Dr. Samantha Russell, an archeologist, has followed in her father's footsteps. She is trying to find more proof of the Gigantopithecus, the giant ape, in China. Unfortunately, her rich benefactor has suddenly withdrawn his funding. She is being sent back to the United States under protest. Just before she leaves, though, she receives a box from a scientist whose reputation is sketchy. She takes one tooth out of the box, then is rushed out of the country. The box is shipped back to New York. She then realizes the tooth isn't from the Gigantopithecus, but could be. And it's bone, not a fossil as it should be.
Jon Ostman is the "crackpot" archeologist that had sent the bones. He had found them buried in a cave in the Olympic forest in Washington state. Now he is on the run from the National Park Service - or shadowy government agents infiltrating the NPS - for his life. The bones he found are part of a state secret. They prove what he has been claiming for years. Sasquatch, the United States' giant ape, exists.
Secretary Mason is the current Secretary of the Environment. He is rogue in the eyes of the shadowy government agency that is hiding the possibility of Sasquatch. He knows he is being followed. He is a radical conservationist. The agency work for corporate interests, which don't often coincide with conservationism interests. He is investigating a mystery of the Olympic forest that goes back to Thomas Jefferson and the Lewis and Clark expedition.
Philip Prescott is the millionaire owner of the Prescott Institute. One of his goals has been to discover better proof of Gigantopithecus, or better, a live giant ape in the United States. When Ostman has proof, Prescott pulls Russell's funding forcing her home. Now he and Ostman are hiding out in a bunker deep in the Olympic forest.
These four people are on a quest that intersects. Did a giant ape really live in the northwest United States? More frightening, does it still exist?
Eric Penz has taken a United States myth and put a different twist on it. He has written a suspense, supernatural novel with conservationism, history, and escape scenes to keep the reader on the edge of the seat. The novel doesn't fulfill its promise of excitement. It's not bad; it just doesn't quite click. I found it slow reading even though I was enjoying the premise. It's an interesting addition to the Bigfoot/Sasquatch myth.
9/6/2006 Mr. Penz let me know that if you would like more information about his book he can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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