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The Dinosaur Hunter

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  577 ratings  ·  127 reviews
The cowboys who work on the ranchlands of Montana expect more than their fair share of trouble. One of them is Mike Wire, a former homicide detective. Mike is about to learn murder and mayhem can happen under Motnana's big skies, too. Beneath the earth lie enough dinosaur fossils to fill several museum collections---and make a fortune for whoever claims them first. Soon he ...more
Hardcover, 311 pages
Published November 9th 2010 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published November 1st 2010)
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Average rating 3.41  · 
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Andrew Neal
Jan 16, 2011 rated it it was ok
Here's how it went down:

nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing noth
Jan 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
I found this book an excellent combination of mystery, paleontology, Montana and human relationships. Maybe because I come from a rural background, I really liked the depiction of the ranchers. To say they are rugged individualists would not be overstating it. It may (or may not, I haven't spent much time in Montana) be a reasonable characterization, but I know people who are very similar. That laconic style, where little is said, but much is figured out despite that. I found the paleontology to ...more
Wayland Smith
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: westerns
Sometimes, all you really need for a great read is a good main character. This book has that and a great story wrapped around him. I was very pleasantly surprised by the way all this unfolded.

Mike is a former LAPD homicide detective, career cut short by a bad guy's bullet years ago. Eventually he ended up on the Square C Ranch in Montana, a vegetarian cowboy hopelessly in love with his boss, Jeanette, and sort of stand-in father to her son, Ray. It's a good life, if demanding, and things are, i
Feb 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
Ignoring the almost universally applicable adage of 'don't judge a book by its cover', I picked this up out of the library basically hoping for a novelisation of Turok.

In that respect I was disappointed, as in many others.

The story follows Mike Wire, an ex-LAPD cop moonlighting as a farmhand and sub-moonlighting as a huge idiot. Mike stumbles his way through a tepid plot, on every page demonstrating that the reader can be forgiven for forgetting that the protagonist was ever a detective; unfortu
Apr 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, cozies
A fairly good mystery based in the hinterlands of Montana.

A former cop is playing cowboy in Montana working for a female rancher. They find valuable fossils on the ranch land, and murders start. A little more violent than most cozies.

Not bad, even if the detective guy talks too much.
Nancy McKibben
May 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: suspense, reviewed
The Dinosaur Hunter
By Homer Hickam

I always think of Homer Hickam as a writer for men. I enjoyed The Ambassador’s Son, an adventure tale set on a Pacific island in World War II. The main characters were nearly all men in that book. The Dinosaur Hunter is set in Montana, and the narrator is a former California homicide detective turned cowboy. His unrequited love is also his employer, a laconic ranch owner named Jeanne, who surprises Mike (the cowboy) by allowing a dinosaur hunter and his crew on
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned
Couldn't get into it, unfortunately. I really wanted to enjoy it, but the author's style isn't for me. ...more
Jennifer Stringer
Mar 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Part western, part mystery with a little paleontology thrown in. Three stars might be a little generous as the pacing felt off with most of the action happening toward the end as well as not-too-terribly fleshed out characters, but a distracting escape was just what I wanted.
Lindsay Boitnott
Aug 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, contemporary

Ok, I decided to post a book that definitely fits the extra hot summer this year since I posted a book that made me think of fall earlier this week. The Dinosaur Hunter documents a paleontological excavation on a Montana ranch in the middle of summer. I initially grabbed The Dinosaur Hunter for a number of reasons: paleontology, Montana ranches, and a cop turned cowboy. See, I grew up on a small ranch so I usually enjoy any story that spends a good amount of time describing wide open spaces. Spa
Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the audiobook version which had the added bonus of very Montana-like narration. I love Montana and paleontology, so this book was right up my alley. Approx 8-10 years ago, I spent a few days in this area of Montana, near Fort Peck Lake, on BLM land. I was part of an amateur paleontology group who paid to help excavate part of an actual triceratops. I also got to spend a lot of time driving around the lake area and mingling with local residents, so I was very engaged in the setting ...more
Don Wagner
I read over some of the other reviews, and was somewhat surprised by the diversity of ratings and reviews. I have liked listening to Homer Hickam's memories of an earlier time in Rocket Boys and Sky of Stone, but this novel was definitely not up to his previous works. I believe he wrote the novel based on his own interest and knowledge in the field of dinosaur fossil hunting, but that was certainly not enough to carry what turned out to be a weak story.

If you like violent stories, this novel qua
Oct 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Taking place in Montana on BLM land and Square C Ranch this mystery has lots of twists and turns. Mike (ex LAPD and current ranch hand of the Square C) gets involved in bone hunting with "Pick" who is a Paleontologist looking for the bones of a baby T-Rex.

Everyone is not whom they appear to be or involved in the dig for the reasons they give. There are other factions at work that want the bones for their own reasons.

