Nancy McKibben's Reviews > The Dinosaur Hunter

The Dinosaur Hunter by Homer Hickam
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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 her property to look for fossils.

Western property rights are practically a character in this book. Ranchers are very touchy about anyone setting foot on their property without prior permission, including land leased for grazing from the federal Bureau of Land Management.

The jacket describes this book as a thriller. I wouldn’t go that far. Suspenseful, perhaps. And well-constructed. Slaughtered cattle begin to turn up - as a warning - and to whom? The dinosaur hunters persist in the face of opposition, and the reader learns a lot about fossil hunting, discovery, and uncovering as the paleontologists uncover a significant new find and Mike the cowboy tries to figure out who is trying to double-cross whom.

The weakest part of the book is the author’s depiction of the women in Mike’s life. He is in love with Jeanne, or so he insists, but this doesn’t stop him from sleeping with the mayor, nor from falling for the sexy female Russian fossil hunter who is working for the head dinosaur hunter. I was not convinced, myself.

But the book was otherwise enjoyable, and quite instructive about fossil hunting, which the author himself does as a hobby in the summers.

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Reading Progress

March 28, 2014 – Started Reading
March 29, 2014 – Finished Reading
May 13, 2014 – Shelved
May 13, 2014 – Shelved as: reviewed
May 13, 2014 – Shelved as: suspense

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