Henry Braden, the charismatic senator from Virginia aristocracy whose beautiful wife Victoria is the talk of Washington and the crown jewel of Endor, her backwoods Virginia hometown.
But when bodies turn up on Braden’s property—the site of a multimillion dollar construction project he’s spearheading—the senator’s spin doctors, led by his future first lady, must act quickly to quell a conspiracy before it blemishes their presidential campaign.
Enter entomologist Nick Polchak, the quirky bug expert enlisted to determine if the senator’s bone yard is a forgotten cemetery or a crime scene.
To help with the investigation, Polchak follows local legend to Alena Savard, a mysterious woman known for her ability to turn mongrels into the best search dogs around. They soon find themselves on the trail of a desperate individual bent on protecting a terrible secret.
Nick Polchak must stop a terrorist from causing a global ecological nightmare.
Two beautiful women from Nick's past are competing for his heart.
He's not sure which impending disaster makes him more nervous.
When forensic entomologist Nick Polchak is called to the scene of a murder on a small organic farm in North Carolina he is astonished to find that the victim's estranged wife is an old friend, a woman he once worked with—a woman he once had feelings for. When she asks Nick to investigate her husband's drug-related murder, Nick seeks the assistance of Alena Savard, the reclusive dog trainer known to the people of northern Virginia as the Witch of Endor.
Alena jumps at the chance to renew her relationship with Nick—but when she arrives in North Carolina she discovers that she's not the only woman who has her eye on the Bug Man. Soon Nick finds his usually analytical mind clouded by thoughts of a strangely human nature. These two women have stirred feelings that he can't quite fathom, feelings of lost opportunities and future possibilities . . .
Now Nick must navigate the unexplored territory of his own heart while he solves an agroterrorist's plot to ignite an environmental holocaust that could spread to the ends of the earth.
The Bug Man is getting married on Saturday . . . if his fiancee can find him.
Forensic entomologist Nick Polchak lives in a world of maggots and blow flies and decomposing bodies. No wonder he's still single.
But Nick has finally found a woman as strange as he is-dog trainer Alena Savard, a woman who is odd, reclusive, and can seemingly talk to animals. It was a match made in heaven.
Nick and Alena are scheduled to be married on Saturday-but there's one small problem. Nick has disappeared.
Caught up in a murder case involving an old friend, Nick finds himself on a manhunt that's drawing him farther and farther from the church where Alena is waiting. But will he make it back in time? Could Nick's single-minded focus cause him to forget his own wedding? Is he really pursuing a killer, or is he running away from something else?
The remarkable first-hand account of Vinh Chung, a Vietnamese refugee, and his family’s daring escape from communist oppression for the chance of a better life in America. Discover a story of personal sacrifice, redemption, endurance against almost insurmountable odds, and what it truly means to be American.
Vinh Chung was born in South Vietnam, just eight months after it fell to the communists in 1975. His family was wealthy, controlling a rice-milling empire worth millions; but within months of the communist takeover, the Chungs lost everything and were reduced to abject poverty. Knowing that their children would have no future under the new government, the Chungs decided to flee the country. In 1979, they joined the legendary “boat people” and sailed into the South China Sea, despite knowing that an estimated two hundred thousand of their countrymen had already perished at the hands of brutal pirates and violent seas.
Where the Wind Leads follows Vinh Chung and his family on their desperate journey from pre-war Vietnam. Vinh shares:
The family’s perilous journey through pirate attacks on a lawless sea
Their miraculous rescue and a new home in the unlikely town of Fort Smith, Arkansas
Vinh’s struggled against poverty, discrimination, and a bewildering language barrier
His graduation from Harvard Medical School
NB: Co-authored with Vinh Chung.
THR3E by Ted Dekker
Kevin Parson is alone in his car when his cell phone rings. A man calling himself Slater offers a deadly ultimatum: "You have exactly three minutes to confess your sin to the world. Refuse, and the car you're driving will blow sky high." Then the phone goes dead.
Kevin panics. Who would make such a demand? What sin? Yet not sure what else to do, Kevin swerves into a parking lot and runs from his car. Just in case.
Precisely three minutes later, a massive explosion sets his world on a collision course with madness.
PLAGUE MAKER by Tim Downs
July Fourth: New York City
Hundreds of thousands line the banks of the East and Hudson Rivers awaiting the nation's largest fireworks display. Soon the sky will explode in cascading showers of silver and gold. Everywhere, faces will turn skyward in wide-eyed wonder.
Then the sky will grow dark again--but it will not be empty. The air will be filled with clouds of smoke and specks of debris will rain down everywhere. Some will pick bits of paper from their children's hair. Some will brush away still-burning sparks or embers. And some will absentmindedly scratch at the tiny, biting specks that dot their necks and arms.
Will the beginning of the show mark the beginning of the end?
THE LAZARUS TRAP by Davis Bunn
For Val Haines, dying may be the chance of a lifetime.
Awakening in a jail cell and bleeding from his head, Val Haines remembers nothing. Not even his name.
As his memory slowly begins to return, Haines discovers that the world thinks he's dead. If his nightmares ring true, it may be for the best. Around him brews a conspiracy of embezzlement and murder for hire, fueled by the rage of personal vendetta. As he searches for a safe haven, enigmatic Audrey beckons, but can she be trusted?
With nothing but a few personal belongings and a sizable amount of cash, Haines must run.