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Tahoe Blowup (An Owen McKenna Mystery Thriller) Paperback – September 1, 2001

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Tahoe Blowup (An Owen McKenna Mystery Thriller) + Tahoe Deathfall (An Owen McKenna Mystery Thriller) + Tahoe Ice Grave (An Owen McKenna Mystery Thriller)
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Detective McKenna is hot on the trail of a murderous arsonist in Tahoe Blowup: An Owen McKenna Mystery Thriller by Todd Borg (Tahoe Deathfall). When the killer kidnaps Owen's girlfriend, intending to burn her and hundreds of other people to death, Owen and his dog Spot have to brave the gun-toting arsonist and a devastating forest fire to save her life.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Review

A great book...for anyone who enjoys a good mystery. -- Tahoe Daily Tribune, September 21, 2001

Has the high tension and roar of a fire out of control. -- Tahoe Mountain News, August, 2001

Some people just can't stay out of trouble...Tahoe Detective Owen McKenna is back to battle a murderous arsonist. -- Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2001
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Product Details

  • Series: An Owen McKenna mystery thriller
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thriller Press (September 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193129612X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931296120
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (196 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #796,435 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

*UPDATE: As of May, 2015, Borg's books have 2700 reviews on amazon.com at an average of 4.6 stars.

Tahoe local Todd Borg is the author of the Owen McKenna Tahoe Mystery series, featuring Detective McKenna, his Great Dane Spot, and other fun characters. The books have gotten great reviews coast-to-coast, won awards like the Ben Franklin Award for Best Mystery of the Year, been chosen by Library Journal as one of the Top 5 Mysteries of the Year and more. But the main reason to check them out is that they are fast, entertaining reads with a lot of action and intelligent stories. The recurring characters will become your friends. Spot will become one of your favorite dogs. You'll love visiting Tahoe from your armchair. And the bad guys will make you... well, let's just say you will despise them. Borg has been waiting for you to give the books a try.

P.S. Spot says hi.

P.P.S. The order of the books is not critical. You can start with any title, and you won't feel that you're missing important information. In fact, Borg recommends starting with one of the last titles. (Authors like to think that they tell grander, more complex, and more nuanced stories as time goes by.) However, there are some readers who think these books reveal important character development when read in order. For those who are sticklers for continuity, here goes:

1 Tahoe Deathfall
2 Tahoe Blowup
3 Tahoe Ice Grave
4 Tahoe Killshot
5 Tahoe Silence
6 Tahoe Avalanche
7 Tahoe Night
8 Tahoe Heat
9 Tahoe Hijack
10 Tahoe Trap
11 Tahoe Chase
12 Tahoe Ghost Boat
13 Tahoe Blue Fire

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
I liked this book. It's a fast, scary and funny read. It's a timely subject for a thriller--environmental crimes, in this case arson in the tinderbox forests around Lake Tahoe. The setting is vividliy described, the characters are appealing and funny. The protagonist is a cop turned PI with an irresistable sidekick--a Great Dane named Spot. What could be cloying and prescious is instead hilarious and very moving. The action is intense, nonstop, the dilemna interesting and difficult, the characters full and engaging. I read it at the beach in a couple days. Good read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 24, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I just finished this book and found it thoroughly enjoyable. It's your basic mystery thriller about a killer using, of all things, forest fires to go after those he's fixated on. You might ask yourself how does one use a forest fire, as opposed to let's say setting a lone building afire, to kill specific targets? Well, author Todd Borg uses a set of interesting characters and the science of fire to do just that. Before reading this book, I had a general understanding of pyromania, arson investigators, forest fires and search and rescue dogs. However, I did not know that one could actually major in 'fire science,' nor did I understand the problems resulting from fuel build up when forest fires are put out instead of being allowed to burn out naturally. Don't get me wrong, Borg in no way preaches about environmental issues, controlled burns vs natural burns, etc. Rather, he explains just enough to fully flesh out the characters and provide interesting, background details to further the story.

The characters themselves are just as interesting. Author Borg does a nice job at making the main character, Owen McKenna, more than just your typical stoic, emotionally stunted, he-man who gets the girl. Instead McKenna, a former police officer-turned private investigator, is a man who's come to terms with a particularly traumatic event in his past. He is both masculine and sensitive. I enjoyed the fact that Borg portrayed this character so naturally - no flowing hair or bulging muscles here! Instead McKenna comes across as a man who does what he knows is right, makes no apologies for it and looks beyond the surface of those he meets. This is beautifully illustrated in his relationship with girlfriend, Street.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
"An ordinary forest fire can be put out, but you can only run from a BLOWUP..."
Well mystery fans, he's done it again. Who you ask? Why, Lake Tahoe's very own author Todd Borg. And just what has he done that has readers from Lake Tahoe to San Francisco so worked up? He's released his second riveting novel in the Owen McKenna mystery series; a suspense-filled tale of kidnap and arson at the height of the fire season titled "Tahoe Blowup."
Toward the close of summer in the Sierra Nevada, people who live and work among the pines and firs of the Tahoe National Forest get real jumpy. Months of long hot days coupled with tinder dry brush and low humidity make the threat of forest fires something many lose sleep over. It is almost unthinkable that someone would deliberately set out to release the fury of such fires with the strike of a match. But that is exactly what has been happening at Lake Tahoe and what local private investigator, Owen McKenna, and his Harlequin Great Dane, "Spot," have been asked to stop. That and a string of murders associated with each devastating blaze until McKenna's own girlfriend, Street Casey, is marked as the next victim. Thrill binding excitement right up to the very end-an ending you'll never expect!
Attention to detail, vivid descriptions and lifelike character portrayals are the hallmarks of Borg's style and he has really done his homework on this one. In depth investigative work on everything from environmentalist watchdog groups to forest management techniques and fire fighting theory. It just doesn't get any more real.
"The Colfax Area Express," Colfax, CA
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By R. Perrin on March 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
I received this book as a gift. It's been sitting around gathering dust for a while. Started reading Blowup this morning. WHAT AN AMAZING AUTHOR! This guy has an excellent command of the language. He paints vivid mind pictures and is easy to read. I'll probably finish this book before I go to bed tonight, however I already know Todd Borg is going to rank up there with C.S. Forester and Terry Pratchett as one of my favorite authors. Thanks Todd!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Liz Shaw on March 25, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Owen McKenna retired early from the San Francisco police form and is now working as a private detective in Lake Tahoe. This case, however, is personal. An arsonist sets a fire that threatens his home, With the help of a search and rescue dog and his own Great Dane, they find the source of the fire and a dead body. The arsonist taunts local police with uncannily accurate predictions of how many homes his next fires will burn. When Owen's girlfriend is kidnapped, the race to find her and the arsonist reaches a thrilling climax that will keep you reading late into the night. As a dog lover, I also enjoyed this book for the character of Spot the Great Dane. The dog is as fully developed a character as any of the humans in the story.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review. I will definitely be reading more Owen McKenna stories.
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