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SILENT STING,” by Clair M. Poulson, Covenant Communications, $16.99, 282 pages (f)

Utah author Clair M. Poulson is back with another novel of suspense and intrigue in his recent book titled “Silent Sting.”

Set in Southern California, the story revolves around a mysterious plague that has attacked the honey bee industry. Hundreds of hives are dying and there are no obvious reasons to indicate the cause. The resulting economic loss and suspicious nature of the deaths results in a call for help from the FBI and law enforcement. The fear is that without a viable bee population, many fruit and vegetable crops will not produce sufficient harvests to support local farmers and the state economy.

Tiana Lambrose, a local college entomology student who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has been invited to work with her mentor, Professor Silverstein, to discover the source of the unusual loss of the bees. But just as a solution is about to be discovered a tragic disasters occurs: Silverstein is found dead in his office, and it appears he has been attacked by some sort of killer bee.

As Tiana continues to search for the cause of the bees death, she is introduced to a handsome and intelligent FBI agent, Stu Whiteleather, who is also Mormon. The attraction for both is immediate and their connection grows as the case unfolds. Both heroes are challenged as there are more victims to the mysterious killer. Soon the biggest concern is finding a place that is safe from the murderous “bee” that is claiming more victims.

Poulson, who lives in Eastern Utah and is LDS, is the author of more than two dozen mysteries. While he is able to able to create tension and mystery in this story, the dialogue is unrealistic and repetitive and the characters aren’t developed nearly as well as in his other recent books, creating a work that’s disappointedly below the standard set in his previous novels. There are some very confusing editing issues in the provided review copy, including some abrupt name changes and spelling errors.

“Silent Sting” has generally described violence and death. There is no swearing or other foul language in “Silent Sting” and any described romance doesn’t go beyond kissing.

Mike Whitmer lives in West Valley City and can be reached at grundelwalken@gmail.com. His blog is at mtwhitmer.blogspot.com.



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