"A fascinating thriller, well crafted and relentless ... A cross between Tony Hillerman and Larry McMurtry, this is one hell of a good read."--Douglas Preston, author of Tyrannosaur Canyon and Blasphemy
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 will have to combine everything he learned as a cop with everything he knows as a cowboy to protect the people and the land he could never live without.
Dinosaur bones and the people who covet them take center stage in Hickam's uncharacteristically bland latest, which plays out in Montana, where hardworking ranchers are hemmed in by the Bureau of Land Management, ecoterrorists, and neighbors with a bunker mentality. Retired L.A. homicide detective Mike Wire is now the foreman of the Square C Ranch, where the widowed owner, Jeanette Coulter, is the steely, unobtainable object of his affection. After paleontologist Dr. Norman "Pick" Pickford works out a deal to dig for fossils on Jeanette's property, Mike assists Pick's team, among whom is a sexy Russian Mike soon begins an affair with. Soon after Pick happens on a discovery that could prove to be revolutionary, a menacing visitor is murdered and Mike realizes that the fossils may be worth killing for. Unfortunately, it takes a very long time for the mystery to kick in, and Hickam (Rocket Boys) reserves all the action for the story's climax. In the end, the science fascinates more than the characters or the leisurely plot.