When paleoartist Ansel Phoenix finds a burnt body hanging from the mouth of her life-sized Allosaurus replica outside the Big Toe Natural History Museum, she starts digging. An Indian poacher has been cutting out fossil carnosaur tracks along the Redwater River, and the Bureau of Land Management is threatening to close the museum and move the tracks to an educational institution. And the FBI is freezing out the local cops.Using her half-Blackfoot heritage as leverage, Ansel devises a dangerous scheme to help the FBI expose a statewide fossil-poaching ring. The sequel to Mesozoic Murder.
At the start of Gentry's rambunctious second "dinosaur" mystery (after 2003's Mesozoic Murder), half-Blackfoot paleo-artist Ansel Phoenix rushes to the scene when the replica of an Allosaurus that she created to guard a natural history museum in Big Toe, Mont., is found with human remains in its massive jaws. Local police, the Bureau of Land Management and the FBI stumble into each other in a counterproductive tug-of-war for jurisdiction in the ensuing investigation. Phoenix gets involved when BLM bureaucrats threaten to use the incident as an excuse to close Big Toe's economically vital museum. Reid Dorbandt, a homicide detective, who happens to have saved Ansel's life in Mesozoic Murder, demands that she keep him apprised of the sting operation into which she's drafted to root out illegal fossil sales connected with the strange death. The cheekily appealing Ansel must summon extraordinary strength and native wisdom to battle greedy corruption, personal demons and the harsh environment of the badlands. Though several plot-thickening coincidences strain credulity, the snowballing pace will keep the reader turning the pages until the unexpected finish.