Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bone Hunter by Sarah Andrews

Read May 3, 2008

Sarah Andrews is an author to fall in love with. Her research is exceptional, her characters are fully formed and human, her mysteries full of red herrings and delightful turnarounds and always full of factual information. The series lead character, who tells the story in first person, is Em Hansen, is a forensic geologist; she teaches, often consults for the police and occasionally the FBI. This is the fifth book in the series (published in 1999), In this time out, she has been invited to speak at a Paleontology conference in Utah and the story begins the minute you open the book. To quote the opening paragraph, 'It’s all true. When the squad car rolled up behind me and the loudspeaker blared, “Hold it, right there!” I was, in fact, trying to break into George Dishey’s house. But I had an excuse. Really.'

In Andrews’ books you will find consistency of writing, often vastly different forensic applications of geology, as in the study of pigments, used to solve an art crime. In Bone Hunter, we learn of the good, the bad and the ugly sides of paleontology, from the historic to the criminal. Taking place in Utah, we also learn a great deal about the Mormon religion and renegade cults residing in the vast landscape of hidden canyons. Em has unwittingly become a suspect in the murder of George Dishey, a “renowned dinosaur expert”. Ms. Andrews has written an exciting and suspenseful book, a puzzling complexity of dinosaurs, science, liars, religion, and a dash of the psychic. A great mixed bag of fun. I highly recommend this and other books by Sarah Andrews.

One thing more, I found the Author’s Note about her research for the book fascinating, almost as much so as the story.

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