The book never slows and the reader wants to keep turning pages to find out wha
Mar 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
I stumbled on this book while picking up Hickam's Rocket Boys for myself for our book club. I thought it sounded interesting. Not only was it interesting, it was as well-written for a non-scientific audience as the Rocket Boys, entertaining and had a couple of twists that I didn't anticipate. I did genuinely care about several of the characters and dislike those that I suspect I was supposed to dislike (or not trust). The bookclub may get a taste of the fiction side of Hickam next year. ...more
Walt  Appel
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a mystery novel pure and simple and not usually my cup of tea, however, Homer Hickman is a man of eclectic taste and this is shown in his writing. The man who gave us "Rocket Boys" and "The Coalwood Way" based on his life experiences now gives us a novel based on his interest in the various social theories of the dinosaur that show up from time to time. Read the novel and look up the theories on Google. You might find something of interest. ...more
Shirley Lally
Jan 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this book. It takes you to the vast expenses and otherworldly landscape of Montana, to the world of paleontology and dinosaur bone hunting. Thrown in is intrigue concerning the Russian mafia, paranoid bureaucrats and some very peculiar people. The ending is somewhat predictable, but that's okay. ...more
Cardyn Brooks
Jun 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Mike is an ornery cowboy (former) cop who left L.A. for a ranch in Montana. He's a laid back womanizing drinker with a bent sense of humor, but H.H. had me at "cowboy cop".

The Dinosaur Hunter is a fun, easy breezy read about two generations of star-crossed lovers, crime on the range, history, science, and the evolution of society and social politics in the macro and the micro.
Phaedra Taft
Feb 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Science was enough to keep me interested. The setting sounded amazing. I have never been to Montana but I could imagine it, especially the muddy gumbo.
Gabriel Reyes
Jan 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Fast pace, entertaining, easy to read, I've always liked the light spirited of some character of Hickam, in this case, Mike brings the fun in. ...more
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shootout at the Circle C ranch. With dinosaurs.
Joan Leicht
Mar 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Hickam writes well. I like the characters, a little too much dinosaur info for me.
Janet Martin
Aug 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I Loved this--one of the best listens of the year, IMO
I'm going to look into more of his books. Kept my attention every paragraph. ...more
Oct 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Forced into retirement by a bullet, former Los Angeles homicide detective Mike Wire has settled into life in Montana where he runs the Square C for Jeanette Coulter, the widow who owns the ranch.

The discovery of a few dinosaur bones brings a paleontologist to the ranch, seeking permission to dig for more bones. Soon Mike, Jeanette, her son, Ray, and Ray's girlfriend, Amelia, are all part of the dig. But when things turn deadly, will Mike be able to save the fossil-hunters and the bones they’ve
Aug 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Mike is a great POV character--strong voice and internal monologue that sets the tone for the novel. I loved the depiction of ranch and rural life. I recently read three books by noted paleontologist Jack Horner and it was eerie how closely Hickam's novel echoed the details of Horner's digs and descriptions of Montana life. Hickam's acknowlegements revealed that as part of his research, he tagged along on some of Horner's field expeditions and participated in the excavation of two T. rex skeleto ...more
Nov 02, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
One star seems almost excessively harsh because I did not hate reading this book. However, I can't give the author any more credit because it is just lazily written. The "good guys" are so idealized as to be wooden and flat. The plot itself doesn't really build coherently. Nothing really happens except dropping hints for the first 85% of the book. Then in the blink of an eye the plot becomes pure action before suddenly deflating with a silly deus ex machina. On top of that, the ending is almost ...more
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-books, 2019
Likable characters. Montana ranchers leading their quiet lives until the paleontologists show up. I could just picture each and every character in the book, so the story became alive in my mind. Truthfully, I wanted to be out there digging, too. Main character Mike, a retired Los Angeles cop now ranch hand, tells the story of the big digs and the all people involved - Pick the main paleontologist, Laura and Tanya the diggers, and the ranchers who want or don't want the dig to happen. The story d ...more
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Grumpy Montana ranchers, dinosaur digs, Russian Mobsters, angsty love, and murder. This book pretty much has it all, which makes it just plain weird. The paleontology aspects are actually pretty interesting and take up the greater part of the book, but once you get to the last 75 pages you go from the greatest dinosaur fossil find in history to a helicopter being shot out of the sky. Say what now?
Feb 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Montana, beautiful, wild and home to ranchers and dinosaur hunters. Mike is a ranch hand, former detective, who gets involved with a paleontologist searching for bones.
The book reads easy, the story interesting although parts seem a bit far fetched. I enjoyed the paleontology parts and the parts about the ranches and those that live there.
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the story and share the author's interest in fossils--I appreciate the level of detail that was provided. I was surprised the author chose a first person style of writing as it provided limitations to the story development, but the writer made it work. ...more
mike wire
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an engaging story that kept me engrossed, a good read. I also don't mind that you used my name 😊

This is a good read, it kept me reading, multiple story lines being worked together, great finish. Great character name choice!
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Madison Mega-Mara...: The Dinosaur Hunter by Homer Hickman 1 4 Jul 30, 2013 08:38AM  

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Homer Hickam (also known as Homer H. Hickam, Jr.) is the author of many best-sellers including his latest, Carrying Albert Home. An eclectic writer, he wrote the "Coalwood Series," which includes the # 1 New York Times best-selling memoir Rocket Boys, the popular World War II-era "Josh Thurlow" series, the juvenile sci-fi "Crater" series, the adult thriller The Dinosaur Hunter, the romantic Red He ...more

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