Thunder Horse

Peter Bowen, Author St. Martin's Press $22.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-312-18303-5
Montana cattle-brand inspector Gabriel Du Pre is banging on the door of archeologist Aaron Morgenstern's apartment in the historic Baxter Hotel, the tallest building in Bozeman. The old man who opens the door asks Du Pre: ""Are you the goddamned Red River Breed with the damn dinosaur tooth that fool Burdette called me about?"" The growing legion of fans of Bowen's first four Du Pre books (most recently, 1997's Notches) will recognize the tone and the territory. After a serious earthquake shakes up the local topography, Du Pre, the part-Metis Indian who frequently serves as deputy to county sheriff Benny Klein, gets involved in a story of greed that links ancient Indian residents of Montana with a present-day Japanese consortium's plans to turn a bucolic spring into a commercial trout farm. There's a murder too: a snowmobiler is shot while carrying a valuable fossilized tooth of a T-Rex. Along the way, Du Pre gets to drive his old pickup too fast along Montana's back roads, drink gallons of cheap wine with a brace of fascinating friends (including his wise lover, Madelaine, and a wonderful old rascal called Benetsee who's part medicine man and part con man), play his fiddle and radiate an immensely charming sense of enhanced reality. Idiosyncratic, convincing and marked by thoroughly distinctive rhythms of dialogue, Bowen's Du Pre series claims unique territory in the genre. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/30/1998
Release date: 04/01/1998
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