Wednesday, February 22, 2012
The Dinosaur Hunter by Homer Hickam
I was browsing the shelves at the library and this book leaped out at me, mostly because I like the word 'dinosaur'. Then the cover cinched it - there's a pick of some long-dead dino bones on it.
The Dinosaur Hunter is a fast paced mystery set in modern-day Montana. Mike Wire is an ex-cop from LA who retired to the cowboy life after taking a bullet to the abdomen. Heck, I would be tempted to do the same thing. As a hired-hand for the Coulter family (Jeannette and her teen son Ray), he gets all the tough, dirty, manly chores around the ranch. Ray is a typical ranch kid - practical, hard-working, and a good shot. Jeannette is a no-nonsense kind of lady.
Then when this dino-hunting paleontologist shows up on her door step asking permission to traipse around the ranch, she is tempted to drop-kick him off her land. But Dr. Pickford prevails, is given permission, finds some big dino bones, and calls in his crew to dig it up. His crew consisted of two very capable, and rather pretty, young ladies - Laura and Tanya.
Pretty soon Ray and Mike are volunteered by Jeannette to assist in the digging, which they both enjoy. Ray's girlfriend Amelia also joins him in the field. While Mike takes up a light flirtation with Laura and Tanya, his heart belongs to Jeannette (unbeknown to her). Then Dr. Pickford finds another dino site. Excellent - another opportunity to sprinkle in more dino facts.
Just to further entice you - there's tattooed Russian bad guys, tough ornery neighbors, an ex-porn producer, and a BLM bureaucrat bully that gives everyone grief. Homer Hickam spun together an energetic, kick-you-in-the-teeth, leave-you-in-the-dust cowboy mystery.
+++: Dinosaurs, tough ladies, tattoos, cowboy sense of humor.
--: All the ladies are desirable, several of the ladies want to bed Mike Wire, everyone who isn't a cowboy (environmentalists, feds, cops) are portrayed as bumbling idiots.