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In Cold Pursuit

Dead Dry

Earth Colors

Killer Dust

Fault Line

An Eye for Gold

Bone Hunter

Hardback editon 1999, St. Martin’s Minotaur, New York
Mass market paperback edition 2000, St. Martin’s Dead Letter, New York
Japanese translation, Hiyakawa, Tokyo

Bone Hunter cover Book Description

Sarah Andrews’s mysteries featuring professional geologist Emily—Em—Hansen offer the rare combination of an intricate puzzle and believable characters against the backdrop of a fascinating scientific world. Time and again, in the tradition of the first forensic geologist, Sherlock Holmes, Em uses her unflinching geologist’s eye to sniff out a killer.

Now in this latest case, Em heads to Utah for a paleontology conference and ends up a suspect in a homicide investigation when her host, a dinosaur expert named George Dishey, is murdered so brutally that the cops won’t even tell Em what happened.

Turning sleuth to clear her own name, Em relies on Officer Thomas B. Raymond of the Salt Lake City PD to help her make sense of what she finds out about the notorious professor, at least insofar as she can trust a cop who is suspicious of her even though he wants to believe her. Between the two of them, Em and Raymond must investigate George’s professional life in the high stakes world of dinosaur research—Em’s domain—and his personal life as part of the Mormon faith—about which Em must learn from Raymond.

As in Andrews’ previous books, Em must face dramatic physical and emotional challenges if she is to escape with her life—and self-intact

Publishers Weekly—starred review

"Science and detective work should go together naturally. After all, they’re both about the pursuit of truth. But aside from medical thrillers, not many writers nowadays embark upon the scientific mystery.

Of those who do, Andrews, whose novels feature forensic geologist Em Hansen, has become a leading light. The fifth entry in Andrews’s series (after Only Flesh and Bones) rivets both as a crime story and as a discussion of the relationship between science and religion.

Em is working as a petroleum geologist when George Dishey, a famous paleontologist, invites her to speak at a conference in Salt Lake City. Flattered, she accepts, although she knows little about his specialty: dinosaurs. Em is Dishey’s houseguest when he is savagely murdered, and her status as prime suspect leads her to launch an independent investigation of her host’s death.

Em is a vulnerable and highly appealing lead, and Andrews shines at showing readers what it’s like to be a scientist. Em believes in "the pleasures of learning"; readers will happily learn alongside her as she finds out about dinosaur fossils. The allure of scientific discovery is strongly felt in this novel, as is the jealously and pettiness of paleontologists engaged in academic back stabbing.

Em is attracted to Ray, a police officer assigned to the murder case. Ray is a devout Mormon, and Em wonders about the difference between his religion and her rational scientific beliefs. It’s a crisis of conscience for her: can a spiritual life honorably co-exist with a life devoted to science? Andrews provides absorbing discussions of creationism, fossil excavation and the scientific method.

Her novel is a suspenseful mystery spiked with dinosaurs, science and religion: what more could readers ask for?"

(Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

The Library Journal

"While in Utah for a paleontology conference, series geologist/sleuth Em Hansen winds up investigating another murder. This time, someone murders her host, a famous dinosaur expert, and the deed is almost pinned on her. Appealing characters and fluent prose; for fans of the series."

(Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.)


"The latest Em Hansen mystery is by far the best yet, combining genuine suspense and a tantalizing puzzle.

Hansen, a forensic geologist (in her spare time she helps police solve crimes), has been invited to speak at a paleontology conference. But things go spectacularly wrong when her host, an eccentric dinosaur expert, is murdered, and Em seems to be the most likely suspect.

Andrews makes the most of her paleontological background. She clearly knows her subject—she’s a geologist by trade—and, unlike many crime writers, she does not use the surroundings merely as window dressing. The novel is, in addition to a fine mystery, a lively exploration of the high-stakes world of dinosaur research and a perceptive rumination on the debate between science and creationism.

This could be Andrews’ "crossover" book: it will appeal not only to fans of the Hansen series but also to readers of such mainstream novels as Crichton’s Jurassic Park . Readers of dinosaur-related nonfiction, too, should find the book a delight."

David Pitt

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