Book Review: Tyrannosaur Canyon

Reading Tyrannosaur Canyon felt like reading my favourite Clive Cussler or Michael Crichton book, but with some palaeontology and Mexican geology mixed in.

Title: Tyrannosaur Canyon

Author: Douglas Preston

A tale of spies, cowboys, conspiracies and ex-convicts; Tyrannosaur Canyon really delivers on the Preston name. Effectively part of the Wyman Ford book series, Tyrannosaur Canyon stands up by itself, you don’t need to read Douglas Preston’s other works to understand what’s going on.

The first chapter details the life of a palaeontologist; not Doctor Alan Grant from Jurassic Park but the life of a real palaeontologist; palaeontology can be a cutthroat business, everyone is looking for the next big find: a new species of dinosaur, an ancient tar pit filled with fossils… an entirely intact Tyrannosaurus rex… the usual stuff.

When this palaeontologist stumbles upon the find of the century, he is quickly killed off, but a local gets to his body before the killer does. Said local is a rancher, who’s wife gives horseriding lessons. The cowboy follows up a lead on the now dead palaeontologist, coming across Wymon Ford, an ex-CIA operative, who has taken up residence in a Christ in the Desert monastery and is looking to become a monk. Together, the two unravel the mystery of the dead palaeontologist and what he’d found. But they unknowingly stumble into a government conspiracy. The dinosaur hunter’s killer was hired by a rich museum curator, a man looking to extend his tenure at the museum in which he works.

It is soon discovered that the dinosaur fossil is implicated in a government conspiracy (I won’t say why, that would be spoiling the story).

Que the review.

Written like a Michael Crichton or Clive Cussler novel, this is a book I actually struggled to put down; the writing style and sentence construction pulled me in that much. Some authors give information, then there is Douglas Preston, who only gives you the information that the characters have at their disposal, this makes it easier to identify with the characters, as you only know what they know; nothing more, everything less.

A real kicker of a book, I’d reccomend this to any reader out there, whether you prefer sci-fi or fantasy, action or romance, crime or dinosaurs; this is just one of those that you absolutely have to read.


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