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The Naturalist    by Andrew Mayne order for
by Andrew Mayne
Order:  USA  Can
Thomas & Mercer, 2017 (2017)
Softcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Andrew Mayne is not only well known as an illusionist but is one heck of an author. His latest thriller will scare you and shock you. You'll put the book down and declaim to yourself that you can't read any more, but then watch your hands pick up this same book and turn more pages.

The Naturalist is a first class thriller. I love the protagonist. He knows his limitations and exceeds them when necessary. He almost accepts beatings as something he must survive to do what he does. Professor Theo Cray is a computational biologist! Never heard of that career and even an explanation of the science didn't help. But one need not be a scientist to enjoy this book.

Professor Cray hears of the death of an ex-student of his who has apparently been mauled by a grizzly bear. His training tells him that those investigating the death are wrong in their assumption that a grizzly killed the girl. He appears on the scene to help. No one believes his theory of a human killing a series of girls who have disappeared over a twenty year span.

As Theo finds the missing girls' graves, suspicion falls on him. The police ignore his theories. In the process of finding graves, he is beaten, shot, mauled, arrested and handcuffed several times. He has to run for his life. He also finds a woman who cares what happens to him.

The Naturalist is suspenseful, chilling, everything a reader would want a thriller to be. The reader is introduced to some great characters who fill their positions in the plot extremely well. Whatever is next on your to-read pile, read this one first. You'll be glad you did.

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