Brett Russell is a hunter of the rarest game. His targets are cryptids, animals denied by science. But they are well known by those living on the edges of civilization, where monsters attack and devour their animals and children and lay ruin to their shantytowns.
When a shadowy organization sends Brett to the Congo in search of the legendary dinosaur cryptid Kasai Rex, he will face much more than a terrifying monster from the past.
Spinosaurus is a dinosaur thriller packed with intrigue, action and giant prehistoric predators.
A diamond mining operation in Congo is being disruped by a giant dinosaur who keeps attacking the worker camp and a survivor calls the US TV show Cryptoids Alive! to ask for help. The show decide to send a team to investigate but the shadowy Organisation add their own member posing as an expert.
Brett works for the Organisation, leading rich hunters on expeditions to hunt endangered animals, then sees to it that they are arrested by local authorities. Now he is being sent on this mission to Congo to assess the situation and check for endangered animals while pretending to be a cryptoid expert. I found the Organisation interesting and certainly liked the hunters get arrested for their sins. I liked Brett's no nonsense boss who has a trophy room of his own where he displays the heads of poachers he has hunted down!
The book itself is a bit slow to get into the story. It starts with the trip being prepared, the team arriving in Congo and getting into a dispute with the local law enforcement and setting up their camp. It is 40% into the book before things really get going action-wise with a fight between a mutant crocodile and snake, which was certainly quite interesting. We don't see the Spinosaurus in the early parts of the book, with Brett only hearing the sounds of attack and arriving in the aftermath of it. There are a few bits of action involving mutant monsters and a dinosaur chase scene but nowhere near what I'd hoped for.
The story goes on to focus on the mining company and the fact that someone is stealing eggs from a Spinosaurus over the river to lure it into attacking the mining camp as it searches for the missing eggs. It was obvious to me from the start which of the people at the camp were involved in this scheme and the person is a gruntled employee of the Organisation. We never find out if all the claims made by the bad guy are true or made up, we never find out if the Organisation is involved in betraying Brett or if the traitor made it up while pretending to be his boss. Has he been blacklisted by the company and stranded there or will the Organisation help him? We just don't get the answers on a lot of the questions thrown up which means to me that the book feels unfinished.
I was a little disappointed in the book. It felt more like a social environmental conspiracy thriller than a dinosaur gorefest. We don't really see much of the Spinosaurus and it isn't killing people for fun, just defending her nest, so it wasn't really the kind of story that the blurb hints at. It was ok to read but not what I was looking for.
Read January 2017.