The Naturalist
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?

The Naturalist Details

TitleThe Naturalist
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 1st, 2017
PublisherThomas & Mercer
Rating
GenreMystery, Fiction, Thriller, Crime, Mystery Thriller

The Naturalist Review

  • Montzalee Wittmann
    January 1, 1970
    The Naturalist (The Naturalist #1) by Andrew Mayne is a book I really enjoyed. It fed my eager science side of my brain, the mystery, and the side that likes a good scare! Brilliantly written with so many little things that had to be thought through...wonderful. Going in my favorites for sure. Lots of suspense, action, mystery, and the science part of it was fun too. I love these kind of mysteries.
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  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    After my last, very meh, audiobook, I was happy to read The Naturalist. This one engaged me from the get go. Dr. Theo Cray is a computational biologist. To me, he seemed a little bit on the asperger’s spectrum. Extremely intelligent, definitely obsessive, but lacking a little in the emotive or self preservation factors. At one point he compares himself to Don Quixote and it’s a very apt description. They are both tilting at their own individual windmills. He comes to the police’s attention after After my last, very meh, audiobook, I was happy to read The Naturalist. This one engaged me from the get go. Dr. Theo Cray is a computational biologist. To me, he seemed a little bit on the asperger’s spectrum. Extremely intelligent, definitely obsessive, but lacking a little in the emotive or self preservation factors. At one point he compares himself to Don Quixote and it’s a very apt description. They are both tilting at their own individual windmills. He comes to the police’s attention after the gruesome murder of a previous student of his. What are the odds of two scientists from Texas being in the same area of Montana doing research? But her death is ruled due to a grizzly bear mauling. Cray however, sees something else at play. I love that Mayne treats the reader’s intelligence with respect and gives us lots of science info. The book is almost stream of consciousness. We’re inside Theo’s head and a lot of interesting facts and theories reside there. Who knew that dolphins attack sharks when they’re incapacitated? There’s almost a contemplative feeling to the book as Theo spends a lot of time pondering what happened and how things connect. You’ll need to suspend your beliefs here. But it’s an interesting ride so I was willing to do so. I listened to this book and it works very well as an audiobook. I find a have a much more visceral reaction when listening to graphic scenes than when reading them. So there were lots of times I was twitching and flinching. There’s already a book two in this series out, which I’ll happily check out.
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  • Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine)
    January 1, 1970
    You can read this and all of my reviews at Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine.Note: I originally posted that I was giving this book 3.5 stars. Upon further consideration, I've given it 3.75.There are so many things I loved about The Naturalist! First, there's our main man, Professor Theo Cray. He's a computational biologist. So basically he's a little nerdy, very smart, and, because he's now been drawn in to a murder investigation, a bit of a rogue Magnum, P.I. I'm not one for bookish crushes but if I were, he'd You can read this and all of my reviews at Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine.Note: I originally posted that I was giving this book 3.5 stars. Upon further consideration, I've given it 3.75.There are so many things I loved about The Naturalist! First, there's our main man, Professor Theo Cray. He's a computational biologist. So basically he's a little nerdy, very smart, and, because he's now been drawn in to a murder investigation, a bit of a rogue Magnum, P.I. I'm not one for bookish crushes but if I were, he'd be a candidate.Next, there's the plot. What starts out as one dead woman, who happens to be a former student of Theo's, turns into multiple dead bodies. The crime scenes are gruesome. The victims appear to have been slashed to death by bear, mountain lion, or something else that's not quite human. The police are frustratingly unwilling to listen to Theo's opinions regarding who or what may have killed all of these women. This forces Theo to strike out on his on own quest for the killer. His scientific knowledge lends an element that I've rarely read in this genre. He uses biology, anthropology, botany, statistics, and computer algorithms together in order to locate the bodies and predict where more may be located.As far as pacing goes, I found The Naturalist to be an absolute page-turner. I read it in one day. I loved that the chapters are short and the action moves along steadily.I did have a couple of small issues with the book. The first is relatively minor. I found Theo's grief over the former student who had been killed to be greater than I would have expected. That may seem insensitive but they'd only had a professional relationship and they hadn't spoken in years. The second - and you know I'm a stickler for this - is plausibility. Particularly as it relates to the ending. I won't give it away because it was quite imaginative but, as a nurse, I must admit I rolled my eyes more than once. I actually think the final scene would translate very well in film but it just seemed a bit too much as I read it on the pages. In my opinion, this is a classic case of an author's brilliant imagination being both a blessing and a curse. Had the ending been dialed back a bit, I'm sure I could have given this book four to four and a half stars.This is the first book in The Naturalist series. I am very much looking forward to reading the next book.3.75/5 glasses of wineMany thanks to Thomas & Mercer for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Liz Barnsley
    January 1, 1970
    Definitely the most addictive read of my year so far, borne out by the fact that I started this last night then finished it this morning - no messing. I literally only put it down to sleep.For a start how wonderful to find something a bit different - I can't say I've read a book before where the main protagonist is a Computational Biologist - the author makes this sound entirely fascinating and if you have a love of finding out small random facts like I am you'll love the little titbits you find Definitely the most addictive read of my year so far, borne out by the fact that I started this last night then finished it this morning - no messing. I literally only put it down to sleep.For a start how wonderful to find something a bit different - I can't say I've read a book before where the main protagonist is a Computational Biologist - the author makes this sound entirely fascinating and if you have a love of finding out small random facts like I am you'll love the little titbits you find throughout this novel. Not sure that Theo, our scientist, ever expected to use his expertise to track a serial killer nobody else will admit exists, but that is the situation he finds himself in after the death of a former student pulls him into an entirely different world.The Naturalist is a genuinely thrilling "serial killer thriller" with a scientific twist - the story fairly rocks along as Theo goes a bit lone wolf, albeit a rather less testosterone fueled one than you would normally find in this type of story, using his background and science geekery to seek out patterns and probabilities. That side of it is cleverly engaging, there is plenty of action besides and a hidden killer who will chill your soul. There are some intensely creepy moments in The Naturalist that made me jump at shadows a little and a real sense of menace all the way through. The ending is edge of the seat madness in the best way, a real blow out finale that rocked. From first page to last this was all the excellent, not a single boring moment. Brilliant.I see this listed as a book one - I have to say I'm extraordinarily pleased by the thought that Theo will be back. I loved him as an anchor to the rest of this tale, in fact all the characters within were brilliantly drawn and absolutely compelling, I hope to meet a few more of them again too.The Naturalist has excellent plotting, offers up a different perspective within the crime drama and who knows - perhaps Computational Biologists are the new Profilers - we'll see but on the basis of this book those writing within the crime genre might want to up their game. Seems there are ways to teach an old pony new tricks after all.Highly Recommended.
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  • Michael Slavin
    January 1, 1970
    5,000 Amazon Reviews 86% 5 and 4 stars23,000 Goodreads ratings 4.08 stars avg.Very good, very interesting, and very different! You get to learn a little science as you watch a mystery and the process of trying to solve multiple murders by an awkward professor, Theo. The police suspect him, then ignore him, but they won’t believe him.After a very exciting opening scene, where it appears a woman is killed by a bear, the book slows down (not in a bad way) into an investigation. The book holds your 5,000 Amazon Reviews 86% 5 and 4 stars23,000 Goodreads ratings 4.08 stars avg.Very good, very interesting, and very different! You get to learn a little science as you watch a mystery and the process of trying to solve multiple murders by an awkward professor, Theo. The police suspect him, then ignore him, but they won’t believe him.After a very exciting opening scene, where it appears a woman is killed by a bear, the book slows down (not in a bad way) into an investigation. The book holds your attention and then explodes with a very action packed back end to the book.Highlights of this really good book:-Very interesting main character, Theo, a reluctant hero.-Very strong female character that was watching his back and she owns a restaurant/truck stop in the middle of nowhere (and can handle a gun).-Lots of hicks.-Takes place in Montana-Not many people there; lots of woods and unpopulated areas and you definitely feel that in the book-Multiple brutal murders-Bear attacks or serial killer? 300 possible bodies or more-Lots of science weaved into the book, including how closed systems show patterns that the untrained observer would probably not notice-You feel like they may be chasing big foot at some pointsNot your typical crime/thriller, but I loved it. As I said, this is something different. I will read more from this author, for sure.Strongly recommend!
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    "What is research but a blind date with knowledge." (William Henry)And Professor Theo Cray of the University of Texas at Austin knows research up close and personal. He's an MIT graduate specializing in computational biology. Analyzing data and constructing models brings Theo eye to eye with biological, behavioral, and social systems. Funny how such lofty studies might shine a light on a recent dead body.Andrew Mayne starts his story out with a bang. Theo Cray's motel room in a small town in Mon "What is research but a blind date with knowledge." (William Henry)And Professor Theo Cray of the University of Texas at Austin knows research up close and personal. He's an MIT graduate specializing in computational biology. Analyzing data and constructing models brings Theo eye to eye with biological, behavioral, and social systems. Funny how such lofty studies might shine a light on a recent dead body.Andrew Mayne starts his story out with a bang. Theo Cray's motel room in a small town in Montana is under fire by the local police. Cray is roughly tossed to the ground and handcuffed with no clue as to why. An empty ice bucket lays on the ground next to him as the only reminder of what "normal" was in the past tense. Here on out, chaos and mayhem will rule the days and the nights.Theo is finally told that a former student of his at UTA was found dead in the forest not too far from where the motel sits. His Texas plates are a dead giveaway in the parking lot. Through hours of interrogation, Theo is finally allowed to leave. As the days go by, it is believed that Juniper was killed by a grizzly. A grizzly is taken down by a local hunter nearby with a single shot. End of story you say. Not so fast.....It's this hyper analytical nature that spins the wheels at a roaring pace within the mind of Theo Cray. Hell bent on finding out what really happened to Juniper, Theo visits the scene and is convinced that Juniper's demise was due to the two-legged variety. But convincing the local police is like dragging thousand pound stones up the sides of the pyramids. An impossible task, but one in which Theo is willing to take on.As Theo implements computer analysis and his hardcore familiarity of botany and ecosystems, he begins to unveil some crazy off-the-wall theories. We could be in for more dead bodies and a possible serial killer here, Boys and Girls. WooHoo!Mayne brings in plenty of science around the campfire in The Naturalist. He does it in such a way that the reader is not overwhelmed, but pleasantly piques interest. In order to totally enjoy this wild ride, just sit back and let this story unfold. There may be a few camels slipping through the eye of the needle here and there, but it's full-on entertainment. The ending is chock full of adrenaline pumping action in which an adult beverage may be warranted. Good stuff.The Naturalist is the first book in this series. I've already grabbed the next one. A well thought out storyline with high interest. Let's see what double trouble Andrew Mayne will drop Theo into down this curving road. Binoculars optional.
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  • Michael Hicks
    January 1, 1970
    If Dan Brown wrote a CBS-style crime thriller, it'd probably look a lot like Andrew Mayne's The Naturalist. It's big dumb fun, quickly paced, and routinely threatened this reader's willing suspension of disbelief with a number of inanities, ridiculousness, and just flat-out stupid plot points. The Naturalist is a highly readable work of fluffy entertainment, one that is strangely compelling but also not very good.Professor Theo Cray is a bioinformatics researcher, and when one of his former stud If Dan Brown wrote a CBS-style crime thriller, it'd probably look a lot like Andrew Mayne's The Naturalist. It's big dumb fun, quickly paced, and routinely threatened this reader's willing suspension of disbelief with a number of inanities, ridiculousness, and just flat-out stupid plot points. The Naturalist is a highly readable work of fluffy entertainment, one that is strangely compelling but also not very good.Professor Theo Cray is a bioinformatics researcher, and when one of his former students is found dead in the woods, he's the prime suspect until forensics lead authorities to believe she was mauled to death by a bear. Thanks to a case of mistaken identity, Cray is inadvertently given blood samples of the victim, which allows him to engage in some lone-hero forensic shenanigans that lead to the discovery that the bear hairs belong a tagged animal that died more than a year previously. Unable to let the case go, Cray uses his specialized knowledge in bioinformatics and learns of a number of missing women. Soon enough, he's on the trail of a serial killer who has somehow stayed off the grid for thirty years and may have killed hundreds and hundreds of women.If none of the above gives you pause, The Naturalist might be right up your alley. In order to discuss why The Naturalist didn't work for me, though, I need to point to some specifics, some truly bugfuck, batshit moments of high implausibility that really had me scratching my head. As such, I'm issuing a big SPOILER WARNING from here on out. Consider yourself warned.Throughout The Naturalist, Mayne spares hardly a single thriller trope to get from point A to point B. We have the lone wolf hero who police refuse to even listen to, let alone believe, and who are perfectly content to ignore the discovery of all these butchered women. There's a hooker with a heart of gold, and the small ex-Army waitress hottie who, despite Cray's social ineptitude and naivete, still wants to bang our mousy, intrepid researcher. At some point in these types of thrillers it's a sure bet that our lone wolf hero will eventually be targeted by police as Prime Suspect #1. Well, Mayne begins the freaking book with that tired old trope, and then pulls it out of his butt a few more times throughout for good measure.Cray's doctorate and research has allowed him to learn a whole lot about a very small subject, leaving him oblivious to pretty much everything else. As he confesses a number of times, he doesn't know a lot about people. He can't read social cues, doesn't pick up on innuendo, and can't even decipher a text message from a hooker that reads "1004BJ". This cluelessness is, perhaps, meant to give Cray an easy pass by readers so that once he starts digging up dead bodies all across Montana and texting photos of the corpses to police, even going so far at one point as to load a murder victim into his SUV and dump the body off at the local police station, we're supposed to just accept this level of idiocy as par for the course. Unfortunately, I couldn't get over these hurdles, even as I watched with stony bemusement as Cray half-asses his way into stealing evidence, snatching a corpse from the morgue, and destroying crime scenes one right after another. And despite his reputation for these shenanigans eventually preceding him everywhere he goes, the police response is typically a bemusement equal to my own. After dumping a corpse off at the police station, Cray merely has to give a statement and is allowed on his merry way to go pilfer another body. The amount of WTFery is nested like Russian dolls throughout the entirety of The Naturalist, right down to its over-to-top, laugh out loud, implausible finale. Look, Cray is decidedly not a tough guy. He's a bookish nerd who gets beat up multiple times by various people, and Mayne still would have us believe that this guy is able to single-handedly take on an apex predator of a serial killer, a killer who has gone all Terminator in the book's final moments. Somehow, despite being shot three times and having previously been beaten unconscious and having his jaw fractured, Mayne still expects us to believe it's plausible that Cray would think, in all-caps, "I'M GOING TO TEAR THIS GUY APART!" and go all Wolverine beserker rage on a massive, bloodthirsty murderer. Did I mention I found this book utterly ridiculous? Because I did.That said, The Naturalist is stupidly entertaining but also perversely fascinating, and the scientific backbone Mayne weaves throughout is really interesting stuff. The research and thought processes that Cray brings to the table helps bring a measure of seriousness to an otherwise inanely written story, and Cray's eye for detail in the natural world is well done, lending a surprising amount of credibility to his field work. Unfortunately, when Cray isn't in the field and Mayne isn't focused on wowing us with science, the story takes some pretty steep nosedives.Readers expecting a serial killer thriller in the vein of Silence of the Lambs would do well to look elsewhere. If you don't mind a silly, check your brain at the door, beach read that's more comic book adventure than serious, well-studied suspense, you might do all right with this one if you keep expectations firmly in check. The Naturalist is ultimately pretty stupid, but at least it's entertainingly so. I didn't much care for it in the end, but I at least got my $3 worth of entertainment, and Mayne keeps the pacing cranked up to a high page-turning level. I found myself wanting to know how things were going to shake out, and morbidly curious as to just how much sillier it could get.
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  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2017/10/23/...I spent a day last week stumbling around in a sleep-deprived stupor because I had been up late the night before, and it was all this book’s fault since I’d refused to put it down until I was finished. Totally worth it, though. Talk about a page-turner! The Naturalist was exactly what I wanted out of a mystery-thriller—fascinating, addictive, and dramatic in all the best ways. It also captivated the science geek in me by 4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2017/10/23/...I spent a day last week stumbling around in a sleep-deprived stupor because I had been up late the night before, and it was all this book’s fault since I’d refused to put it down until I was finished. Totally worth it, though. Talk about a page-turner! The Naturalist was exactly what I wanted out of a mystery-thriller—fascinating, addictive, and dramatic in all the best ways. It also captivated the science geek in me by featuring a protagonist who uses the study of plant and animal behavior and physiology to solve crimes, his specialized knowledge allowing him to spot patterns where others cannot. Think The Da Vinci Code, but with biology.Our story begins as computational biologist Theo Cray gets a call from the police while on a field research trip in Montana. The body of Juniper Parsons, one of his ex-students, has been found in the woods near a small town, and the cause of death appears to have been a rogue grizzly attack. However, Theo is not convinced, recognizing unnatural signs in the evidence. Despite the terrible claw marks and the traces of fur on the victim, he’s not sure that whatever killed her was even an animal. More likely it was a man, he insists. Killing like an animal.Unfortunately, the police are no help, especially once Fish and Wildlife Service puts down the bear believed to be responsible for the savage attack. Knowing that his former student’s true killer is still out there though, Theo is unwilling to give up and decides to conduct his own investigation, uncovering a disturbing pattern of missing persons reports and mysterious deaths that go back for more than thirty years. All the incidents happened in or around the state of Montana, many of them involving young women. In the cases where remains were recovered, the mutilated bodies all displayed the same kind of claw marks found on Juniper Parsons. Following a trail of clues, Theo begins finding more victims and knows he’s getting closer to the truth, though inevitably his efforts draw unwanted attention as the police start suspecting Theo himself.The Naturalist is the perfect thriller novel for the science lover. Yes, it can get a little farfetched at times, requiring the reader to simply roll with it, but with a story this enthralling and irresistible, you’d be surprised at how much I’m willing to let slide. A couple of minor plot holes and a few dubious moments were not enough to detract from the enjoyment.Another amazing thing about this book is its protagonist. Theo is a professor in an extremely esoteric field, so he’s always having a hard time getting others to understand his evidence or how he’s getting his data. It also doesn’t help that he’s a bit socially awkward, and his brain is wired to think in a very different way than most people. In spite of this though, I found him remarkably easy to relate to—and not just because of the shared interest in biological sciences. Above all, Theo is driven by a sense of duty towards his murdered student, and while his guilt and emotional self-punishment may have been a tad unfounded, it’s hard not to feel sympathetic towards someone whose heart is so genuine and in the right place. He attacks his mission with indefatigable zeal that almost borders on obsession, but you’ve also got to admire his persistence, especially when he finds ways to get creative. While Theo is highly intelligent, his doggedness and complete lack of street smarts often leads to solutions with successful results but appalling side effects.Then there’s the plot, which sank its hooks into me and dug in deep. The story’s tone and style are arguably similar to that of most thrillers, but like I said, this novel had a scientific angle to it that made it special. A good balance of action and suspense kept the pace swift and strong, and some of the more mysterious and atmospheric scenes were even touched with a hint of horror. The final chapters of the book, AKA the section that had me devouring the pages at the expense of a good night’s sleep, were so intense and insane that I doubt I could have stopped reading even if the house was burning down around me.Man, I really hope I won’t have long to wait for the sequel, because it does appear The Naturalist is the first book of a new series. Cleverly addictive and hugely entertaining, this book had me hanging on every word from start to finish. If I’m reading a lot more mystery-thriller these days, well, it’s because of books like this, and I can’t wait to read more from Andrew Mayne.
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  • Bernie
    January 1, 1970
    Stereotypical protagonist, stereotypical antagonist, plot holes galore, interesting, if questionable, science, and first person narrative in the present tense rather than past tense. An interesting read except for disappointing final chapter or two.Personal rant: I hate plot summaries that end with a question. Will he be able to do this before that happens? Makes me lose interest in the book. Stop. Just stop.
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  • Ami
    January 1, 1970
    I was pleased to choose this for my September Kindle First but in the end, I must admit to being quite happy I hadn't paid for it. It had stereotypical cliched cookie-cutter people with inane flat conversations and a story full of plot holes and dangling threads. IT WAS ALL TOO EASY! What makes this doubly disappointing is that it actually started out quite well, but it began going downhill at about halfway and by the end had degenerated into madness. If it had been a hard copy vs. a digital cop I was pleased to choose this for my September Kindle First but in the end, I must admit to being quite happy I hadn't paid for it. It had stereotypical cliched cookie-cutter people with inane flat conversations and a story full of plot holes and dangling threads. IT WAS ALL TOO EASY! What makes this doubly disappointing is that it actually started out quite well, but it began going downhill at about halfway and by the end had degenerated into madness. If it had been a hard copy vs. a digital copy, I would have been sorely tempted to fling it across the room.
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  • Kenrick
    January 1, 1970
    As a lifelong biology writer and amateur naturalist, the protagonist in this novel rings extremely hollow. The author claims to love science -- and I've no doubt he does -- but he should have spent more time in the research and editing phase making sure his protagonist sounded like an actual scientist and not just a weird Big Bang Theory-esque parody of one.The core conceit isn't a bad one, but it comes across as hackneyed in execution.
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  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    This was a slam dunk of a 5 star read! Very funny, also geeky on the science, clever, fast paced. I should have been able to read this in one go but it was all so exciting I had to keep putting it down! If you’re looking for a quirky original thriller, you don’t get much better than this. #Theo Cray for President
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  • Jonathan Maas
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book, and though there were some flaws - they had soft edges to them. In short though:Pros:* Michael Crichton-esque. A lot of authority here - and you'll be smarter after reading it. I alternated between this and Yuval Noah Harari's Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, and didn't feel bad about jumping away from Harari's non-fiction.* A page turner - beyond a page turner* Great use of data and data-trends as a way of tracking the bad guys* Likeable character - he has flaws, but t I loved this book, and though there were some flaws - they had soft edges to them. In short though:Pros:* Michael Crichton-esque. A lot of authority here - and you'll be smarter after reading it. I alternated between this and Yuval Noah Harari's Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, and didn't feel bad about jumping away from Harari's non-fiction.* A page turner - beyond a page turner* Great use of data and data-trends as a way of tracking the bad guys* Likeable character - he has flaws, but they make you like him - really easy to likeCon:* Mild con here - but be warned that this is a mystery where everything the main character does turns into something bigger - every hunch, every action, every offhand comment - leads to a clue to solve the mystery
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  • Fred Shaw
    January 1, 1970
    The Naturalist by Andrew Mayne, Kindle edition. Dr. Theo Cray is a professor of biogenics and uses computer models to determine how biological systems react given certain criteria. In Montana, while conducting a study, he learns that a previous student was just killed by a grisly bear. To most of the law enforcement, that is what it appears to have happened, but Dr. Cray was not convinced. However, the police and department of natural resources had their collective minds made up, so they track a The Naturalist by Andrew Mayne, Kindle edition. Dr. Theo Cray is a professor of biogenics and uses computer models to determine how biological systems react given certain criteria. In Montana, while conducting a study, he learns that a previous student was just killed by a grisly bear. To most of the law enforcement, that is what it appears to have happened, but Dr. Cray was not convinced. However, the police and department of natural resources had their collective minds made up, so they track a likely bear suspect and terminate it. After reviewing missing persons accounts in the area over a period of years, he finds that most of the subjects were young women, and believes there might be more similarities in their disappearance to his friend’s death. If the women did not get lost in the Montana mountains but were in fact murdered, and no bodies found, could there be a serial killer effectively hiding the evidence so well that he/she could get away with over a 30 year period?The story is entertaining, but so much of the the protagonist’s activity is repetitive making the read tedious. Secondly, the good professor is almost too good to be true, having such a vast knowledge of the environment that he outsmarts all law enforcement and locals and goes after the killer single handedly. This is the first in a series and I am debating whether to read the next in line.
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  • Shaina
    January 1, 1970
    4.579Oh wow! I really enjoyed this. I loved the science and the main character’s thoughts were easy to understand. He was smart. For a while I was like ok, you are pushing your luck!!! But he was intelligent and I just loved the science in this and how he used what he DID KNOW to find out what he DID NOT. Can’t wait to read the next.
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  • Nancy Gold
    January 1, 1970
    Really?Awful. The author was a magician and probably good at that job. A believable story teller, he is not. Too many quips, too much attitude, too much pseudo scientific facts mar this story. On the very first murder he forgot to tell you what happened to the boyfriend of the murdered girl who was camping with her. Too much blood to be believable. Please go back to being a magician.
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  • Veronika Sebechlebská
    January 1, 1970
    O tom, ako spoločensky neohrabaný vedátor, ktorého viac ako ľudia zaujímajú mykotické infekcie žiab, príde na stopu masového vraha. Neznie to zle, ale......ale ja, na rozdiel od autora, pár spoločensky neohrabaných vedátorov poznám a to nie sú tie typy, čo budú pobehovať po svete so zdrátovanou čeľusťou a dolámanými rebrami a umierajúc si pichať epinefrin do srca, aby ochránili babenu, čo im ho deň predtým vyfajčila na zadnom sedadle. A už vôbec to nie sú typy, čo budú komunikáciu, tobôž komunik O tom, ako spoločensky neohrabaný vedátor, ktorého viac ako ľudia zaujímajú mykotické infekcie žiab, príde na stopu masového vraha. Neznie to zle, ale......ale ja, na rozdiel od autora, pár spoločensky neohrabaných vedátorov poznám a to nie sú tie typy, čo budú pobehovať po svete so zdrátovanou čeľusťou a dolámanými rebrami a umierajúc si pichať epinefrin do srca, aby ochránili babenu, čo im ho deň predtým vyfajčila na zadnom sedadle. A už vôbec to nie sú typy, čo budú komunikáciu, tobôž komunikáciu o počasí, považovať za spôsob riešenia problémov, takže ak by ako Theo potrebovali získať čerstvú mŕtvolu, určite by len tak nenakráčali do márnice a nezačali smalltalkovať s recepčnou. Nie, oni by na to šli tou jednoduchšou cestou. Niekoho by zabili. S najväčšou pravdepodobnosťou seba. Pretože to nevyžaduje vyjsť z bytu.Proste blbosť od začiatku do konca, tak na úrovni epizódy CSI niekde v strede 14. série.
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  • Dennis
    January 1, 1970
    3.5/5 starsIf you enjoy the tv channel Investigation Discovery or shows like Forensic Files, then Andrew Mayne's The Naturalist is the perfect read for you! It is a quick, dark read that doesn't sugar coat the plot, while not explicitly getting too grotesque. The story starts off with Dr. Theo Cray being questioned about the disappearance of one of his past students, Juniper, who police claim has a direct link to Dr. Cray. After routine questioning, police confirm Juniper's death as an acciden 3.5/5 starsIf you enjoy the tv channel Investigation Discovery or shows like Forensic Files, then Andrew Mayne's The Naturalist is the perfect read for you! It is a quick, dark read that doesn't sugar coat the plot, while not explicitly getting too grotesque. The story starts off with Dr. Theo Cray being questioned about the disappearance of one of his past students, Juniper, who police claim has a direct link to Dr. Cray. After routine questioning, police confirm Juniper's death as an accidental bear attack in the nearby woods. Dr. Cray, professor and biologist, can't leave well enough alone because if Juniper was a dedicated student of his, she would know how to react to a bear in the woods. As Dr. Cray investigates the small Montana town that he's visiting, he begins to see how a town crippled by drugs, poverty, and a lack of education can only continue on by keeping their darkest secrets hidden. Through Dr. Cray's investigation, he realizes that things aren't always what it may seem. The Naturalist was very different read for me—it had a lot of science background in it that I was not familiar (nor really wanted to be familiar) with, while keeping me on the edge of my seat by keeping the mystery at bay. Dr. Cray was sarcastic, witty, and a profound protagonist for me. This book is approximately 400 pages, but the dialogue isn't overtly sophisticated so you can easily brush through this read quickly. The Naturalist 's storyline was very original in a sense that it took key common themes (i.e.: drugs, town corruption, crime), and interweaving it into a robust plot development. I would also recommend anyone who enjoys anything by David Bell or Noah Hawley to definitely pick this one up. I immediately got Bring Her Home and Before The Fall vibes as I was trekking on with the story although neither book is similar in terms of content. This book will not be for everyone—I'm telling you now. If you really aren't into the multifaceted world of biology, genetics, DNA, etc; this isn't the read for you. At points The Naturalist can be a little too technical and I had to catch myself from skipping through those sections. Once I was about 1/3 of the way into the story, I actually began to care more about the characters and was focused on finishing. I was provided a copy of The Naturalist in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Wunderbooks PR, it was a pleasure.
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  • Joy D
    January 1, 1970
    What a wild ride! In this mystery-suspense-thriller, the story opens with Professor Theo Cray, a computational biologist, being questioned about a possible murder of a former student. He is released when police determine that a bear or mountain lion was involved. Or was it? Professor Theo Cray is a remarkable character. He’s a brilliant scientist, and his strengths lie in numbers, systems, patterns, data-modeling, and methodical analysis. He is socially awkward when dealing with people. I found What a wild ride! In this mystery-suspense-thriller, the story opens with Professor Theo Cray, a computational biologist, being questioned about a possible murder of a former student. He is released when police determine that a bear or mountain lion was involved. Or was it? Professor Theo Cray is a remarkable character. He’s a brilliant scientist, and his strengths lie in numbers, systems, patterns, data-modeling, and methodical analysis. He is socially awkward when dealing with people. I found it clever and riveting, the very definition of a page-turner. I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the police procedures, medicine, or forensics, but I have a feeling some of it was over the top. I chose to suspend disbelief and found myself thoroughly entertained. I don’t often read series, but I just may have to pick up the sequel to see what Professor Cray gets up to next. Content includes profanity, violence, and gruesome descriptions of mutilated bodies. Recommended to readers that enjoy mystery-thrillers with a side of science.
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  • JustSomeGuy
    January 1, 1970
    Deciding to read this one was a total shot in the dark as I was without a book waiting for the library to re-open after the holiday break with books I had on hold. My September First Read email from Amazon came and I immediately selected this based on the primer sentence alone. Past selections of the First Read benefit have not gone well, but this one started out as a surprising exception. The main character in this book is the total opposite of a traditional protagonist - he's a socially awkwar Deciding to read this one was a total shot in the dark as I was without a book waiting for the library to re-open after the holiday break with books I had on hold. My September First Read email from Amazon came and I immediately selected this based on the primer sentence alone. Past selections of the First Read benefit have not gone well, but this one started out as a surprising exception. The main character in this book is the total opposite of a traditional protagonist - he's a socially awkward wuss brainiac who stumbles into a crime initially thought to be a bear attack. I bought into the scientific approach used by Professor Theo Cray as a replacement for formal sleuthing and enjoyed his total lack of physical presence and near complete inability to relate to people. The author does a great job describing how Cray's anti-social behavior isn't just a challenge for him personally, but how he's also viewed by others - including the police. Unfortunately, the book doesn't do much to foster the question readers could have started to ask: is he the psychopath killer or just an awkward amateur investigator professor genius? How accurate is the science? I don't know, but I bought into it enough to plow through the first half of the book. Unfortunately, things began falling apart for me once Cray starting to get a beat on the killer - readily using his repurposed computer model to figure out a pattern to locate the killers victims and even where his killing days began. By the time we race towards a ludicrous finale where the total wuss nerd takes on a jacked up, armored killing machine, the book lost a lot of the equity it had built up with me to that point. I was ready to add this series and Mayne to my To Read list, but I'm left torn between the promise of how this one started out and the steep decline the story took toward a ridiculous ending.
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  • Nora|KnyguDama
    January 1, 1970
    Koks smagus viršelis! Toks minimalistinis, bet taip akį traukia. Puikiai sužaista tekstūromis - gal nuotraukoje ir nesimato, bet knyga tokia grublėta. Priduoda jausmo, jog tikrai kailiuką glostai. "Biologas" man vien iš anotacijos pasirodė labai kinematografiškas reikalas - puikiai įsivaizduoju serialą apie mokslininką biologą, narpliojantį visokias bylas. Vėliau sužinojau, kad apie šį veikėją yra visa serija knygų, tad, panašu, jog "Biologas" vertas daugiau nei kelių šimtų puslapių.Teo Krėjus - Koks smagus viršelis! Toks minimalistinis, bet taip akį traukia. Puikiai sužaista tekstūromis - gal nuotraukoje ir nesimato, bet knyga tokia grublėta. Priduoda jausmo, jog tikrai kailiuką glostai. "Biologas" man vien iš anotacijos pasirodė labai kinematografiškas reikalas - puikiai įsivaizduoju serialą apie mokslininką biologą, narpliojantį visokias bylas. Vėliau sužinojau, kad apie šį veikėją yra visa serija knygų, tad, panašu, jog "Biologas" vertas daugiau nei kelių šimtų puslapių.Teo Krėjus - ypatingas mokslininkas. Jo ne tik atmintis, žinios, gebėjimas analizuoti, bet ir įžvalga yra ypatinga. Kuomet policija jį pasikviečia apklausti dėl studentės žmogžudystės, jis pastebi daugiau nei krminalistai. Nužudyta studentė rasta miške - visa sudraskyta, kruvina. Policija kaltę verčia pasiutusiam lokiui, kurio vieno nagai ir nasrai galėjo palikti tokias baisias žymes. Teo pasidomi tos rūšies lokiais ir galai, visgi, jam nesueina. Pasitelkdamas savo gabumus ir pažintis, Teo imasi savotiško asmeninio tyrimo. Kuo giliau jis kapstosi, kuo daugiau panašių lavonų randama, tuo tvirčiau Krėjus save sodina į pagrindinio įtariamojo kėdė. Tačiau mosklininkas ir toliau rizikuoja norėdamas įrodyti, kad tai ne žvėries darbas - bent jau pirmine to žodžio prasme.Pradžia greit įsuko ir šiek tiek numalšino mano baimes. Labai bijojau, kad tekstas bus apkrautas moksliniais terminais, man nesuprantamais žodžiais ir visokiais lotyniškais pavadinimais. To nebuvo. Pradžioje. Vėliau šitų dalykų gausėjo ir tas erzino. Bet čia mano nuomonė - žinau žmonių, kuriems patinka toks atidus kapstymasis. Teo, kaip personažas, man pasirodė kiek nenuoseklus. Lyg tykus, ramus genijus, o vėliau jau kovoja su blogiukais kaip nindzė. Kažkokio apjungimo, įtikinimo šioms dviems visiškai priešingoms jo savybėms reikėjo. Visą susmavus - iš knygos tikėjausi daugiau. Nors pradžia ir žadėjo intrigą, praplaukiau puslapiais be didesnių emocijų.
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  • Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer
    January 1, 1970
    Enjoyable readThe geekiness of the main character appealed to me. Normally I do not like books written in the first person but this time I think it actually works for the story. The many short chapters sort of chopped up my reading flow though. I do think I will seek out some of this author's other books because overall I was pretty impressed with the handling of the characters and storyline.
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  • VickiLee
    January 1, 1970
    Mutilated bodies are being blamed on animals, but a researcher is driven by his curiosity about these deaths tied to a disbelief that wild animals did the killings. He believes the killer animal is human. I grew very fond of Theo, the researcher, and his determined drive to find out the truth.
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  • Murf the Surf
    January 1, 1970
    A very provocative thriller!I think most people that enjoy a good intelligent take will be happy with this tome. It's got the medical stuff I crave and the mystery horror that spices it it. Why, it the perfect book chili recipe! Enjoy this, and so let the author know, Pax, Murf
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  • Ярослава
    January 1, 1970
    Якщо ви раптом ночей недосипали, намагаючись уявити, як би виглядало дитя грішної любові романів Дена Брауна і серіалу “Criminal Minds”, то цей детектив Ендрю Мейна дає відповіді на всі ваші запитання! Як то кажуть, хтось в історію входить, а хтось вляпується, й от Тео Крей, учений-біоінформатик із явним розладом аутичного спектру, належить до другої категорії. Коли його колишню студентку знаходять убитою в тому ж лісі, де він веде свої дослідження, Тео швидко стає першим підозрюваним у вбивстві Якщо ви раптом ночей недосипали, намагаючись уявити, як би виглядало дитя грішної любові романів Дена Брауна і серіалу “Criminal Minds”, то цей детектив Ендрю Мейна дає відповіді на всі ваші запитання! Як то кажуть, хтось в історію входить, а хтось вляпується, й от Тео Крей, учений-біоінформатик із явним розладом аутичного спектру, належить до другої категорії. Коли його колишню студентку знаходять убитою в тому ж лісі, де він веде свої дослідження, Тео швидко стає першим підозрюваним у вбивстві, а потім так само швидко – детективом-аматором мимоволі. Бо що ж іще йому залишається робити, якщо детективи вважають, що студентку вбив ведмідь, а сам він певен, що це – справа рук серійного вбивці, який вбивав уже не раз?Текст розвивається у шаленому темпі, композиція зроблена якось дуже правильно, відірватися неможливо. Принагідно читачам пояснять, що таке мітохондріальна ДНК (і чим вона відрізняється від ядерної ДНК), хто такі біоінформатики і з чим їх їдять і ще багато дечого, що подекуди звучить як повний булшіт, але най буде:)(Я страшенний страхополох, але от зараз, надихнувшись цим романом, читаю про реальні зникнення в національних парках. Нащо я це роблю? Спати ж потім не зможу.)
