What a terrific thriller! Dr. Theo Cray is The Naturalist, a bioinformatics professor. A computational biologist. Huh? Trust me, you’ll find out what that means. The author, Andrew Mayne, lets Theo tell the story from his brilliant, socially awkward perspective. The action begins with a flashback to a savage animal attack in Montana; in the next chapter, unsuspecting Theo sits with plastic bags on his hands at the police station. And it goes downhill -and uphill -from there.
Theo keeps telling himself to stay clear of the murderous tangle in a backwoods town, but he can’t help himself. The police wish he would just clear out, but Theo keeps the body count rising. He is willing to sacrifice everything to save others and bring an evil creature to justice. Theo’s clever mind and computer analyses detect patterns which expose horrendous events and put him in grave danger. Even so, I laughed out loud at his perspective, even in the most suspenseful scenes. The Naturalist is so unusual, yet incredibly realistic, that I also found myself giggling with anxiety as Theo prepares for his own death.
It’s hard to describe The Naturalist without spoiling the wild plot. If you enjoy science, thrillers, brilliant deductions, and things that go bump in the night, this book’s for you!