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Publisher's Summary

Professor Theo Cray is trained to see patterns where others see chaos. So when mutilated bodies found deep in the Montana woods leave the cops searching blindly for clues, Theo sees something they missed. Something unnatural. Something only he can stop.

As a computational biologist, Theo is more familiar with digital code and microbes than the dark arts of forensic sleuthing. But a field trip to Montana suddenly lands him in the middle of an investigation into the bloody killing of one of his former students. As more details, and bodies, come to light, the local cops determine that the killer is either a grizzly gone rogue...or Theo himself. Racing to stay one step ahead of the police, Theo must use his scientific acumen to uncover the killer. Will he be able to become as cunning as the predator he hunts - before he becomes its prey?

©2017 Andrew Mayne (P)2017 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic! I loved this book!!

When a young woman is killed by a bear while on a camping trip with her boyfriend Professor Theo Cray gets involved. The woman had once been a student of his. Theo is not convinced that it was an animal, he's positive that a man did this. A man killing like an animal would kill.

In an attempt to prove his theory he begins to look for other animal killings that have gone unsolved. When he locates the body of a woman previously assumed missing, he becomes the prime suspect until the police determine that it was another animal killing.

Cray is now driven to find more. With the help of a sophisticated computer program and his biological background he discovers more. Upon meeting an anthropologist with information dating back to the 1980's of an attack by maybe a mountain lion, maybe a man dressed up like a mountain lion. Cray now thinks he's found this murderers beginnings.
This book starts out a little slow as you get background info, it increasingly speeds up until it like a roller coaster and by the end... forget it! This is a downward spiral with nail biting, stomach twisting suspense! I absolutely love books like this and listened to it in one day.

Will Damron does a fantastic job narrating. I don't think anyone could possibly do any better.

This book has my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!!
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Thank You.

192 of 202 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 10-31-17

Very creative plot!

The Naturalist features brilliant but not fully socially acclimated University of Texas computational biology professor Theo Cray is the unlikely protagonist. While in Montana for a summer field trip he learns that one of his former star students, now a PhD, has just been killed apparently by a grizzly bear. He believes it is murder by a human who used sharpened metal claws to simulate bear claws. A few miles away he finds the buried body of another woman who has been missing for months. Again it looks like a bear's work to everyone except Cray. Using the scientific tools he finds several other bodies in forest graves apparently killed by animals. He is not buying the animal killer theory believing instead that all were killed by a man over a long period. From there the story gets really interesting and wild. His life is at risk as are two of the friends he has made.

The plot of this suspense mystery is easily among the most interesting and creative I have read. Author Andrew Mayne is a professional magician and a top selling independently published novelist. Looking Glass, Book 2 in The Naturalist series, is scheduled for release on March 13, 2018. I look forward to the release. Will Damron's narration is superb.

Following Audible Listener Shelley has again led me to a wonderful suspense mystery. If you enjoy the mystery/thriller genre and are not following her, you should.

60 of 64 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lia
  • Sutton, Australia
  • 11-03-17

Different Sort Of Thriller

Entertaining. Couldn't put it down. The science seemed rather dubious, but I just went with it. I would agree about some of the other more critical reviews about loose ends (what happened to Gus? did I miss that part?). And Professor Cray should have encountered at least a few dead ends--seemed like everything he did was spot on every time. But overall, it was an enjoyable book. I can't wait for the next one.

Will Damron was outstanding with the delivery of the story

54 of 62 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Too far fetched

I am still trying to figure out why this book received so many rave reviews. It is the most un-plausible mystery book I have read in years. With crime fiction like this you often need some semblance of believability, which this had very little of. There are a lot of narrative gaps as well as repeated details. Needs another run through with the editor. My two star review mainly stems from a very good audible reader paired with an interesting premise. Plus it was easy to fly through this read.

69 of 80 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Started Out Great and Went Downhill

I was looking for the next great mystery and was hoping this might be it. I liked the premise of a killer who disguised his actions as those of a grizzly bear - thus leading authorities to assume that the victims were killed by a bear and not a person. The hero is a professor who sees the anomalies that point towards a human killer but the authorities don’t believe him. As I first started listening I was totally hooked and thought this would be a five star listen. As the hero’s actions became less believable I downgraded my opinions to four stars - and then about two thirds of the way through the hero just seemed to be falling apart. I no longer found his actions credible and it was hard to listen to his rationale for one stupid decision after another. I’m not a fan of stories where you know the hero is stepping into a trap because it’s so obvious it should be obvious to the hero too. I skipped several chapters towards the end just to find out the conclusion but I was tired of the premise that only one person was smart enough to realize what was going on and all the law enforcement personnel were idiots. Ultimately I rated this a three - it could have been a lot better.

29 of 35 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Piper
  • Washington
  • 11-08-17

Not your typical murder case

I'm going to admit, I give 5 stars to stories pretty easily. As someome who bas done many literature courses, I don't give my reviews just because it was or was not in my interest are. I will give a boom 5 starts if the stroy kept me engaged, was unique and had redeaming qualities. You have to judge a book by its actual contents, not just if it's the type of book you normally like.

That said, I almost never leave written reviews unless I feel a book has done something to stand apart. Without trying to give spoilers, I feel this book kept me guessing and went outside of any normal murder/death mystery I'm used to. This was refreshing and kept making me think and guess the whole way through.

I go through at least 1-2 audio books a week and this one kept me thinking, interested and guessing the whole way through.

If you have gone through any of the murder mysteries that sound ingesting to you, give this a try.

37 of 46 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

clever premise but fails to live up to promise

I listened to the sample of this audio book before buying, and it engaged me right away, with the promise of a very different take to solving crime. But unfortunately, that excellent opener devolved into poor dialog and unbelievably immature characters. I just could not keep listening. too bad

25 of 31 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

It had a lot of potential !

The book started out pretty strong.... interesting and believable. It had a lot going for it until it got a little on the ridiculous side a little over half way through it. I went ahead and finished it, but there was no possible way to save it. After reading three other books by the same author I just assumed that this book with me on the same level as his other books. I definitely won't even try to read a follow up in this series....

18 of 23 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Story

This is my first time reading Andrew Maine’s books. So captivating! Will definitely read more!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Engaging thriller

A fast ride at the end. Entertaining and I didn't know who did it till the author told me, which is unusual for most reads.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Colette
  • 10-21-17

Great listen

I loved everything about this book. It had me gripped from the start and I genuinely didn’t want it to end. I enjoy Jack Reacher/John Milton characters but this nerdy bioinformatics professor is right up there with them. I loved his unusual thought processes and felt his frustration when others didn’t make the mental leaps that he did. Can’t wait for Book 2.

A brilliant narrator enhanced the pleasure.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful