Bone hunter by Sarah Andrews, half a review

Bone Hunter coverGeoscience factor: Forensic geology

Bonus science: Paleontology

Spoiler: To be determined.

Rating: 1

When I started digging into GeoFiction, I resolved to keep an open mind, even about books that were not my usual fare. I dug half-way into Bone hunter, an Em Hansen mystery, and was already feeling trapped by this resolution.

But, you say, Bone hunter has a conglomerate of elements that I like: farce, mystery, a sassy protagonist, an insider’s view, science.

Alas, the farcical situations are presented in a cliff-note version. A summary of unfortunate accidents beseting our heroine cannot count as farce. The author delights in showing and telling you everything and then showing and telling you everything, and then again, with a rock hammer to the head. The mystery is a standard whodunit, where multiple murders occur in whatever town our heroine visits. And annoyingly, Em Hansen’s attitude has the worst traits of hack detectives. She makes mule-headed decisions and is inexplicably naive during tense moments. Her reveries aren’t always typical of the detective genre, but they muddy her personality instead of illuminating it.

On the other hand, Em Hansen is mostly smart and capable and she provides an insider’s perspective into the shady worlds of paleontologists. I still want to know what will happen to her and whodidit. So I will keep digging and perhaps one day this summer, dig my way out.

 

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Filed under book review, forensic geology, mystery, paleontology

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