Thursday, October 7, 2010


Dinosaur Hunters Frank Stewart, Bill Hendricks, and me in Montana.  Ten years of work in the field led to write my new mystery Western novel titled The Dinosaur Hunter

Every author wants Kirkus to review his book but, at the same time, we keep our fingers crossed that it will be a good one.  Many decisions are made based on Kirkus reviews by bookstores, libraries, marketing folks, and publishers.  How many books will be stocked or purchased?  How will the review affect advertising?  How much will be spent on marketing?  Overall, will the book be a hit or a miss?

Kirkus says this of itself:

Kirkus Reviews, founded in 1933, is published twice monthly and reviews, one to three months before the publication date, 4,000-5,000 titles per year: fiction, mysteries, science fiction and fantasy, translations, nonfiction and children's and young adult books. The reviews are reliable and authoritative, written by specialists selected for their knowledge and expertise in a particular field.

Well, we recently received a marvelous review by Kirkus which makes everyone involved with The Dinosaur Hunter very happy.  There's a good chance this could be a break-out novel for me, even possibly beginning a new series.  Remember, think Christmas Holiday Season now.  The Dinosaur Hunter could very well solve your Christmas and/or Holiday list!  Autographed and inscribed copies are available on http://www.homerhickam.com.  Just click on the gift icon!


Hickam, Homer
Dunne/St. Martin's (320 pp)
Nov. 2, 2010
ISBN:  978-0-312-38378-7

Cowboys and criminals mix it up in the new West over the bones of dead monsters.
            Hickam (Red Helmet, 2008, etc.) hits the sweet spot for cowboy fiction with this dusty, inspired mystery about paleontologists and lifelong ranchers in the high desert.  The book's hero is Mike Wire, a former LAPD homicide detective who abandoned Hollywood 12 years earlier to become a foreman on the Square C Ranch where he hides his unrequited love for its owner, Jeanette Coulter, and looks out for her son, Ray.  Hickam breathes life into his square-jawed wrangler, lending him a unique mix of tenderness and stubbornness.  Before long, Mike develops an interest in the area's paleontological history.  Ray's idle discovery of some theropod bones draws the attention of Dr. Norman "Pick" Pickford, who soon has gaggles of students unearthing bones from a butte on Jeanette's property.  Then strange thing start happening, raising Mike's suspicions.  First, a few animals are shot, with clues that lead to an environmental terrorist.  And eventually [SPOILER ALERT] a Russian interloper is found dead with a pickaxe in his head.  Nobody is on Mike's side as he starts figuring things out, least of all the locals.  "I know you're still new out here but I thought a dozen years was enough for you to learn a few of our rules," warns the local tough guy.  "A man could get shot, he wanders where he's not supposed to go."  The plot gets a bit rickety near the end but Hickam's obvious love for Montana and his newly acquired fascination with paleontology—earned at the side of paleontologist Jack Horner, one of the trade's most famous practitioners—makes this tale worth digging into.
            The rare novel that pits science against cowboy doggedness, getting both of them right.

Thanks, Kirkus!  You are obviously true dino boys and girls!

The photo below is of me with a Tyrannosaur rex claw found in Montana.  By its size, we think it was from  a very rare juvenile.  A juvenile T.rex is important to the tale told in The Dinosaur Hunter.

For more on The Dinosaur Hunter, please go to http://www.homerhickam.com/books/dino.shtml

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