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  • Nicole
    January 1, 1970
    It took me forever to read this book because #1. I kept falling asleep and #2. I dreaded picking it back up. Generally speaking, the story line was stupid, the characters were shallow and poorly developed, the action scenes were overly complicated and hard to envision, and the main character was so boring, I don't even remember his name. The first 30% of the book was like reading an encyclopedic entry on bears. Was the author trying to make us think a bear really was the killer? Or was he just s It took me forever to read this book because #1. I kept falling asleep and #2. I dreaded picking it back up. Generally speaking, the story line was stupid, the characters were shallow and poorly developed, the action scenes were overly complicated and hard to envision, and the main character was so boring, I don't even remember his name. The first 30% of the book was like reading an encyclopedic entry on bears. Was the author trying to make us think a bear really was the killer? Or was he just showing off all the research he did on bears? Either way, it was obvious in the first chapter that the killer was not a bear, so why spend all that time boring me with details about bears? Eventually, the main character turns into this pompous know-it-all, who is doing the police's job because the police are inept. It irritated me that he was supposed to be so smart, yet he didn't see that he was making himself look like the killer. Well, not until the end when the light bulb finally went off. Queue the requisite "love interest". Could two characters have any less chemistry? And the "big sex scene" is in a car on the side of a road after they found ANOTHER dead body and are being followed? I need more synonyms for the words stupid and dumb. The book was peppered with scenes and set ups that had nothing to do with the story, only to provide a solution on the following page. The main character (still can't remember his stupid name), would go into great detail explaining the most obvious simple thought process. Not everything needs to be explained. Readers are smart enough to connect the dots. But perhaps the most insulting feature was his uncanny ability to make an assumption and have it lead perfectly to the next victim or even more unbelievably, the perfect clue. I didn't want to waste my time finishing this book, but I wanted to give it a review worthy of it's horribleness, so I forced myself to finish so I could offer this review. I notice that this book is the first in a series, I seriously have doubts about the person who signed that deal.
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  • E.
    January 1, 1970
    3.75-ish. At times it was predictable and slow going... like the word "blood" should freak me out. Then it would amp up to full on descriptive dead things. Development of live secondary characters was sparse, but I felt like I knew the victims well. Strange. However, I might read the next in series.
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  • Tom Swift
    January 1, 1970
    Really fun exciting read. Theo Cray is a research professor on a field trip in Montana, a bear attack to an old students leads to an exciting story.
  • Debbie
    January 1, 1970
    Wow!!! I haven't had that much fun reading a book in a long, long time! Don't get me wrong this serial killer thriller....thrills. It has it's seriously creepy, tense and edge of your seat moments but it was also extremely fun to read (yeah, I'm a little wacked), perfectly paced and balanced. This book follows Theo, the quintessential, socially awkward, and common sense lacking scientist, as he gets caught up in the hunt for the serial killer responsible for the death of his former student. And Wow!!! I haven't had that much fun reading a book in a long, long time! Don't get me wrong this serial killer thriller....thrills. It has it's seriously creepy, tense and edge of your seat moments but it was also extremely fun to read (yeah, I'm a little wacked), perfectly paced and balanced. This book follows Theo, the quintessential, socially awkward, and common sense lacking scientist, as he gets caught up in the hunt for the serial killer responsible for the death of his former student. And when I say caught up, I really mean he is the only one hunting. Law enforcement cannot see what is so blatantly obvious to Theo. His scientific mind demands the answers and the man within can't walk away. To my surprise, I was completely endeared with Theo. His mind was completely beyond my comprehension but the man well, he brought out the fixer in me. I wanted to be his life coach, instill some much needed guidance and maybe a slap or two upside the head. ;)I'll be honest, I didn't always understand the science but the cool thing is I didn't have to to enjoy the story. Plus, I managed to learn a thing or two. This story, I imagine, pushes science to its edge and maybe over it some too and there are scenes that are over the top a smidgen. But isn't that what a good story teller does? They take the believable and give it and edge, embellish the truth, intensify the climax, and in the end, the story is better and more enjoyable for everyone. If you're science minded and are going to split hairs over every theory, walk away but if you want to enjoy and excellently written story with one of the best endings ever, read on!This is my first book by Andrew Mayne but I am chomping at the bit to move on to the next one. Angel Killer here I come.
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  • Ed
    January 1, 1970
    Remarkably original thriller about Dr. Theo Cray, a mild mannered science professor on a personal mission to prove the existence of a human serial killer who he believes, frames bears for his kills. As ridiculous as that sounds, it makes for a truly mesmerizing thriller that I was unable to put down. This is the first book I've read by this gifted author and certainly will not be my last.
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