Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Publisher: Highland Press
Date published: 2008
ISBN 978-0-9823615-1-1
Trade Paperback
Obtained by publisher
Reviewed by Gina

Coroner Jack Youngblood is a consummate professional, determined to find the answers behind every unexplained death that comes through his doors. Jack and his team take their work seriously and when a mystery man appears on their autopsy table it isn’t long before a mystery is revealed. The otherwise healthy John Doe met his death under odd circumstances—after a visit to a nearby casino where he exhibited odd behavior, his body is found by the roadside completely stripped of any identification. Jack and the woman he hopes will be his love interest, explore the circumstances of the John Does’ death—certainly it was not a robbery because a substantial sum of money is found on his person. By careful investigation they are led to an otherwise hidden government facility. More questions are raised than answered when another body turns up and appears to be connected to the facility. What are the men in the blue lab coats, working in a facility with armed guards at every turn, up to? And just as Jack and Jill’s relationship begins to bloom, what is her connection to the mysterious facility? Will it be fatal to their relationship or bring them closer together?

THE MOSQUITO TAPES is the first book I’ve read by Chris Holmes and it definitely has me intrigued about his others which include an historical. Told in the first person, which is generally not my favorite point of view, he tells a solid story. Mr. Holmes clearly draws on his own background as a physician epidemiologist, educating his readers while at the same time delivering an “I can’t put this book down” thriller.

One of the issues that I have with first person point of view is when an author allows too much of him or herself into the main character. At that point the story bogs down and becomes more like your neighbor telling you about their vacation sans the many photographs. You are glad there are no pictures because it would make the story longer. This did happen a few times in THE MOSQUITO TAPES and is most apparent when Jack tells Jill he was having her followed and in what should have been an intensely personal scene, is explained away in a couple of paragraphs and the story goes back to Jack telling his own tale. I felt more could have been made of Jack’s deception, making this a much richer story. One does get the idea that despite the “any resemblance” verbiage in the introduction Jack Youngblood is Chris Holmes’ alter ego. That said, a Jack Youngblood series would make for some good reading. Just thinking of all the mysterious deaths has me rubbing my hands together anticipation.


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