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Bone Hunter (Em Hansen Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – September 15, 2000

12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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? Author tour. (Sept.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From 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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Em Hansen Mysteries (Book 5)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 353 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (September 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312973179
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312973179
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,384,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 9, 1999
Format: Hardcover
BOOKLIST, 8/99 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. (YA--there are multiple hooks for teens here, with dinosaurs leading the parade.)
PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY, 8/2/99 (Starred Review) BONE HUNTER Sarah Andrews. St. Martin's, (320 p) ISBN 0-312-20381-0 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.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 19, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Having an interest in paleontology and geology, I was hoping for a mystery that would offer a plot set against a backdrop of scientists actually working in the field on a dinousaur/fossil dig puzzle of some sort. However, most of the emphasis in this book is placed on presenting painstaking details of characters' personal lives, backgrounds and thought processes in terms of how they approach their science scholastically. While the clashes among scientists, Mormons and Creationists were interesting, I kept longing for some real armchair-gripping suspense and action, which didn't make its appearance until the final two chapters of the book. The romance between Em and Ray was strained (not to mention strange) and, in the end, predictable. For me, this was a slow read; however, the story line does raise some provocative philosophical/religious questions and it was interesting to see them presented in a very creative way.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 2, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Internationally renowned paleontologist Dr. George Dishey invites Em Hansen to speak at the annual Society of Vertebrate Paleontology conference in Utah. Though not an expert on dinosaurs, Em accepts seeing this as a learning experience. Rather than reside at the Snowbird Resort where everyone else takes temporary lodging, Em stays at George's Salt Lake City home. However, her sojourn grimly ends when someone brutally murders her host and the police feel Em is the prime suspect.
Not one to sit idly back, Em begins to make her own inquiries. Only police officer Thomas Raymond reluctantly helps her because he finds himself attracted to the number one suspect. Em also likes Ray, but worries about their religious differences. As she digs deeper into the case, an unknown assailant threatens her life.
The fifth Em Hansen novel is a fabulous blending of science and sleuthing that readers will fully relish. The story line focuses on Em's investigation, but several subplots enrich the overall tale. Fans will find the science Vs religion debate very absorbing, entertaining, and educational. Em's enthusiasm for learning continues to hook the audience to want to gain knowledge even as readers enjoy a wonderful mystery. Sarah Andrews may be writing the best scientific mysteries this side of the medical thriller.

Harriet Klausner
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By tertius3 on August 13, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you like mysteries, pass this by because there's only a little suspense. Although the author tries hard to mislead you it's pretty clear early on who the villain is. Andrews waxes poetical about dinosaurs and rock strata, and personal approaches to religion and science, without bogging down the story-in fact that IS the story here. So if you like geological landscape, discussion of science and religion, spiritual quests, or Mormonism, this is an excellent book. It has some of the clearest direct writing on these topics I've ever seen.
Sarah Andrews takes her geologist sleuth, Em Hansen, in a new direction here. For the first time Em is dealing with biology (dinosaur bones), and must face questions of evolution. Em self-consciously struggles to articulate and resolve religion and her science, while falling in love with the handsome Mormon policeman who suspects her of murdering a notorious paleontologist at a conference in Utah. You have to wade through Em's usual spunky "attitude" and a string of sharply drawn "characters" (suspects) for a few chapters before finding the new Em. In a candid Author's Note Andrews explains the fascinating gestation of this book. It is an exploration of how a life in science differs from an ordinary, particularly religious, life.
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